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Marking Persian New Year, Iran’s supreme leader hopes for economic improvement

Addressing the nation, Khamenei says country to focus on creating jobs, as it continues to suffer under ‘maximum pressure campaign’ imposed by Trump in 2018

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation in a televised speech marking the Iranian New Year, in Tehran, Iran, March 21, 2021. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation in a televised speech marking the Iranian New Year, in Tehran, Iran, March 21, 2021. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed on Sunday hopes for the improvement of his country’s economy during a speech to mark Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

Iran’s economy has suffered under stringent sanctions that were reimposed by the United States in 2018, after it unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

“These economic problems are curable and we hope that some of them will disappear this year,” Khamenei said during his televised speech.

The problems “will not all disappear at once, but gradually,” he said.

Khamenei said the toughest problems encountered last year were due to “rising prices and inflation.”

Iran has been holding direct talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia. The United States has been participating indirectly.

Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives at the Coburg Palace, venue of the talks aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna, on February 8, 2022. (Alex Halada/AFP)

Various actors have recently suggested that an agreement is close.

“One of the most important happy events of the last year was that the Americans themselves admitted that they suffered a shameful defeat in their maximum pressure policy against Iran,” Khamenei said on Sunday.

Former US president Donald Trump had used the term “maximum pressure campaign” to describe his administration’s policy towards Iran, including the strict sanctions regime.

Then-US president Donald Trump speaks from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing US troops, January 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Khamenei said that the Iranian New Year, which begins on Monday, will focus on production and the creation of jobs.

“National production is the key route to overcoming the economic difficulties and challenges in the country,” he said.

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