The Office of the Supreme Leader

In a meeting with President Rouhani and his cabinet

Ayatollah Khamenei Praises Rouhani for Conclusion of Nuclear Talks

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting on Wednesday with President Hassan Rouhani and his Cabinet, said the period of time back in 1981 when President Mohammad Ali Rajaei and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar were martyred was named as Government Week, which was an effort to keep alive the intellectual, behavioral and characteristic features of the two esteemed martyrs.
Heaping praise on the administration of President Rouhani for its endeavors with regard to curbing inflation, restoring economic stability and calm, health and sanitation and the end of nuclear negotiations, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “In the country’s general drive, paying full attention to the persistence of  enemies’ animosity, vigilance against penetration and infiltration by foreigners, avoiding marginal issues, maintaining scientific growth, management of the cultural sphere based on the principles and mottos of the [late] Imam [Khomeini] and the [1979 Islamic] Revolution, paying attention to justice throughout progress, serious management of foreign commerce, and drawing up a cohesive and scheduled plan for the materialization of the Economy of Resistance should be taken into full consideration by officials.”    
In the meeting which was held to mark Government Week, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution extended congratulations on the birthday of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia imam, saying the coincidence of this birthday anniversary with Government Week is a blessed event. Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The existence of the holy shrine of the eighth Shia Imam in Iran is a source of honor for the country and we have to do our utmost in glorifying this lofty status.”
Ayatollah Khamenei commemorated martyrs Rajaei and Bahonar, noting: “One of the objectives of designating Government Week during this period is for the behavioral and moral characteristics of those honorable martyrs to set an example for statesmen.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution enumerated faith in the late imam’s objectives, purity, spirit of serving people, humbleness and communications with people, not abusing power for personal gain, and commitment to the principles of the Islamic Revolution as the prominent specifications of martyrs Rajaei and Bahonar, saying: “The officials should be careful that their behavior and lifestyle and communications will build culture in the society.”
After this introduction, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution appreciated the president and his Cabinet for their efforts and endeavors over the past two years and referring to reports read out during the meeting by some ministers, the Leader added: “The reports presented today were good and appropriate and they should be notified to people.”
Meantime, Ayatollah Khamenei noted that reports by officials should be such that people would endorse them based on the realities in their lives.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to some positive measures undertaken by President Rouhani’s administration, saying: “Reducing inflation and [restoring] relative calm and stability in the economic arena and curbing heavy fluctuations were among good measures  by the administration that should continue.”
“Of course, we are not happy with a two-digit inflation rate and the annual inflation should be cut to below 10%,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed to the Rouhani administration’s efforts to lead the country out of stagnation, healthcare revamping plan, planning for the continuation of the scientific drive in the country, watershed management and efforts for water consumption management in the agriculture sector and irrigation projects as some other good measures by the government, and referring to the nuclear issue, the Leader said: “The conclusion of the nuclear talks was one of the most important jobs that have been done and we hope that if there are some issues and problems to that effect they would be resolved.”
Regarding the nuclear issue, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, however, referred to the possibility of inattention to the objectives of the enemies as one of his concerns and anxieties, saying: “From the outset of the Revolution to date, the enmity of Zionists and Americans toward the Revolution and the Islamic Republic has not diminished and this reality should by no means be overshadowed in the minds of officials.”
Of course, the methods of enmity and doing harm may be renovated, but all political, economic and cultural officials should be careful to, by no means, be trapped in the enemy’s prefabricated plot and not to allow their decisions, either willingly or unwillingly, to help the implementation of foreigners’ desired package,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The hostile and overt objectives of enemies are quite clear in their words and writings and nobody should forget that the enemy front, fully armed, has taken positions against the nation and the country and we should make decisions and take action against enemies by precise planning and taking into account different circumstances.”
“Of course, the necessity of understanding the never-ending enmity of Zionists and Americans is not limited to officials, and people from all walks of life, particularly the devoted elements of the Revolution, should take into account this fact, but officials shoulder a heavier responsibility,” said the Leader.
Ayatollah Khamenei said vigilance against enemy efforts for a sophisticated and gradual infiltration is a concrete necessity, noting: “Under any circumstances, there should be frankness in adopting revolutionary stances, and the positions of the revolution and the principles of the venerable imam should be expressed without any fear and shame against the enemy frankly and straightforwardly.”
“If we neglect, we will suddenly realize that the enemy has infiltrated somewhere and is doing dangerous cultural, economic and political activities. Therefore, we should be fully vigilant,” said the Leader.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the unity of people as another necessity, saying: “Even during 22 Bahman demonstrations (marking the 1979 Islamic Revolution), all people are not alike and not affiliated with the same faction and group, but all of them are convergent. Therefore, the unity and convergence prevailing in the society should be fully safeguarded.”  
“In order to take care of the solidarity of the society, side issues and discordance should be avoided and any word and remark that could harm unity should not be expressed,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Elucidating the priorities for the current period, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need to maintain the pace of scientific progress in the country and said: “Science is the real infrastructure for the country’s progress. Any spending in this sector will be a saving for the future of Iran.”  
“We have to make plans and make efforts such that the pace of scientific progress would be preserved in the second decade of the Vision Plan, and God willing we will be able to join the club of top ten countries in terms of scientific ranking,” the Leader said.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the transformation of the scientific drive to a public discourse over the past decade will guarantee scientific growth, adding: “This joyful and stimulating discourse should be safeguarded and upgraded.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said knowledge-based companies and parks of science and technology are necessary and job-creating, adding: “You should make plans so that students at different levels of education could enter the labor market.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said culture is another priority for the current period of time, saying: “Economic problems do not disturb minds, but cultural problems may even deprive mankind of sleep.”
The Leader said development of healthy cultural products and banning production of harmful cultural products are two tasks assigned to officials, adding: “In all countries in the world, cultural products are being monitored. Therefore, if some products including shows and written ones are in conflict with the fundamentals and principles, stop them without any consideration.”
Dismissing the idea of full freedom in the cultural sector, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The domain of culture should be managed based on the fundamentals and mottos of the imam and the revolution, and healthy cultural feedstock should be produced for the society.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to economy as the highest prioritized issue in the country and mentioned several points to that effect, the first of which was “progress together with justice.”
“We should be careful so that in the economic drive, no gap would emerge between [social] classes and the poor would not be trampled upon,” said the Leader.
The Leader said promoting diligence as a public discourse and promoting laziness and idleness as an unfavorable affair in the culture of the society are among the important points in planning and adopting measures. “While entrepreneurship and wealth generation should be encouraged and promoted, establishment of appropriate channels of job seeking should top the agenda and ways of looking for jobs should be taught to people through media. Some television programs related to that are good,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.   
The Leader referred to the country’s potential for achieving a high economic growth rate, saying: “The issue of commercial management and foreign trade is very important.”
The Leader also highlighted fair transactions and trade and not allowing Iran to become a market for foreign commodities.
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the Economy of Resistance as an important issue which should be fully taken into account by the government in every planning measure.
Ayatollah Khamenei appreciated reports submitted by government bodes, but said: “Some job creation measures taken so far are preliminary. Some are not related to the Economy of Resistance and some are part of the [government] bodies’ routine jobs that are among the activities related to the Economy of Resistance.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The Economy of Resistance is a complete and coherent package and the product of collective wisdom, and its materialization also needs a coherent executive and operational plan.”
“In this plan, the executive share of each organ should be designated and scheduled, and in parallel with the removal of problems, the activities of government bodies should be monitored and followed up,” said Ayatollah Khamenei
“After designing this operational plan, the second step in the materialization of the Economy of Resistance would be the establishment of a powerful, intelligent and influential steering committee, so that by monitoring activities it would take prompt measures to resolve problems, adopt correct and timely decisions to clear the way for the implementation of the plan and report to the people,” said the Leader.
Ayatollah Khamenei told government officials: “Don’t put any economic plan non-compliant with the policies of the Economy of Resistance on the agenda and draw up the sixth [Five-Year Economic] Development Plan more quickly and based on this principle
Ayatollah Khamenei assessed as necessary the use of potentialities of non-government sectors and benefiting from economists and merchants and businessmen for the materialization of the Economy of Resistance.
The Leader said: “In case the implementation of the policies of the Economy of Resistance requires legal and judicial directives, Majlis (parliament) and the judiciary are fully ready for cooperation.”
Referring to the issue of stagnation and the president’s report about a 3% economic growth rate, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “This growth indicates a meager change in stagnation, but if stagnation is not seriously dealt with, the current economic growth will also be endangered and inflation will once again go up.”
Referring to economic enterprises that are in stagnation, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Some of these production centers have liquidity problem and banks have to go into action in this regard, but some of these enterprises have no liquidity problem and they have received their loans, but use them somewhere else. They should be dealt with accordingly.”
“To solve the problem of stagnation, some projects should be assigned to the private sector,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader referred to some statistical data about half-finished projects worth Rls. 4,000 trillion, saying: “If ten percent of these projects are assigned to the private sector, 40,000 billion tomans (Rls. 4,000 trillion) will enter the country’s economic cycle and that would significantly contribute to removing stagnation.”
Ayatollah Khamenei called for further attention to the agriculture sector and underscoring the need for planning to achieve self-sufficiency in basic products, he said: “While using state-of-the-art technology in agriculture, the potential of young agriculture engineers in different provinces must be also utilized.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution said stopping unbridled fruit imports was important, noting: “More serious focus should be shifted onto the villages and transformation industries and using the potentialities of rural industries.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the mine sector constitutes important potential for the country, adding: “The oil market which falls from 0 to following a sign from world powers and then actions by wicked elements in the region, is by no means reliable and we have to find an appropriate alternative. The mine sector is the best alternative.”
“When it comes to mines, the potential of the private sector should be used and selling raw materials should stop,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Ayatollah Khamenei also referred to water and conserving water and reforming irrigation and agriculture methods as important issues.
At the start of this meeting, President Rouhani presented a report on the activities of his administration in different sectors over the past two years.  
The president said economic and social calm in the country is the biggest achievement of the administration in the past two years, adding: “The administration is doing its utmost to make good on its promises, including reducing the 11.5% month-on-month inflation and the 13.8% year-on-year inflation.”
President Rouhani said leading the country out of stagnation was another measure by his administration, adding: “Exit from economic contraction and reaching +3% economic growth in the [calendar] year 1393 (which ended in March), is a clear sign of exit from stagnation and we hope that the positive economic growth will continue this year.”
Reiterating the administration’s firmness on implementing the policies of the Economy of Resistance, the president said a 19% increase in non-oil exports and a relative balance between imports and exports are indicative of moving in the direction of the Economy of Resistance. “Of course, the government has been facing big obstacles and [deep] potholes over the past two years. One of these potholes was the payment of cash [handouts in return for] subsidies.”
Stressing the need for the gradual removal of subsidies, Rouhani said the Maskan-e Mehr housing project was another pothole in the way of his administration. He added: “The accumulated liabilities remaining from the previous administration was another obstacle to the 11th administration.”
Concluding his assessment of the administration’s economic performance, the president evaluated it as relatively successful and said: “We need new planning in the post-sanctions era, so that while being endogenous, we will be able to attract new foreign resources and capital and new technologies.”
Among other measures by the administration, President Rouhani highlighted citizens’ rights and respect for the rights of all ethnic groups and sects. Referring to Iran’s 16th scientific ranking in the world, the president said: “Over the past two years, the Innovation and Blossoming Fund has been launched and this year, 1,500 million tomans in loans will be granted to knowledge-based companies.”
Regarding the performance of his administration in foreign policy, President Rouhani referred to the conclusion of the nuclear talks under the guidance of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution as the most important achievement in this sector and said: “The nuclear negotiating team was never inactive and it defended national interests, national dignity and the country’s defense power independently and courageously and did a great job.”
Rouhani said the preservation of the nuclear technology and its commercialization, annulment of the previous resolutions of the UN Security Council on Iran, the lifting of financial and economic sanctions after the implementation of the agreement and the exit of Iran’s dossier from the Security Council in ten years are among the achievements of the nuclear talks. “Now, we have reached a stage which we should refer to as ‘legal deterrence’,” he added.
The president also referred to the 11th administration’s measures in the cultural, social and healthcare sectors, saying the upcoming legislative and Assembly of Experts elections in March are among the most important issues facing his administration.
“The administration feels compelled to abide by the law and it respects all government bodies involved with the elections,” Rouhani said.
In the meeting, after a brief speech by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh in a report on activities by his ministry highlighted a 6.7% growth in industry and growing investment in this sector and also a 19% growth in non-oil exports. He said: “The administration banned luxury cars and restricted the import of unnecessary commodities and that efforts have been made so that the commodities needed by government organs would be procured domestically.”
Freeing up 80% of mining land for exploration and completion of chain of production from mines were two other achievements of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade that Nematzadeh highlighted in his report.
Hamid Chitchian, the minister of energy, also in a report said the main challenges facing this ministry include the distance between income and costs and the accumulation of debts, drought and climatic changes as well as unbridled and illegal extraction from underground resources. He said: “Changing direction to consumption management and integrated management of water resources, holding meetings of the Supreme Council of Water and lowering social problems with regard to water have been among the measures of the Energy Ministry in the water sector.”
The energy minister said: “Putting 29 power plants with a capacity of more than 4,000 megawatts into operation, planning to reduce losses in the distribution network, applying 17 new technologies in the electricity industry by reliance on domestic capabilities and exporting technical and engineering services worth .8 billion have been among the activities of the Ministry of Energy in the electricity sector.”
For his part, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said the plan by his ministry is to enhance production from hydrocarbon fields shared with neighboring countries.
“In the joint fields, recovery reached 100,000 b/d in the current [calendar] year from 70,000 b/d and it will soar to 260,000 b/d in the year 1395,” said Zangeneh.
The petroleum minister referred to a 12% increase in gas production in the calendar year 1393, saying: “Completion of 25 of 27 phases of South Pars [gas field] up to the end of this administration’s tenure, supplying gas to 2.5 million households in the country and halting gas condensate exports are among the Ministry of Petroleum’s plans up to the end of the term in office of this administration.”
Zangeneh referred to a 15% increase in oil exports during the first four months of the current calendar year from a year ago, saying: “The petroleum industry was among the main targets of the enemies’ sanctions, but we managed to push ahead with our plans and activities forcefully under these circumstances.”
Mahmoud Hojjtati, the minister of agriculture, in his report, referred to the slowing trend of deforestation in the north of the country and alleviation of pressure on pastures and plants, saying: “In the agriculture production and irrigation sector, the administration’s plan is to build culture and persuade people to reduce their unbridled use of water tables, boost productivity and reduce water consumption through promoting new irrigation systems and greenhouse plantation.”
Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, the minister of health, was the last government official to report to Ayatollah Khamenei.
Qazizadeh Hashemi announced scientific growth in the healthcare sector, payment of debts in the healthcare sector, more public access to pharmaceuticals and a drop in imports of medicine, saying: “At present, doctors in all healthcare centers in cities with populations below 20,000 are serving people.”
Qazizadeh Hashemi said healthcare services for slum dwellers, cutting healthcare, equipment and other costs and health insurance coverage for 10 million people were among other services provided by the Ministry of Health. “4,000 specialists are working in different parts of the country and people in impoverished and border regions have access to specialists.”
At the end of this meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei led mass prayers.
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