Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The supreme leader of Iran on March 21, 2013 (Persian year 1392), in his most important annual speech which he makes on the first day of each Persian New Year, evaluated sanctions against Iran and their effects on the country during this last year (1391).
He described Iran’s condition in this last year as “a vast arena that is full of challenges, and the Iranian nation has been proud and victorious in this arena despite the will of the enemies.”
However, “the sanctions have had an effect, but not the effect that the enemies wanted,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
In fact, Iran’s leader believes that as a result of his country’s resistance, The U.S. and several European countries couldn’t reach the goals they were pursuing from sanctions. So this fact, despite all the damages and difficulties for Iran, means a victory for the country.
Ayatollah Khamenei underlined that “crippling the Iranian nation” was the main goal of the U.S. and its European allies and said: “The incompetent lady who was responsible for America’s foreign policy (Hillary Clinton) boldly announced that they wanted to impose certain sanctions on the Islamic Republic in order to cripple Iran.”
But this goal couldn’t be achieved because of the “resistance of the Iranian nation” and “the measures of the government”. So the country despite all the pain, continues its life without retreating on the issue of differences with the United States.
“[Of course] sanctions have had an effect, which is because of an essential flaw that we are suffering from. The flaw that our economy is suffering from is that it is dependent on oil,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
One of most important points that can be understood from Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech is that despite his admittance of the effectiveness of sanctions and despite all structural weaknesses of Iran ‘s economy, he didn’t show any sign of political retreat.
Actually, Iran’s leader thinks the only solution to all the country’s problems is resolving weaknesses, even when they seem insoluble:
“[ I told them that] they (the government) should act in a way that we could shut down our oil wells whenever we wanted to,” but “The so-called ‘technocrats’ smiled in disbelief, as if to say, Is that even possible?”
Ayatollah Khamenei believes that “only see[ing] the weaknesses” is a “flawed outlook” and one should see the developments and successes besides the weaknesses.
“Today there is a massive propaganda network in the world with thousands of different types of media outlets whose goal is to prove that there are no advances in Iran, to deny the victories that the Iranian nation has achieved.”
“Lets Not Deny Our Success”
Iran’s leader described the previous Persian year 1391 as “one the busiest years for our enemies.”
Ayatollah Khamenei says: “the main den of designing machinations against the Iranian nation” is the United States.
“In his official addresses, the American president speaks about Iran’s economic problems as if he is speaking about his victories,” Khamenei said.
“Of course, he has not mentioned the strengths that our nation enjoys”.
Ayatollah Khamenei also mentioned Britain as one of Iran’s enemies and labeled it as the “Evil English government” which “is not independent, so one cannot consider them a separate enemy. It is a follower of America.”
Iran’s leader made his most severe responses to Israeli threats of military action against Iran:
“They themselves know – and if they do not, they should know – that if they make a wrong move, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
Ayatollah Khamenei again stressed the popularity of the Islamic Republic by pointing to the vast presence of people in the anniversary of the revolution march.
He said that the “enemies of Iran” failed on “prevent[ing] the Islamic Republic from promoting and implementing its policies in the region, in the world and in the country.”
On one the most important parts of his speech which he delivered to the gathering of pilgrims at Imam Ridha’s shrine in the holy city of Mashhad, Ayatollah Khamenei spoke about the possibility of bilateral talks with the United States.
“The Americans have been sending messages for some time asking Iran to hold separate negotiations with them regarding the nuclear issue, but on the basis of our past experiences I am not optimistic about such negotiations,” He said referring to the experience of Iran – US direct talks about security in Iraq in 2007.
“Of course, I am not opposed either,” he added and then publicly responded to the back-door messages of the US officials offering “sincere and rational negotiation” with Iran:
“In response, I would say, we have told you many times that we are not after nuclear weapons and you say that you do not believe us. Why would we believe your statements then? When you are not ready to accept a rational and sincere statement, why would we accept your statements which have been disproved many times?”
“Our interpretation is that offers of negotiation are an American tactic to mislead public opinion in the world and in our country,” He added.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s solution for Iran’s nuclear issue
As Iran and the group of P5+1 – comprising U.S, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – will hold another round of nuclear talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan on April 5, 2013, Ayatollah Khamenei claimed that the U.S is not willing to reach a solution through nuclear negotiations and “Whenever we are close to a solution, the Americans cause a problem to prevent [the] reaching [of] a solution.”
He then outlined the “very simple solution” of Iran’s nuclear issue and asked the U.S to show its honest approach by accepting the solution:
“If the Americans wanted to resolve the issue, this would be a very simple solution: they could recognize the Iranian nation’s right to enrichment and to address those concerns, they could enforce the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”