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Iranians Quarrel Over Bankruptcy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A file photo show’s Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (AFP)

London – Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei addressed Monday the ongoing quarrel over the “state bankruptcy” currently taking part between President Hassan Rouhani and his opponents who criticize his economic policy.

Khamenei advised high-ranking officials to show force instead of unraveling the country’s economic weaknesses.

“If you want to prevent enemy from attacking, you should avoid displaying weakness and show the many points of strength that we have,” he said

Khamenei was speaking during a meeting with officials and organizers of the Rahian-e-Nour (the Journey to the Light).

Referring to some Iranian parties without naming them, Khamenei said: “The mistake some made regarding the big economic challenge that the country is facing now was that some people displayed weakness in the economic sphere and the enemy exerted pressure on Iran.”

Khamenei’s comments carried hidden criticisms to both moderate and conservative camps, currently accusing each other over the economic situation in the country. Both political camps bet on the economic paper to run the presidential election campaign expected next May.

The Iranian leader’s comments also came two days after former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Rouhani of spreading false information concerning the Iranian treasury. Rouhani said earlier he had received an empty treasury from the former government.

Later, Ahmadinejad said the president’s accusations were a pretext to justify the government’s failure to administrate.

During his speech, Khamenei also referred to the Iraqi invasion of Iran in the 1980’s to show that a display of weakness will embolden enemy to make an attack.

“The imposed war occurred, because the enemy found the weakness in us,” he said.

Khamenei said the economic stagnation in the country was also caused by the unfettered import of goods and lack of efforts to increase domestic production.

Meanwhile, Iranian chief of Staff General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri presented his report to Khamenei concerning the Rahian-e-Nour trips. Baqueri said 10 military bases linked to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and more than 150 Basij and IRGC members were ready to welcome this year more than 6 million visitors during the season of the Revolutionary Guards trips to war areas, in coincidence with the Persian New Year’s holiday known in Iran as Norooz.