Rouhani issues New Year message, ushers in end of ‘economic war’

March 20, 2021 - 17:20

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has extended his congratulations to the Iranian people on the Persian New Year, ushering in the end of an unprecedented economic war.

In a televised speech delivered on the occasion of Nowruz on Saturday, Rouhani said the end of the Persian year has coincided with the end of a difficult period in the history of the Iranian nation.

“Three years of cruel and ruthless imposed economic war against the Iranian nation –a war the likes of which no nation has experienced in modern history- is going to come to an end thanks to the resistance of this nation,” Rouhani said, apparently referring to the sanctions that the United States imposed on Iran following former U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

During the past year, Rouhani said, the Iranian nation grappled with a dangerous virus in addition to the difficulties arising from the economic war. The president said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the difficulties of the economic war.

“The Iranian nation entered the battle against Corona, while not only deprived of the usual global aid to combat the pandemic, but also without access to its wealth in foreign banks. The sharp drop in oil prices and the oil embargo set the situation in such a way that 1399 was the worst year in the last 60 years in terms of oil revenues. During the 42 years that have passed since the victory of the Revolution, I have not seen a year as difficult in terms of hardships and economic constraints as 1399,” President Rouhani said, highlighting the hardships of the past year.

However, Rouhani said that this “difficult, cold season, huge plague and battle on multiple fronts” has turned into a proud and bright experience in the history of Iran thanks to the patience and resistance of the Iranian nation.
The president said that those who were behind the “maximum pressure” policy against Iran were pursuing the goal of bringing about the collapse of Iran’s economy. This pressure created hardships for ordinary Iranians but failed to bring them to their knees, Rouhani asserted, underlining that those behind this policy failed to achieve their goal. “They have gone while Iran remained,” the Iranian president noted, according to the Iranian presidency.

Following are excerpts from Rouhani’s New Year message:

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

I would like to sincerely congratulate the beginning of the year 1400 to all the great people of Iran, old and young; men and women, especially nurses and doctors, and all medical staff; farmers and workers, warriors and border guards, and all the friends of Iran around the world.

This year's Nowruz is in the middle of two great days, the birthdays of Imam Hussein (AS) and Imam Mehdi (AS), and wished a happy new year to all the people of Iran.

The end of the winter of nature and the beginning of the time of light and warmth and the blossoming and greenness of nature has coincided with the end of a hard period and difficult times of the history of the Iranian nation.

In the year 1399, coronavirus doubled the difficulty of sanctions and economic war for Iranians. Iranian nation entered the battle against coronavirus, not only deprived of the usual global aid to combat this pandemic, but also not even having access to its wealth in foreign banks.

But on the other hand, this difficult and cold season, and this great plague, and the simultaneous struggle on several different fronts became a brilliant and proud chapter in the history of Iran due to the epic of patience and perseverance of the Iranian nation.

The people of Iran witnessed the inaugurations every Thursday. These inaugurations were all the result of openings that were achieved through constructive engagement with the world, and using the oil revenues in the National Development Fund, which made it possible for these infrastructural and employment-generating investments to happen.

In the dilemma of living these days, the manifestations of empathy and the faithful help of the Iranians, once again portrayed the depth of solidarity and unity of this nation. 

In the field of health, the great family of healthcare workers created points in history and sacrifices. In the production of medical equipment, medicine and vaccines, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and knowledge-based companies flourished and became the pride of the Iranian nation.

We thank God that this year's Nowruz breeze promises the beginning of a season of prosperity, victory and progress for the Iranian nation.

Today, the ill-wishers of this nation, on the other side of the world, have fallen from the seat of power with disgrace and notoriety, while the Iranian nation, is tall, proud and lively, and has welcomed the spring of nature and the spring of life.

Today, the enemies of the nation have admitted that the language of force, threats and sanctions cannot be spoken to the great nation of Iran. Therefore, after three years of defeat, they are forced to return to the path of constructive interaction with the Iranian nation.

Today, the Iranian nation has welcomed the spring of nature and the spring of life, and has accumulated the valuable investments in these eight years.

During these eight years, we have accumulated valuable political capital in the field of international politics, which has resulted in successive victories at the United Nations, the Security Council, and the Hague. Today, we have a broad, deep, strategic relationship with the world, and our enemies are isolated and powerless in their positions against us.

In these eight years, despite the fact that we have always been short of financial resources, we have taken great and historic steps in developing the infrastructure needed for the development of the country. In gas and gas supply, in oil and petrochemical refining, in electricity and water industry, communications and internet and health.

In these eight years, agriculture and industry, and our service sector have evolved and matured and are ready to compete in global markets with greater strength and power in the new era.

In these eight years, Iran has shifted from the need to import petrol and diesel to the position of exporter.

This experience has shown us that the Iranian nation is able to achieve economic stability, sustainable single-digit inflation and sustainable economic growth during the period of openness and prosperity.

But achieving this goal requires a precise, realistic and hopeful outline of the country's future horizon. We rely on what we have been able to do, and say: we can.

Achieving this goal requires the participation of all Iranians in the development process. Attracting capital, knowledge-based economics and strengthening knowledge-based companies should be the focus of our development. 

Achieving this goal requires constructive interaction with the world. Iran can enter into regional and global trade agreements. Iran can be a centre of attraction for international investors. Iran can be the most attractive space to benefit from the knowledge and capital of Iranians around the world, and Iran can have extensive, deep and stable trade with the world.

As the son of this great nation, who has been serving this great nation in various political fields and various responsibilities since I was a teenager and since the beginning of the Islamic movement, I believe that the way to progress and reforming things in this country passes only through the path of participation and elections.

Democracy is a national asset and we must safeguard it away from despair and fear, and put aside our frustrations and disagreements, with a strategic view of the future.

Passionate elections with maximum participation will be a definite precondition for the realisation of the aspirations of the Iranian people in the first decade of the fifteenth century.

Next year will be the year of widespread access to vaccines and control of COVID, and the year of taking advantage of 3 years of resistance and the end of sanctions. We defeated the sanctions once and we will surely defeat the sanctions together again.

At the beginning of 1400, I amd more hopeful than eight years ago. Because eight years ago, we did not have this glorious experience of 4 years of economic prosperity and global interaction, nor of 3 years of resistance to economic warfare. I very much hope that with the conscious and free presence of the people, in determining their destiny, the year 1400, which is the end of the fourteenth century, will be the end of hardships and the beginning of prosperity, and will open the way for the new century, which is the century of renewing the Iranian nation's dignity.

Peace be upon you and may God have mercy on you and bless you

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