Leader likens European financial mechanism to a ‘bitter joke’

March 21, 2019 - 18:29

TEHRAN - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on Thursday likened the European financial mechanism for trade with Iran to a “bitter joke”.

“Europe’s financial channel introduced recently is more like a bitter joke,” the Leader remarked.

After months of delay on January 31, France, Germany and Britain finally announced the creation of INSTEX, a special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran. However, experts and diplomats say the mechanism lack teeth.

The Leader said Europeans did not live up to their commitments under “different pretexts” since the Trump administration withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“They (Europeans) had to resist in regard to the JCPOA but they, under different pretexts, did not do their duties and repeatedly insisted that Iran should not pull out of the JCPOA, but the performance of themselves was in fact exit from the JCPOA,” Ayatollah Khamenei told a large gathering of people and officials in the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad on the first day of the Persian New Year called Noruz.

Europeans’ behavior was a ‘knife in the back’ 

The Leader said there is a wide gap between what the Europeans had to do and what they actually did, adding their behavior toward Iran was in fact “a knife in the back”.

The Leader said according to studies conducted and also based on the realities on the ground, politics and power in Europe and the U.S. are laced with cruelty, bullying and excessive demands and Western politicians, despite a modern appearance, are “wild”.  

Under the JCPOA, Iran is tasked to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. The agreement was signed in July 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The JCPOA was turned into international law as the UN Security Council adopted a resolution endorsing the deal.

Since the deal went into force in January 2016, the UN nuclear watchdog has issued numerous reports each time confirming that Iran is fully sticking to its commitments.

However, the Trump administration, quit the JCPOA in May 2018 and ordered sanctions against Iran. Officials close to President Trump have conceded that the toughest ever sanctions have been imposed against Iran. The Trump administration has even threatened to punish any company or country that does business with Iran.

“Today all (Iranian) officials have acknowledged that the enemy is in economic war with us,” the Leader pointed out.

The Leader predicted that Iran will emerge victorious and will defeat the sanctions by tapping its potential. “We will defeat the enemy.”

1398 will be the year of opportunities

The Leader went on to say that the new Iranian year will be the “year of opportunities”.

The new calendar year 1398 began on March 21.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the country’s chief problem is related to the economic situation of the poor classes that part of which is originated from European and American sanctions and part of it lies with mismanagement at home.

Saudi Arabia is corrupt, despotic and cruel

Elsewhere in his remarks, Leader of the Islamic Revolution said Saudi Arabia is the worst country that he has ever known.

“I do not know any country worse than the Saudi government,” the Leader said. “The Saudi government is corrupt, despotic and also oppressive.”

Saudi Arabia has been leading an atrocious war against Yemen since March 2015. The United Nations has announced that the war on Yemen has caused the greatest human disaster in the modern history.

The Leader also pointed to Congressional revelations that the administration of President Donald Trump is transferring nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, saying he is not personally worried about this issue because “in the not-too-distant future” Saudi Arabia will fall into the hands of Mujahideen.

Iran will continue to strengthen defense power

Leader of the Islamic Revolution also reiterated that Iran will continue to strengthen its defense power regardless of the pressure by the West.

“We will continue to strengthen defense infrastructure and will not give to pressure by others,” the Leader asserted.


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