PHOTO: Supreme Leader “Resistance Economy will fight unemployment and recession”


After weeks of regime in-fighting and attention to Syria’s crisis, both the Supreme Leader and President Rouhani turned to the state of Iran’s economy in their messages for Nowruz, Iran’s New Year.

Ayatollah Khamenei again proclaimed his “Resistance Economy” on Sunday, labelling the Iranian Year 1395 “Resistance Economy, Action, and Implementation”:

If we are to solve the problems of recession, domestic production, and unemployment; if we are to curb inflation, [the solution to] all those fall within the purview of the Resistance Economy….

With the Resistance Economy, it is possible to fight unemployment and recession and to curb inflation; it is possible to stand up to the enemies’ threats; it is possible to create numerous opportunities for the country and use those opportunities.

Khamenei first used the term “Resistance Economy” in 2012, calling for a move to self-sufficiency to counter tightening US and European sanctions. However, the slogan has achieved little in practice: the Supreme Leader has generally left the challenge of resolving economic problems to the Government, and Iran is still struggling for growth after years of high inflation and declining or stagnant GDP.

However, the Supreme Leader said “Resistance Economy; Action, and Implementation” will be “a straight and bright road to what [Iranians] need”. He expressed confidence that “if action and implementation are well planned”, results will be seen at the end of the Iranian year.

Taking his message to other fronts, Khamenei said “appropriate and decisive” economic actions by the Government and nation could influence social, moral, and cultural issues: “We need to make ourselves invulnerable to threats by the enemies and reduce [our] vulnerability to zero.”

Rouhani: 5% Growth Target

President Rouhani proclaimed in his Sunday message, “We can achieve a 5% economic growth rate through collective efforts, a growth which would be higher than that of all our neighboring countries.”

Iranian GDP fell more than 4% in 2013, the year that Rouhani took office, and growth has been marginal since. However, the President said the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with the 5+1 Powers — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — was being following with a plan for prosperity and job creation:

What is important to our entire nation is to achieve sustainable employment and this task will start, God willing, in the next year through the implementation of the administration’s special plan, dubbed “JCPOA 2”.

He asserted, “Banking, financial, monetary, oil, petrochemical, insurance, transportation and all nuclear sanctions were lifted and conditions became more prepared for our nation’s economic activity.”

Video: Obama’s Nowruz Message to Iranian People

President Obama’s video message for Nowruz to the Iranian people has expressed hope — “For the first time in decades, there’s a chance for a different future” — following the July 2015 nuclear agreement:

Obama said the benefits of the lifting of US-led sanctions are “undeniable”, even though it may time for Iranian people to see them. He cited American demands for Iranian products such as saffron, caviar, pistachios, and “your beautiful Persiands”, and US tourists “spending their money in your shops and restaurants”.