Iran will move ahead with its defense, regional policies

March 11, 2022 - 21:28

TEHRAN – In his important speech on Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei reflected on the importance of pressing ahead with Iran’s current regional and defense policies.

The Leader made it crystal clear that with or without a deal in Vienna, Iran will move ahead with its plans to increase defensive strength and regional influence. The Leader put Iran’s defense and regional policies in the broader context of building national strength, saying that strong security cannot be achieved through relying on foreigners. 

The Leader made the remarks in a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts. In the meeting, he described the intertwined combination of factors involved in national strength and stated that attending to the people’s problems in livelihood is important.

In addressing the requirements of building national strength, the Leader put emphasis on the need to rely on internal resources. “National strength is vital for every country. If any nation wishes to achieve independence and greatness, the ability to use its own vital resources at its own volition and resistance in the face of others’ [illegitimate] demands, it should be strong. Otherwise, if it is weak, humiliated and intimidated, it will always have to worry about the transgressions of foreign powers,” the Leader said. 

Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed to some notions that were propagated by some analysts in the past. One such notion is that maybe it’s better for Iran to abandon its regional policies so that the enemies won’t have any excuse to put pressure on the country.

The Leader, however, said this notion is wrong. Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that proposals such as abandoning regional involvement in order to avoid giving the enemy an excuse and stopping scientific progress in the nuclear sciences are actually blows to national strength.

“Regional involvement gives us strategic depth and more national strength. Why should we stop this approach? Progress in the nuclear sciences too is related to meeting the needs of the country in the near future. If we abandon these, toward whom should we stretch out our hand in a few years?” he said, according to a readout published by the khamenei.ir.

Stating that giving in to the U.S. or any other power in order to remain immune from their sanctions is a grave mistake and a blow to the country’s political strength, the Leader further said, “There is no idea more naive and simple-minded than the proposal to decrease our defensive strength so that the enemy won’t become sensitive.”

In this regard, he stressed, “Over the years, some of these feeble, unfounded proposals have been put forward, all of which were unfitting and indeed they were rejected. If the people who had wanted to cut some of the arms of national strength had been given permission to go ahead, Iran would be facing grave dangers today. However, by God’s favor and grace, the possibility of implementing those proposals was never explored.”

The remarks came at a time when Iran and world powers in Vienna are hammering out a deal that would put some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. During the talks, the Western negotiators pushed for broader negotiations to address issues related to Iran’s missile program and its influence in the West Asia region. But Iran roundly rejected widening the scope of negotiations and insisted the talks should be restricted to nuclear issues. The Leader’s remarks were another indication that Iran will by no means negotiate over issues it considers as pillars of its national strength. 

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