First Published: 2017-03-20

Iran supreme leader calls for 'resistance economy'
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterates call for 'resistance economy' that prioritises domestic production.
Middle East Online

Khamenei was speaking ahead of May elections

TEHRAN - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday reiterated a call for a "resistance economy" that prioritises domestic production.

In a televised message to mark Nowruz, the Persian New Year, he urged officials to "focus on the key issues of domestic production and employment, especially youth employment."

Khamenei said he could feel people's bitterness, especially among the working class, "in the face of economic difficulties including inflation, unemployment, discrimination and social inequalities."

He was speaking ahead of May elections in which President Hassan Rouhani is expected to stand for a second term but faces widespread criticism from conservatives over the continued stagnation of the economy.

"What has been done is far from the expectations of the people and the supreme leader," Khamenei said.

Rouhani's government has stabilised the economy since taking power in 2013, reducing inflation from 40 percent to less than 10 percent and ending global sanctions through a nuclear deal with world powers.

But while oil sales have rebounded, helping boost growth to more than six percent, the rest of the economy remains largely stagnant.

Joblessness remains at 12 percent overall and over a quarter among the young, according to the latest official figures.

Foreign companies have signed a string of deals with Iran since the nuclear deal, but are blocked from large-scale investments because global banks remain reluctant to engage with the country due to transparency concerns and uncertainty over continuing US sanctions.

Conservatives in Iran have questioned whether the concessions under the nuclear deal were worthwhile.

In his own New Year message broadcast immediately after Khamenei's, Rouhani defended his government's achievements over the past year including "controlling inflation" and "spurring economic growth and employment".

But he said more efforts were needed to create jobs for young people, as well as to "control inflation and support economic growth".

 

UN Security Council calls for Polisario pullback from Guerguerat

UK warns of ‘increased level of terrorist activity’

Merkel warns EU-Turkey ties 'severely hit' by Ankara developments

Pope Francis flies to Egypt as 'pilgrim of peace'

420 tonnes of plastic bags seized in year in Morocco since ban

Erdogan to rejoin Turkey ruling party next week

Germany urges EU not to break off Turkey accession talks

OPCW says chemical weapons allegedly used 45 times in Syria

Netanyahu slams German foreign minster as 'insensitive'

Erdogan hopes for 'new page' with US under Trump

UN envoy to Libya to visit Sudan for peace talks

Tunisian PM booed out of town hall meet

Russian spy ship sinks off Turkish coast

London police arrest ‘terror act’ knifeman by parliament

Palestinians strike in support of protesting prisoners

Two Saudi soldiers killed in rocket attack near Yemen border

German soldier plots attack under refugee disguise

Iraq forces retake town of Hatra from IS

Syria accuses Israel of strike near Damascus airport

10 dead after strikes on rebel-held hospitals in Syria

Turkey’s AKP to hold special congress readmitting Erdogan

EU reviews Libya request for naval equipment

Jail terms over death of Moroccan fishmonger

UN appoints Syrian Olympic swimmer as ambassador

Bahraini activist on hunger strike behind bars

Calls on Saudi social media for jobless protest

Tunisian coastguards no match for high-speed smugglers

US wants 'strong, democratic' Turkey: ambassador

Israeli tank trades shots with Hamas in Gaza

Syria says France 'hiding truth' about chemical attack

NATO chief warns Turkey to respect ‘rule of law’

Exiled Turkish journalist urges EU to confront Erdogan

Mass funeral for dozens slain in Syria bus attack

Qatar insists Baghdad had ‘full knowledge’ of hostage deal

UN eyes new Yemen peace talks

Erdogan resumes Gulen arrests after referendum win

Turkey opposition heads to European court to challenge referendum

Turkey says informed US, Russia prior to Kurdish strikes

Iraqi forces liberate ancient city of Hatra from IS

Saudi fire stops explosives-laden boat from Yemen

50 Syria migrants stranded on Morocco-Algeria border

Libya asks EU for patrol boats to stem migrant wave

Bangladesh approves Saudi-funded mosque project

German Chancellor regrets Israel snub of foreign minister

Global leaders call for ridding world 'forever' of chemical arms