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EghtesadOnline: Iran is not unfriendly with Europe and is ready to work with the bloc if it stops following the US, the Leader said.

Iran is not unfriendly with Europe and is ready to work with the bloc if it stops following the US, the Leader said.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said economy remains the country’s main issue in the new Iranian year, selecting “inflation control and growth of production” as the slogan of the year to draw further attention toward this sector.

“All endeavors of the authorities must be directed toward these two issues,” he said in his message on the occasion of the commencement of the Persian New Year on March 21, reported.

Over the past year, he added, the most important problem of the Iranian nation was the country’s economy which directly affects people’s livelihood.

In terms of economy, there were both good and bad developments over the year, according to the Leader.

“The adversities chiefly involved inflation and high prices which are truly bitter,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed to positive developments, including support for production, reopening of factories that were shut down or half closed and increase in knowledge-based companies, as well as decrease in unemployment rates, though a small degree.

“In the new year, these constructive activities must continue so that they result in an uplift in people’s livelihoods, especially the less privileged strata,” he said.

Addressing economic problems requires fundamental activities such as boosting production and investment, as well as humanitarian efforts, according to the Leader.

Positive Transformation

On the first day of the Persian New Year, Ayatollah Khamenei addressed a group of pilgrims in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in Mashhad city, Khorasan Razavi Province.

He highlighted the common prayer on the turn of the year, by which Iranians ask God to transform and improve their conditions, saying such change requires both appeal to God and hard work.

This reform, however, differs from that which the enemies try to portray, he stressed.

“By raising the issue of reform, the enemies have opposite purposes that contradict the Islamic Republic’s goals… such as change in the constitution or the structure of the system,” he said.

The enemies aim to change the Islamic Republic’s identity, destroy its strengths and cause everything that is reminiscent of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to pass into oblivion, according to the Leader.

He said the ultimate goal of arrogant powers’ remarks about reform is to turn the Islamic democracy into an autocratic and obedient government, or an apparently democratic one which follows western countries’ orders in practice.

“In everything they do, they seek political and economic dominance over Iran and looting of the country.”

For positive transformation, it is essential to identify the country’s strengths and weaknesses, the Leader said.

The Iranian nation’s strong internal power, which is rooted in their faith, is a major strength of the country, according to him.

This is evidenced in their overcoming of successive hostilities by global powers over decades, such as coups, sanctions, political pressure, media aggression and security schemes, he added.

The nation’s considerable progress in various sectors, even during economic blockade and the most severe pressures, is another indication of their inner strength, the Leader said.

In foreign relations, the enemies’ efforts to isolate Iran have also failed, as the Islamic Republic has consolidated its ties with Asia, Africa and Larin America, according to Ayatollah Khamenei.

“We are not unfriendly with Europe either, and are ready to work with them if they stop following the United States,” he said.

The Leader later pointed to the country’s weaknesses, on top of which economy and economic policies.

He said the main problem in this sector is its extreme governmental nature, as a result of which the people have been excluded from great and wealth-building economic activities.

“The government must reduce its authority and interference in economy and hand it over to the people while keeping monitoring and supervision,” he said.

Iran’s economy should also become less dependent on crude oil exports and dollar by developing non-oil activities and replacing local currencies, according to the Leader.

“If people’s capabilities in economy are used and production is increased, public livelihood and inflation will get better and the objectives in this year’s slogan will certainly be achieved.”

False Claim

Ayatollah Khamenei later dismissed all accusations of Iran’s engagement in Russia’s war on Ukraine, describing it as a “false claim”.

“We strongly and openly deny any presence in the Ukraine war and such a [claim] is not true at all,” he said.

He explained that the war in Ukraine was waged by the US in order to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization further toward the east.

While the people of Ukraine are suffering, the US and its arms production factories are making the greatest profit, which is why Washington prevents any development that would result in the end of the war, he added.

The Leader also said Iran’s regional policies are clear, whereas the US is confused, not knowing whether to stay in the region and face its nations’ hatred, or leave and lose its greedy benefits.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei Leader of the Islamic Revolution