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Supreme Leader: Economic problems internal, not sanctions effects

Tehran, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Monday said the current economic hardships in the country are mostly the result of internal elements than sanctions.

Referring to the degradation of Iran's national currency, the leader citing experts and officials said the economic hardships are internal rather than being caused by external elements.

'It is not that the sanctions do not play a role; but a major part of the situation is the result of actions,' Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing thousands of Iranians from various walks of life.

He also noted that the sanctions' effects can be contained by an efficient management of situation.

Iran's economy has been experiencing sharp fluctuations in the past few months.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the Judiciary chief's recent letter regarding the punishment of the economic corruption as a major step and held: The committers of economic corruption are to be seriously confronted, with no compromise. The recent letter by the Judiciary Branch chief is a big step forward to counter economic corruption and [punishing] committers of economic corruption.

His described corruption as a seven-head dragon that has to be obliterated, and stated, 'Some years ago, I wrote a letter to the heads of the three branches of power, indicating that corruption is like a seven-head Dragon that needs to be totally obliterated. Know that economic convicts are going to be seriously confronted with; with no compromise.'

Ayatollah Khamenei acknowledged there exists corruption in the country, but criticized those who attribute corruption to the entire system saying 'I have always been combating corruption and perpetrators of corruption, and I still hold to my belief. But some go too far in their remarks, calling all as corrupts, by referring to the term systemic corruption; this is not true. It is true that even a little corruption is too much; but going to extremes is problematic in every aspect.'

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution slammed US rhetoric towards Iran and stated: The US has become more blatant and ruder in their rhetoric over the past few months. Previously they were not so observant of diplomatic etiquette in their speech either; however, they have become ruder towards all nations.

Ayatollah Khamenei draw an example of US' blatancy in actions and rhetoric, and said, 'The example of it is that last week, the Saudis committed two crimes: attacking a hospital and attacking a school bus with 40 or 50 innocent children on board. Do you have 8 or 9 year-olds at home? This is a dramatic tragedy. It truly breaks one's heart.'

He criticized the US' reaction towards the attack, and said, 'The news shook the global conscience. But how did the US react? Instead of condemning the crime, the US said, We have strategic relations with Saudi Arabia. Is this not shamelessness? What the US president did to two or three thousand children by separating them from their parents, putting them in cages because they were immigrants is an unprecedented crime in history!'

Commenting on the US President's offer of negotiation, the leader emphasized, There will be no war, and we will not negotiate.

They do not talk about war explicitly, rather they are trying to create and exaggerate the ghost of war to scare the Iranian people, he said.

Iran will not be the initiator of any war, as ever, and the Americans will not initiate it either, since they are aware that they will harm themselves.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and its people have proved that they respond to every aggressor with a bigger blow.

Arguing the underlying reasons why Iran should not go to the negotiation table with the US, Ayatollah Khamenei said, they set the main goals before talks, then they try to pursue the goals through bargaining and reneging.

'The Americans would not retreat an inch from their predefined goals,' he said.

The late Imam Khomeini forbade talks with the US unless the regime has come to its senses, and we emphasize the view, too, he said.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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