Iran Leaders’ Visions Vary

As Iranians welcomed the New Year on 20 March the country’s two top leaders looked to economic revival in their Nowruz speeches. Their mixed messages on Iran’s economy demonstrate the turbulent waters Iran must navigate.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei says 1395 is the year of “Resistance Economy: Action and Implementation.” he has frequently advocated the “resistance economy” since 2012, urging Iran to develop domestic institutions to counter external threats. Seeking to dampen expectations of a swift economic upturn following the easing of sanctions, he says this will take years.

The US is “still fundamentally hostile to Iran.” It is failing to deliver on pledges under last July’s nuclear deal as its policies undermine the benefits of sanctions relief, he says. “Our banking transactions in western countries, and other countries under their influence, face problems. Repatriating our funds is problematic. When we follow up the matter and investigate… it becomes clear that they [banks in third party countries] are afraid of the Americans.” However he stopped short of advocating that Iran renege on the nuclear agreement. (CONTINUED - 372 WORDS)