0207 GMT February 16, 2019
“There are no problems in the country that we cannot resolve... Officials should find solutions to overcome the existing economic hardships and to disappoint the enemy by resolving them,” Ayatollah Khamenei told the heads of Iran’s executive, legislative and judicial branches in a meeting held over economic issues.
The Leader underlined the need for unity and “convergence” among the three branches of government and other institutions to step up efforts toward overcoming the economic challenges currently facing the nation.
He further assured that the country “will definitely overcome the internal difficulties imposed” on it with the determination of people and authorities.
“We need extraordinary efforts ... to find solutions for those domestic economic challenges and to confront cruel American sanctions. Serious decisions should be made,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The US reintroduced steps against Iran’s currency trade, metals and auto sectors in August after withdrawing from a multinational 2015 deal that lifted sanctions in return for limits on Iran’s nuclear program. US curbs on Iran’s oil exports are set to come into force in November.
Combined with rising inflation, growing unemployment, a slump in the rial and state corruption, this has caused Iran’s economy to deteriorate. The International Monetary Fund predicts it will shrink 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2019, before recovering slowly.
The cost of living has soared in Iran in the past months.
“The soaring prices and the drop of purchasing power of those lower-income Iranians have put pressure on them,” he said.
“To solve certain key economic issues, including those gripping the banking system, liquidity, employment, inflation and the budget planning process, you need to take decisive and practical decisions,” the Leader told the officials, urging them to get help from economic experts and businessmen to that effect.
Three people were sentenced to death last month in a drive against financial crime after the Leader called for “swift and just” legal action to confront the “economic war” by foreign enemies.
In a speech last week, Ayatollah Khamenei vowed that the Iranian nation will slap the US in the face by defeating its economic sanctions once again.
Press TV and Reuters contributed to this story.