During a speech with the most senior officials in the audience, the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei discussed several topics, praising Ebrahim Raisi’s administration, concealing the economic hardship in society, and expressing support for terrorism and nuclear advancement.
Iran is currently struggling with unprecedented socio-economic crises. According to the latest available statistics, more than 50% inflation, liquidity growth, skyrocketing prices, increasing suicide rates, unparalleled unemployment, brain drain, and mass migration are among the many calamities that Iranians are coping with.
Nevertheless, Khamenei preferred to see things differently. While reluctantly and partially admitting to the misery, he tried to blame the previous administrations and as usual, he dodged responsibility.
“The previous officials and managers and those who came later, all of them know that (the current economic) indicators are not desirable. They haven’t been suitable throughout the years which has led to the situation today,” he admitted, while quickly adding: “Now, of course, all of this can be fixed. All these economic problems can certainly be fixed, God willing, and everything will be alright.”
He immediately went on to say, “But in a country, the economy is not the exclusive indicator for power, progress, and success. There are other gauges, which should be measured as well.”
“On various fronts, we have reached self-sufficiency and we have achieved innovation,” Khamenei said. “On TV, there were many cases where four or five young people, for example, came together, produced something, created something that has a lot of value and whose quality is better than that of foreigners. We are all witnessing it. These are the successes of a nation; these are the progress of a nation.”
Speaking at length about how his regime has managed to withstand the international sanctions, avoid foreign debt, making scientific, industrial, and technological progress, Khamenei went as far as to claim the management of the country “went smoothly.”
“These achievements and other factors such as the expansion of Iran’s strategic depth and spiritual influence in the region have turned the Islamic Republic into an attractive role model,” he boasted, spinning Tehran’s malign influence in the Middle Eastin a positive light.
Directly targeting Saudi Arabia, Khamenei said: “Regarding Yemen, I have a word of advice for Saudi gentlemen, which is really out of goodwill and benevolence. “Why do you continue a war which you know there’s no possibility of winning? ”
Despite the recent military setbacks of the Tehran-back Houthi militias in Yemen, Khamenei struck a belligerent tone, claiming: “With the efforts of the Yemeni people, with the courage that their leaders demonstrate, with this practical initiative that they have in various sectors, there is no chance of victory (for the Saudis).”
“The officials should not wait at all for the nuclear issue to be resolved,” Khamenei added. “Do not let your work be disrupted, whether the negotiations reach positive or partially positive or negative results.”
He also deliberately expressed his support for the negotiating team, which has been under fire recently by some domestic media and pressed by the parliament to disclose the terms of the new nuclear deal.
“It is alright to criticize and evaluate their performance provided that such opinions are devoid of distrust and pessimism. As I have frequently said before, such opinions should not undermine the individuals involved or cause the people to lose hope,” Khamenei said. “So far, our negotiation team has resisted against the other party’s excessive demands and, God willing, (that resistance) will continue,” Khamenei added, trying to calm down critics.
Although Western media solely focused on Khamenei’s remarks about the nuclear talks, perhaps the most important part of his speech was made in the beginning. After a long discourse about piety and good habits, Khamenei appealed to his followers to be patient and refrain from surrendering.
“Sluggishness is the opposite of arrogance, which is a disease as well as it is miserable. What does sluggishness mean? It is a weak spirit, to feel incapable, to feel helpless, that you can no longer hang on to. The feeling of impasse in everything. Sluggishness makes you feel like you are facing a deadlock and you say nothing can be done anymore. This is a dangerous poison. For a manager, it is toxic to feel stuck. And the enemies try very hard to instill this feeling in all of us in various forms. By meeting, talking, chanting, doing interviews, via the news, by some operational activities… they try to create despair, passivity, impasse, and the like among their opponents. This is damaging.”
Warning his officials not to demonstrate their weakness, he said: “Given the successful experience that we have had in various sectors if someone wants to disappoint the people and inject a sense of deadlock and wants to break the morale of the people and weaken the will of the officials, this is an act against the people, the country, and the revolution.”