Ayatollah Khamenei today (Tuesday), in a meeting with officials and authority figures of the country, emphasized the need for all officials and institutions to focus their efforts and willpower throughout the year on "controlling inflation and increasing production" and explained the requirements for realizing this year's slogan and several other important economic recommendations, and said: If these requirements are met, their results will be seen in reducing inflation and increasing people's relative comfort by the end of the year.
The Leader of the Revolution also mentioned essential points about the apparently social but actually political-security plots of enemies, the issue of hijab, Isfand (19th of February to the 20th of March) elections, and global developments.
The Leader of the Revolution called this year's slogan important and sensitive and added: Choosing an economic slogan does not mean ignoring social and cultural issues because economic problems such as high inflation lead to poverty expansion and, conversely, increase discrimination and illegitimate wealth, and create corruption which has a negative effect on people's culture, thoughts, and behaviour.
He considered production growth along with inflation control to be important. He said: at times, inflation has been controlled in the country, but it has caused a recession, which, according to solid arguments of experts, it is possible to control inflation all while increasing production growth, and we hope that good work is accompanied by seriousness and continuity and that this year's slogan will be realized.
Ayatollah Khamenei considered the fundamental and operational priority of this year's slogan for all officials and institutions as completely necessary and said: throughout the year, attention, effort, and will of all officials and managers should be focused on this central and fundamental point instead of merely speaking a few words every once in a while, writing something down, putting it on letterhead or calendar, then forgetting everything and sidelining the slogan into isolation.
In explaining the true meaning of giving priority to the slogan of the year in the government, parliament, judiciary and all institutions, he said: The use of all hardware facilities, including natural and God-given resources, infrastructure and software capabilities such as creative human resources, motivated youth, elites and innovators is essential for realizing the slogan of the year.
Using media facilities, valuable experiences, experienced elements, and even foreign relations to expand economic interactions with other countries were other points that the Leader of the Revolution emphasized in explaining the real meaning of giving priority to the year's slogan.
Ayatollah Khamenei considered avoiding politicization and obstructionism for the slogan of the year, including political and factional views or inflationary decisions, as other conditions that give prioritizing the slogan of the year real meaning.
In summarizing this part of his speech, he emphasized: if the dimensions of this priority are realized in practice, experienced individuals will understand the realization of the year's slogan in economic indicators, and people will also feel some comfort in their lives to some extent.
Another part of the Leader's speech in a meeting with officials and agents of the system was devoted to the requirements for operationalizing the slogan of the year.
One of the necessary laws approved by executive departments was "real and extensive cooperation of the three branches," which Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized should be complemented by the "serious and continuous follow-up of decisions until reaching a result" in order to ensure effective implementation and success in realizing the slogan of the year.
Referring to his continuous warnings to officials in private meetings about following up on decisions, he considered that the existence of numerous unfinished plans was due to neglecting the issue of "following up" and gave a tangible example and said: several large state-owned companies that have good profits had made a promise to the President to implement infrastructural plans in various parts of the country in service of the public, but now it has become clear that they have not taken effective actions.
"Stability in economic policies and decisions" was the third requirement that Ayatollah Khamenei called a prerequisite for realizing this year's slogan and enumerated frequent changes in such policies as very harmful and causing reluctance among domestic and foreign investors.
"Public participation" was another requirement for realizing this year's slogan, which the Leader of the Revolution considered to be very important and decisive.
He criticized the weak performance of the apparatuses in this regard, calling creating and expanding thousands of knowledge-based companies a useful experience based on proper planning, and added: government officials should provide a clear and tangible ground for people's participation so that people know their responsibilities, and with this method production growth in various small and large fields will undoubtedly be achieved.
The Leader of the revolution called on government officials to prepare a roadmap for "making the national economy knowledge-based", design an operational plan for this roadmap, and fully inform the people about it in this regard.
Ayatollah Khamenei, referring to the policies of resistance economy, said: The implementation of those policies will also empower the weak classes and increase their income, and the Plan and Budget Organization and other relevant agencies should specify how the people will be involved in the economy by creating a specific mechanism so that good steps can be taken towards justice, which is the basis of the economy in Islam.
After explaining the requirements for realizing this year's slogan, Ayatollah Khamenei made several important economic recommendations.
"Serious and uncompromising fight against any corruption" was at the top of Ayatollah Khamenei's critical recommendations to all officials.
He once again called corruption a seven-headed dragon and said that fighting this dragon is a challenging task and added: Corruption is a deadly disease, hazardous and debilitating, that makes people hopeless and reduces the desire for moral health, and decisive struggle against it should be at the forefront of important work of all three branches of government and all relevant agencies.
"Financial discipline" was also one of the structural reforms of the budget that Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized in discussing the primary economic responsibilities of officials.
He announced that in previous governments, coordination meetings were held between the heads of branches with the main objective of reforming the budget structure. However, he noted that this goal was not achieved and emphasized that this influential agenda should still be pursued.
Some points that Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned were avoiding financial commitments that do not have sustainable benefits and serious savings such as unnecessary trips, useless conferences, and unnecessary purchases by apparatuses.
In his following recommendation, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the deficient level of productivity in the country's economy, which means high consumption and low efficiency, and considered increasing productivity to be absolutely necessary, and said: Our productivity in water is less than most countries in the world and several times less than advanced countries in energy intensity.
The fourth recommendation of Ayatollah Khamenei was to "determine and regulate the logical relationship between large state-owned companies with the government".
In this regard, he said: there are good public and private managers who have been able to advance the country in various areas during the multi-year economic war. Support should be given to these managers and active entrepreneurs to increase the quality and competitiveness of their products and create domestic and foreign markets for their products, and they are also obligated to identify their role in the overall movement of the country's economy.
He criticized some large and high-income state-owned companies that use domestic raw materials for production but compare their product prices with Telegram Dollars and counterfeit prices set by the enemy, saying: Why should giving sovereignty to the Dollar and strengthening Rial's rival be done?"
The Leader of the Revolution called one of the country's problems the dependence of various sectors of the economy on the Dollar and pointed out: some countries that have separated themselves from the Dollar and their business with SWIFT has ended have also improved their situation.
He emphasized specifying the role of large state-owned companies in macroeconomic strategy and inflation control and added: in addition to supporting good managers of companies, destructive actors in monetary and financial systems, such as some financial institutions or private banks that cause inflation by buying real estate and land or over-withdrawal from the central bank should be dealt with without hesitation.
"Predictability power of the planning system" was another recommendation that Ayatollah Khamenei spoke about, saying: if the planning system does not have predictive power, it will hastily and recklessly go after imports in the face of sudden shortages, which will break down production's backbone while it should solve problems by predicting events immediately when there is a shortage in items such as meat, chicken, and rice by mobilizing public facilities and capacities.
In his final recommendation, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed satisfaction with the presence of people with good economic understanding and knowledge in the government, calling for several key measures that lay the groundwork for economic leaps such as "using sea capacities and the maritime economy as a basis," "taking advantage of the sensitive and unique geographical position of the country for international transportation especially in North-South route," "reviving mines," and "housing production."
Leader of the Revolution, in another part of his speech, considered the political developments of the world to be speedy and, at the same time, in the direction of weakening the enemies of the Islamic Republic and said: To use this opportunity, we must increase our movement, initiative and activities in foreign policy.
In explaining the signs of weakening in the anti-Iran front in the new world order, he said: One of Iran's most important opponents in the world is America, but the reality is that Obama's America is weaker than Bush's America, Trump's America is more powerless than Obama's America, and this gentleman's America is more vulnerable than Trump's America.
Ayatollah Khamenei also noted: a bipolarity was created in the US elections two or three years ago that still exists with intensity; America has not been able to solve the Zionist regime crisis; America had announced that it intended to create an Arab united front against Iran but today the exact opposite to what it wanted has happened and Arab communications with Iran are increasing while America wanted to end the nuclear issue according to its plan with political pressure and sanctions but failed.
He went on to provide examples showcasing America's trend towards weakness and noted: America launched the war in Ukraine, but this war has led to a rift between the country and its European allies, who are actually taking the brunt of the war while America benefits from it.
The Leader of the Revolution added: America considers Latin America its backyard, but many anti-American governments are at work there. Also, America wanted to destroy Venezuela and even created a fake president with money, weapons and an army, but failed.
The weakening of the US dollar to the point where some countries are trading with their own national currencies was another example that the Leader of the Revolution cited with reference to their collection: So, America, which is at the forefront of enemies of the Islamic Republic system, is weakening.
He also referred to examples of turmoil and a state of collapse regarding the Zionist regime, which is another enemy of the Islamic Republic, and said that this regime has never experienced such terrible crises during its 75-year history as it does today and said: The Zionist regime has political turmoil and has changed four prime ministers in four years, party coalitions are destroyed before they are even formed. There is a severe bipolarity throughout the fake regime, and hundreds of thousands of people protesting in some cities are a sign of it, and it is impossible for them to compensate for these weaknesses by firing a few missiles.
Ayatollah Khamenei warned that the repeated warnings of Zionist officials about the imminent collapse of their regime, as well as reports that two million Israelis are planning to leave the occupied territories, are among other signs of the weakening of Zionists and sarcastically said: I said that they would not see the next 25 years, but it seems they are in a hurry to leave sooner.
He also considered the multiplication of Palestinian groups' power, the Palestine Oslo and Yasser Arafat's disgraceful surrender to Palestine's resistance lions as other signs of the weakening of the anti-Iran front and the strengthening of the resistance front.
In another part of his speech, the Leader of the revolution talked about the enemies' plot inside the country and said: There have been and will be conspiracies inside the country. The riots of last year that were carried out under the pretext of women's issues and with the support of Western spy agencies were of this kind.
He pointed out the terrible and insecure situation of women in Western countries, saying: In some of these countries, women, by their own admission, do not have security on the streets, camps, or in military forces, and even, for example, a Muslim woman who wears the hijab and comes to court to complain is beaten and killed by the complainant; now these countries are threatening the Islamic Republic that advocates the highest status for women.
Referring to the deception of some people in last year's events, Ayatollah Khamenei said: Some people inside the country who were mostly deceived by foreign enemies and traitors outside the country raised the slogan of women's freedom, which was accompanied by histrionic and tantrums instead of sound reasoning and logical argument.
Stating that the issue of women is not only a matter of clothing, he referred to the active presence of Iranian women and girls in educational, employment, political and social fields, managerial positions, their active presence in pre-revolutionary struggles during the holy defence and 22nd of Bahman and Quds Day rallies, saying: In which of these issues is there no freedom in the country? Where in the world do women have as many activities as Iranian women? that Iranian women do with pride and honour?
The Leader of the Revolution explained the legal and religious obligation of hijab, saying: on the issue of clothing, hijab, there is a religious and legal restriction, not a government restriction, and unveiling is both religiously forbidden and politically forbidden.
Emphasizing that many of those who unveil their hijabs are not aware of the behind-the-scenes of this provocation, meaning the enemy's espionage devices, he said: if they knew who and what agencies were behind the unveiling of hijab and the fight against it, they would not do it because many of them are people of religion, supplication, Ramadan and prayer.
The Leader of the Revolution added: This issue will definitely be resolved as Imam Khomeini (r.a) expressed the issue of hijab emphatically and decisively in the first weeks of the revolution. Of course, just as the enemy has started this work with a plan and program, officials must also have a plan and schedule that they have and must refrain from doing things without a plan.
The Islamic Consultative Assembly and the Assembly of Experts election was another issue in Isfand this year, and the Leader of the Revolution emphasized its importance, saying: elections can be a manifestation of national power and if not held properly, it shows the weakness of the country, nation and officials, which makes us weaker and more vulnerable to enemy attacks and pressures. Therefore, we must become more robust, and one of the important power tools is elections.
He added in this regard: The relevant officials should already determine the strategy for "participation, security, health and competition of elections" so that we can have good, healthy and highly participatory elections.
Ayatollah Khamenei also referred to the important issue of media and said: The defamation, destruction and conspiracies of the enemies against the country's authority that take place in cyberspace should be exposed, and the national media, which is fortunately in the hands of faithful and motivated individuals, should neutralize the enemy's efforts in this regard.
The Leader of the Revolution also thanked the President for his outstanding report at the beginning of this meeting and counted the blessed month of Ramadan as a unique opportunity for divine remembrance, liberation from the great calamity of negligence and being exposed to the rays of mercy and guidance of God.
Referring to the verses of the Qur'an and the sayings of the infallible Imams (a.s), he considered positive effects on actions and behaviour as a result of remembering Allah frequently, adding: the great responsibility of officials is to serve the people and manage the country well, which remembering Allah will have positive effects in fulfilling these heavy duties.
Ayatollah Khamenei considered the true meaning of serving Allah to be serving His people and advancement of divine goals and addressing the officials, said: Allah has made this servitude our greatest test by granting us the ability and power to serve people; therefore, by appreciating the luminous opportunity of Ramadan, we should double our efforts and strength to perform our heavy duties.
At the beginning of this meeting, the President gave a report on the activities and programs of the government and said: The great nation of Iran was the champion of 1401 who shone brightly by standing up and defeating enemies in combined warfare.
Hujjat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin Raisi, referring to the New Year's speech by the Leader of the Revolution and the necessity of transformation, called transformation as the main approach of the government and said: From the beginning of the government, we have made it our mission to compensate for weaknesses in the country such as the budget deficit, high inflation rate, reduction in essential goods' reserves, decline in production and loss of public trust in investment with proper methods with the right methods and to strengthen the country's strengths in all sectors.
The President, stating that the inflation rate is still over 40% for reasons such as economic reforms in removing preferred currency, said: We will vigorously pursue the wise slogan of "controlling inflation and increasing production" in 1402.
Mr Raisi considered the growth of production in the past year to be promising and said: Investment growth was 7.7%, production growth in the industry was 8%, in oil and gas was 9%, in machinery and equipment was 19%, in cars was 19%, and in some heavy industries such as road construction machinery up to 101%. And we had high growth rates in other production items, such as steel and home appliances.
The President added: Despite pursuing regional policies and strengthening international cooperation, the government did not tie the lives of the people and the progress of the country to any foreign will, and we no longer heard anything such as the progress of the country is stopped by the JCPOA or some agreement.
Mr Raisi also said: We will fulfil our promises along with other public authorities and institutions, and if we fail to keep our commitment, we will openly share it with the people.
Maghrib and Isha's prayers were set up and led by the Islamic Revolution's Leader at the end of this meeting.