Ayatollah Khamenei outlines strategy to nullify sanctions through internal capabilities

November 25, 2020 - 0:13

TEHRAN – Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on Tuesday suggested plans to counteract the United States sanctions on Iran through boosting internal economic capabilities while also ruling out any prospect of broader negotiations with the West.

The Leader addressed in detail the economic sanctions of the U.S. on Iran and their impact, calling these sanctions “a crime against the Iranian people that has been intensified in the past three years.” He said the economy is the main issue of the country right now and the livelihood of people has been really under pressure.

Ayatollah Khamenei called the sanctions “a bitter reality and a crime by America and its European partners against the Iranian nation.”

In an effort to introduce a strategy to mitigate the economic impact of the sanctions, the Leader said there are two ways to deal with sanctions: removing sanctions and nullifying or overcoming them.

The Leader pointed out that Iran has used the first way – i.e. lifting sanctions – but to no avail. 

“There are two ways to tackle sanctions: 1) removing sanctions 2) nullifying and overcoming them. We tried the first option, removing sanctions, by negotiating for a few years, but to no use. The second option may have difficulties in the beginning but will have a favorable end,” the Leader pointed out. “If succeed, through hard work and innovation, in overcoming the sanctions and the other side witnesses how sanctions were nullified, it will abandon sanctions gradually.”

He added that Iran has a lot of capacities and capabilities to nullify sanctions. 

The Leader made the remarks during a meeting of the Supreme Council of Economic Coordination, a high-level state body comprised of senior officials, including the heads of the three branches of government. 

The remarks came against a backdrop of a renewed wave of speculations over whether Iran and the U.S. would resume talks following Joe Biden’s projected win in the U.S. presidential election. The cabinet of Hassan Rouhani implied that it’s ready to resume talks with the new U.S. administration in order to get the sanctions lifted within the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and World powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Leader made it crystal clear that Iran is capable of overcoming sanctions and it does not pin hope on any negotiations with the West to improve the economy. Instead, Ayatollah Khamenei put a special emphasis on the need to rely on Iran’s internal capacities and capabilities, which, if used properly, would ensure that Iran is capable of weathering the storm. 

In fact, the Leader believes that Iran has enough resources to overcome all economic challenges and become impervious to sanctions. To move in this direction, the Leader said, the country’s officials should make serious efforts and be courageous.

“The country's economic problem is not about not having or not knowing what approach to take. Rather, that which is required is diligence, courage, serious effort, and follow-up,” he noted. 

In line with this strategy, the Leader underlined that the government should act on the premise that there would be no opening in foreign relations. 

Ayatollah Khamenei also took a swipe at the U.S. Democrats, saying they are pursuing hostile policies toward Iran and their internal situation is not clear at all. These troubles, the Leader added, have prevented the Democrats from taking stances on international issues. Therefore, Ayatollah Khamenei said, Iran cannot count on them or draw up plans in accordance with their positions. 

“Foreigners cannot be relied upon, and one cannot pin hope on the opening of them,” the Leader asserted.

Ayatollah Khamenei also took a jab at the European countries that are party to the 2015 nuclear deal –France, Germany, and the UK-, urging the Europeans to stop demanding negotiations over Iran’s ballistic missiles and its influence in the region. 

“The situation in America is not clear. The Europeans are constantly taking stances against Iran. While they are making the most improper interferences in the region’s issues, they tell us not to interfere in the region. And while France and Britain possess destructive nuclear missiles and Germany is moving in this direction, they tell us not to possess missiles,” the Leader pointed out. 

Directly addressing the Europeans, the Leader added, “What business is it of yours. Correct yourself first and then make remarks.”

As Biden was projected to win the U.S. presidential election, many pundits and even some officials in the region and Europe called for broader negotiations with Iran that would include Iran’s missile program and its regional influence. The French called for this kind of negotiation. The Saudis even went so far as to call on the U.S. to make Saudi Arabia a partner on any future nuclear deal with Iran, which Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan called “JCPOA++.”

But Ayatollah Khamenei made it clear that Iran is not only not considering any broader negotiations with the West, but it is also not pinning any hope on the lifting of the sanctions in the future. Ayatollah Khamenei’s strategy to nullify the U.S. sanctions through internal capabilities should be viewed in this context. 

SM/PA

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