Leaders speech in meeting with President and Cabinet
Leaders speech in meeting with President and Cabinet
Aug 27, 2015
The following is the full text of the speech delivered on August 27, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and cabinet members on the occasion of Government Week.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
One of the good and - God willing - auspicious events is the coincidence of this meeting with the birthday anniversary of Hazrat Thamen ul-Aemah (greetings be upon him). I hope that God willing, all of us will benefit from the blessings of that pure and exalted soul. One of the greatest glories and blessings of our country is the existence of that holy shrine. We should do our best to commemorate that lofty place and to draw hearts to it. This will undoubtedly be to our advantage and the advantage of our country. For example, Mr. Akhundi can work on the issue of transportation, high-speed trains and other such issues so that the people can get there at a faster rate. These are among things that by Allahs favor, can be a source of blessings for the administration.
I would like to commemorate the memory of our dear martyrs, Shahid Rajai and Shahid Bahonar. Well, we have been holding Government Week since many years ago. This tradition is an opportunity for the diligent officials in different administrations to report their efforts and their achievements and to show their determination for future years. It is an opportunity for us, other officials and the people to show gratitude to them for the tasks that they have carried out, to issue certain warnings to them - if necessary - and to discuss shortcomings. This is the purpose of Government Week, but a point that should be noted is that Government Week is like an Eid for the administration. In other words, it is the anniversary of a specific occasion - this is what an Eid means - and it is the time to discuss different matters.
The occasion behind Government Week is one of the bitterest events of the country which is the martyrdom of two dear and outstanding personalities, namely Shahid Bahonar and Shahid Rajai. This year, it has coincided with Veneration Week, but this Week is usually a reminder of the loss of these two great personalities. I believe that the divine wisdom - as manifested through the hearts and tongues of officials - to commemorate this event at this time is for the sake of helping us remember Shahid Rajai and Shahid Bahonar so that we always feel their presence as two standards. Well, we cannot say that the reason for their prominence was their management and their innovations because the term of the responsibility of these two dear personalities was short. The late Bahonars was very short and the late Rajais lasted for a few months - about one year. The reason why they are considered as standards is their behavioral and moral characteristics. We should always keep this in mind.
Well, time changes. Different orientations, cultures and values come and go. This is the nature of time. Certain developments are shaped in minds. However, there are certain fixed principles which we should always pay attention to. For us officials in the holy system of the Islamic Republic, these fixed principles can be sought in the personality of these two dear and honorable men. We had a very close relationship with these men - particularly with the late Bahonar - for many years. Of course, we had a close relationship with the late Rajai as well. This relationship began in the pre-revolutionary era and it continued until they undertook responsibilities in the Majlis and outside the Majlis. They really had certain characteristics that should not be forgotten.
In my opinion, their faith in our path and our goals - the goals that Imam (r.a.) had laid out and the Islamic Republic is the embodiment of these goals - is a very important standard. The same is true of their purity and their spirit of rendering services. They did not really rest day and night and they always engaged in rendering services.
Another characteristic that they had was their spirit of being in contact with and listening to the people up close. They opened paths - well, we officials have certain limits and boundaries because of our responsibilities - for being in the center of the peoples lives. I have said to Mr. President many times that provincial trips are a very good and positive task. I always offered this advice to previous administrations as well. One of the ways to do so is to visit peoples houses and the houses of martyrs. Fortunately, this has become common, to some extent, in the present time which is a very good measure. These are different ways to be in contact with the people and they are very important.
Such tasks help us preserve the spirit of populism and understanding the people. If this does not happen, one will be ignorant about societys sentiments. Under such circumstances, one can only have an overall picture of the situation. For example, someone who is passing above a city in an airplane can have a clearer picture of the whole city than the people on the ground. But only those who walk through the streets and alleys of the city can know what is really happening inside houses and shops and who the people really are. You should do so within the scope of your capabilities. Being with the people is very important.
They were not looking to enrich themselves because of the positions that they had. This is a very important point. We should not think that because we have a responsibility, we should use it as a tool to build our future. This is what exists among officials in many countries in the world. They use their positions as a tool to become a member of the management board in such and such a company and to have a share in such and such a sensitive financial institution. Commitment to the principles of the Revolution and the like was one of the characteristics of these two personalities. We should pay attention to such characteristics and coordinate our work with them.
One of the characteristics of officials behavior is that it creates culture in society. This means how we should behave, speak and live, whom we should associate with and with whom we should not. This creates culture in society. Therefore, when what you are doing and the services that you are rendering in any area meet expectations - thankfully, your efforts have met expectations in many areas - and when they are accompanied by sincerity, hard work and diligence, this will produce a long-term effect, as well as the effect that it produces in the reality of society, which is creating culture. The people look at us. They look at you. Our behavior and our conduct builds the peoples public culture. This is why we commemorate the memory of these two good, dear and fortunate brothers and we hope that by Allahs favor, all of us can move in this direction.
I deem it necessary to thank the honorable members of the administration - particularly, the honorable President - for the efforts that you make. Todays reports were good reports. It will be very good to broadcast them so that the people can hear it from you directly. I ask Mr. Sarafraz to broadcast these reports in the voice of these gentlemen themselves. The people should hear about what has been done from Mr. Nematzadeh, Mr. Zangeneh, Mr. Chit-Chian and other brothers themselves. This will be very good. The people should be sure that these brothers are busy working hard.
Well, positive tasks have been carried out, but all of us should keep in mind that the people should be able to feel what we are saying in their real lives. That is to say, they should see that the situation is exactly as we say. Some time after Dr. Hashemi began this "Health Initiative", I asked certain questions from some people on purpose. When I asked my friends and other people - relatives and the people I met in Mashhad and other places - about this project, I found out that the people really felt it. They used to say that whenever they visited hospitals, they witnessed positive things. This is very good. Some tasks are not readily available to the people and they do not see their effects. In the future, they will see their effects, but there are some tasks whose effects can be easily seen by the people. Therefore, we should speak to the people about them.
Now, I want to say that a relative tranquility and stability is tangible on the issue of the economy. Everyone is speaking about this and the reports that we receive from different places confirm this. The fact that sharp fluctuations have been controlled in the arena of the economy is an advantage. Therefore, we should take care to preserve this stability.
Curbing inflation is a very good course of action. Of course, we are not satisfied with the current rate of inflation - double-digit inflation. Mr. President pointed that inflation has reached 13-plus. It should be noted that annual inflation rate is important to us. Point-to-point inflation [the inflation rate in one month compared to the equivalent month in the previous year] is not important. What is of primary importance is the annual inflation rate. Well, there are very few countries in the world that have double-digit inflation and we are one of them. We should reach an inflation rate below 10 percent. The goal should be this. We should make an effort to reach this point. Sometimes, inflation goes up because of certain factors - whether controllable or uncontrollable ones. It is clear that such high inflation rates will not continue and governments will find a way to reduce them as you have thankfully done so. However, you should not be satisfied with this and you should reduce it even more. In any case, what you have done is very good. The fact that you have brought it down to 13, 14 percent is a huge step.
The effort that is being made to move out of recession - after all, you are trying to pull the country out of recession - is very important. Of course, I will enlarge on the issue of recession later on. I have pointed this out to Mr. President in our private conversations: the issue of recession is one that can both influence inflation and employment. Therefore, it is an important matter. Good efforts are being made in this regard.
The issue of health is a good task. The scientific tasks that are being carried out in the Vice-Presidency of Scientific Affairs are valuable tasks. The issue of irrigation is a good task that has been carried out. The honorable First Vice President is working on this issue. As far as I know, you have visited Khuzestan, Ilam, Zabol and other places [some of the participants say that they have not visited Zabol]. Have you not gone to Zabol? You should definitely go there. Good that we mentioned the name of this city [participants laugh]!
The same is true of the nuclear issue. We have spoken at length about the nuclear issue until today. We have said and heard many things in this regard. What is important is that the gentlemen in the administration have managed to conclude these negotiations because lengthening the negotiations was a problem in itself, but they managed to resolve it. This is an important achievement in itself. Now, even if there are some problems on the periphery, they will - by Allahs favor - be resolved with your and other officials wise measures. In any case, we thank all the brothers and sisters who are busy working.
There is one point in my mind about the nuclear issue and concluding the negotiations which is one of my concerns: we should pay attention to the goals that the main enemies of the Islamic Republic are cooking-up in their minds and we should pay attention to the measures that they want to adopt. It is evident that the enmities of the enemies of the Islamic Republic have not decreased from the beginning of the Revolution until today. Although their enmities have been kept in check in some areas - there is no doubt about this - this does not mean that enmities have decreased. We believe that the enmity of the fake and usurping Zionist regime or the government of the United States of America towards us has not decreased from the beginning until today. Of course, there are different reasons for each of them. The Zionist regime shows enmity towards us for one reason and the Americans do so for another, but they show the same amount of enmity towards us. They are our enemies and their enmity has not decreased.
They are doing the same things that they used to do on the first day of the Revolution. However, their measures have taken different shapes and their methods have changed and developed. In the past, they used to show enmity and deliver blows in a certain manner and in the present time, they are using different instruments. Therefore, this should not be ignored. Each and every official should pay attention that we should not play the game that the enemy has created. This is not particular to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Zarif, rather all economic and cultural organizations should pay attention to this point.
We should take care not to let the decisions that we make - in political, economic, financial and cultural areas - help the enemys package that has been prepared for himself. We can understand what their goals are from their different statements and writings. When I speak about "enmity", this is not based on divine revelation and on dreams, illusions and imaginary things. These are the realities that are in front of our eyes. Their statements might show something else, but realities - those things that are tangible and palpable - show the same enmity. These are among the criteria of their enmity, but they use different methods. This is the main point that I wanted to discuss in this regard.
When you do not forget that there is a camp of enemies in front of you who are sitting in their trenches and preparing their weapons, then you act on the basis of requirements. Sometimes, you take a look and you deem it necessary to shoot, sometimes you deem it necessary to remain silent and get inside your trenches and sometimes, you deem it necessary to get out. These are secondary matters. The main matter is that we should not forget that there is a camp of enemies in front of us, which is determined to show enmity. Of course, this is not only addressed to government officials. All the people - particularly, the sympathetic personalities of the Revolution and those who are prepared to render services to the Revolution - should pay attention to this point. However, government officials naturally have more responsibilities in this regard. They are more responsible than other loyal personalities to the Revolution.
In my opinion, what should be done at the moment is to speak in an outspoken way about revolutionary positions. We should not stand on ceremony with anyone. We should speak about revolutionary positions and our magnanimous Imams (r.a.) principles in an outspoken way and we should not feel embarrassed, show any consideration and have any fear. We should know that "For to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth and Allah is Exalted in power, Full of Wisdom" [The Holy Quran, 48: 7]. All resources in the world are Gods forces. We can align these forces behind us and use them for our goal by relying on God and treading His path.
And we should be vigilant. A few days ago, I said in a meeting that they are after penetrating our country. This penetration may take place through different places. Therefore, you should be careful. Sometimes, one hears that such and such an organization is trying to take control of one of our cultural associations - for example, kindergartens - in particular ways. We understand this, but when we take a closer look, we see that they are after a dangerous and great goal which we did not notice before. This is penetration in different areas - in economic areas and in comings and goings of people to all organizations. So, one of the tasks that we should carry out is to speak in an outspoken manner.
Another task is preserving the unity that fortunately exists among the people. When we say, "unity", we should not jump to the conclusion that all individuals in society are friendly towards one another like brothers. This is not the case, but this is a general movement. For example, when you take a look at the 22nd of Bahman rallies, you see that everyone is moving in one direction, but are all of them the same? Are all of them of the same party and group? The answer is no, but their orientation is the same. We should appreciate the value of this unanimous orientation and attach significance to it. There should be no uproar. Some uproar leads to division. That is to say, it shatters unity. So, we should preserve unity.
I have written down certain points as the priorities of the present time and I would like to discuss them. Fortunately, there were certain points in the gentlemens reports that were relevant to the points that I have written down. I would like to stress that some of these points are repeated, but there is nothing wrong in repetition. In certain cases, it is alright for one to repeat something over and over again. Notice how many times the story of Hazrat Musa (a.s.) has been repeated in the Holy Quran. There is nothing wrong in repetition as it reminds us of our responsibilities and strengthens our motivation.
One issue is maintaining the rate of our scientific progress. Well, our scientific rank has been maintained. That is to say, it has not come down. We are the 15th, 16th country in terms of scientific progress and we have preserved it. This is a very good rank, but the rate of our scientific progress has declined. I said this to our academic friends as well and I would like to say it to you too. You should not allow the rate of our scientific progress to come down in the second decade of the 20-year strategic plan. Now, we have reached the second decade. If we move forward with the same rate, our scientific rank will be more valuable and significant in the future. In other words, we may achieve ranks below 10th. In my opinion, this is a very important matter.
Well, knowledge is the main infrastructure of the country. If we include the element of knowledge in all the areas that the gentlemen in the meeting mentioned - in industry, agriculture, oil, power supply, health and other areas - and if the element of knowledge, scientific innovation and progress, and the presence of scientists enter the equation, things will dramatically change. In such circumstances, there will be a big leap. We should not underestimate the value of this. This is what I believe. I believe that all spending in the area of knowledge and research work is a kind of investment. We should not be afraid of spending on this area. There are some areas where our spending is not wasted and this is one of such areas. No matter how much we have spent, we have made an investment for the future. This is the best thing that we can do with our money, our assets and our resources.
A fundamental point that existed in the first decade - during which, we fortunately began to make scientific progress and to reach the current point according to global statistics - is that our scientific movement turned into a discourse. This means that the task was not confined to a few governmental organizations. It was promoted among universities and students, thus it became a public discourse. In the meetings that I had with academic groups particularly in the last few years, I witnessed that they - both students and university professors - asked this humble person to pursue the same things that we had discussed in academic environments a few years before that. Whenever I saw this, I became very happy because it became clear that these ideas have turned into a discourse and a public environment and demand. This is very valuable. So, we should preserve this discourse. I insist that the organizations in charge - academic groups, the officials of the educational system and particularly the members of the Vice-Presidency of Scientific Affairs who are not present in the meeting apparently - to show persistence in preserving this discourse on scientific progress.
Knowledge-based companies - there was a good report about this issue in the meeting - should definitely be stressed and highlighted. Marketability of different sciences and technologies, working on science and technology parks and other such areas are very necessary and good tasks. Notice that one of our economic problems is the issue of unemployment. One of the best ways to create employment is to focus on science and technology parks and to involve students in technologies that are convertible into wealth. If students are helped and guided, if we offer them a real and practical task, they will be engaged. In my opinion, the outlook that anyone who becomes a graduate should be employed in a governmental organization is a wrong outlook as it makes us too concerned about the large number of graduates. Under such circumstances, we might think that we have no place and no resources to create employment for such individuals.
The right outlook is to open the path for them. This should be thought and planned on. We should open the path for our students during their education - since they enter a university and begin their graduate education: this is the time when they begin to raise their scientific awareness at a high level - so that they carry out a scientific task somewhere. There are really endless jobs for scientific areas. In my opinion, those jobs that are based on scientific work are endless. No matter how many individuals we have, we can offer them scientific jobs provided that we work on it. So, one issue is the issue of knowledge.
Another issue is the issue of culture. Well, the friends who are present here - particularly, the officials of cultural affairs and Mr. President himself - know how sensitive this humble person is towards the issue of culture. Sometimes, cultural problems have made me lose sleep. Cultural issues are important.
There are two major and fundamental tasks that should be carried out. One is producing healthy cultural works in different areas and another is preventing harmful cultural products from being promoted. In my opinion, this is one of the fundamental tasks that should be carried out. Throughout the world, cultural products, books and other such things are monitored. Where in the world does this not exist? Show me one place in the world where this does not exist!
Mrs. Ebtekar is present here. She herself said to me that the book that she had written once was not published in America. No publisher agreed to publish it. This does not mean that such publishers did so out of prejudice. If it sells, every publisher will publish it. They did not publish it out of fear and care. She finally found a publisher in Canada and I think this publisher too published it in extreme fear. She explained this a few years ago and I do not remember all the details. You should speak about these things so that the gentlemen understand that it is not only Mr. Jannati who prevents certain books from being published [participants laugh].
This is done in America and Europe as well. No one dares speak about the Holocaust there. Well, the Holocaust is not an ideological matter. When it comes to offensive caricatures about the holy beliefs of Islam, their excellencies suddenly become advocates of freedom and the freedom of expression. However, when it comes to the Holocaust, there is no freedom of expression! The same is true of the issue of hijab. The same is true of other issues.
Every country has certain principles that should be protected and that ruling systems should observe. There is no consideration about such matters. If you see that such and such a play, movie, book and newspaper is opposed to the principles of the Revolution and Islam, you should stop and confront them. Now, how you want to confront them is another issue. This is related to organizations in charge. You should see what your rules and regulations say, but you should not show any consideration and you should speak openly. Therefore, promoting healthy cultural nourishment and preventing unhealthy and harmful ones is the basis of the work.
Abandoning culture is not allowed in any way! The management of culture is a very necessary task and such management should be based on revolutionary slogans and principles. We should pay attention that the basis of our work is that the principles of the Revolution, Imams (r.a.) principle of protecting the independence of the country and other such principles should be preserved. This is the second issue and in my opinion, it is one of the priorities of the present time.
The third priority, which is the most urgent one, is the issue of the economy. Fortunately, Mr. Jahangiri focused todays meeting on economic matters. Today, the economy is important for the country in terms of the fate and true progress of the country, in terms of the countrys image and in terms of the realities of the peoples lives. Therefore, the issue of the economy is, in fact, the main priority of the country. No matter how much we think and work on it, it is not enough.
On the issue of the economy, first we believe that the progress of the countrys economy should be accompanied by justice. We do not believe in economy minus justice. That is to say, the Revolution does not accept this. The Islamic Republic does not accept this. You should take care not to let class inequalities emerge. You should not allow the rights of the poor to be trampled upon. These are among the fundamental matters in our major economic plans. Later on, I will refer to the economy of resistance as well. The issue of administering justice and providing the minimum requirements has been included in the policies on the economy of resistance.
In my opinion, turning diligence and hard work into a discourse in public environment is a major task in the area of the economy. We should promote valuable work in the environment of peoples daily jobs. Of course, the amount of work is important as well and reducing it is a great flaw. We should try to make the people despise laziness, idleness and indifference towards work and we should do so in the right way. Idleness should be despised and we should place value on hard work. There is a narration that says: the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) saw a youth. He liked him and asked him his name. After that, he asked that young individual about his job. The youth answered, "I am not employed. I have no job." Then Hazrat said, "He fell from grace in my eyes" [Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 100, page 9]. This is the value of work.
The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) does not stand in ceremony with anyone. This should be the case. Of course, the two sides make claims about each other. The person who is unemployed asks for a job. He who asks for a job and wants you to find one for him. There is a middle way that I might refer to in the remainder of my speech. In any case, we should encourage the people to work and to create values and wealth for the country. We should promote this. Both executive officials, and those who can speak and write in magazines and newspapers should use the opportunity to highlight these points. This is one point on the issue of work.
Another issue is creating the right channels for work. This is one word, but it is a very great and important task. As I said, when there is a talk about work and employment and when we encourage individuals to work, the other side says, "Well, I have no job. What should I do?" We should show the people the ways to pursue a job. A few days ago, I saw a good program on TV. It was a report about someone who said that they set up a business with ten million tomans and that it yields a good profit. The job was related to flower production. He said that he grows flowers. After that, he says to those who are willing to pursue this job that there are certain areas of governmental land where they can produce flowers. I remember that a number of our economic friends before your administration were holding a discussion about how much money one needs to start a business. There was talk of one, five hundred million tomans! Well, one can start a business with ten million. This is only an example.
Another example is the program that I saw on TV again. There was one lady who made certain things. She said that she set up that business with twenty million tomans. So, it becomes clear that there are many capacities. We had another meeting with executive officials in the same place. It was said that we should achieve a high economic growth. We said that the economic growth rate of most advanced European countries is one, one and a half, two percent. The reason is that their capacities have been used up. For example, China growth rate used to be 10, 11, 12 percent, but in the present time, it has plunged sharply. This is because its capacities have been used up and it will continue to plunge. However, we still have many untapped capacities. When some friends criticized the eight-percent growth rate in the Sixth Plan, experts and well-informed figures answered that this is possible and that it is compatible with the realities of the country.
Mr. President pointed this out today as well. Therefore, one of the issues is to create channels for work so that we see how we can create job opportunities. Now, which executive division is responsible for this? Mr. Rabiee [Minister of Labor and Social Welfare] always says that the issue of employment is not within the remit of his responsibilities, thus releasing himself from it [participants laugh]. But after all, one division or you or the Planning and Budget Organization is responsible. Of course, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is responsible, in one sense, in certain areas as well. If we consider the Ministry of Economic Affairs to be responsible, this does not mean that we should not consider you to be responsible as well. Certain tasks fall on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and on banks. We will get to Mr. Seif [Head of Central Bank] as well [participants laugh].
An economic issue that I place great emphasis on is the issue of serious management of external trade. External trade is a very important matter. Over the course of many years, foreigners had gotten used to looking at countries like ourselves as places where they take away their raw materials and gain value added and where they could supply markets with their own products. During the pre-revolutionary era, the ruling system had accepted this. Once, I came across a member of the Majlis of that time. He explicitly said to me that this is a very good thing: "It is very good that we pay money and that the Europeans give us their products like servants." They had a reason for doing so- an idiotic and stupid reason that dragged the country towards this direction. Today - that is to say, after the Revolution - we have another viewpoint. We believe that part of our market can belong to foreign producers, but part of the market of the same foreign producers should belong to our producers as well. In other words, there should be a fair exchange. This is a very important matter.
Mr. Nematzadeh referred to the issue of imports. Of course, one feels embarrassed when one hears that four ministries have been entrusted to him! This place was once formed out of four ministries: the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Heavy Industries, the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Trade. One of the bizarre and strange tasks that was carried out - until the very end, I myself did not understand why this was done - was merging the Ministry of Trade with the Ministry of Industries and Mines. This matter has not really been resolved for me yet. The day when they were doing this, it did not become clear to me why they were doing it. Well, the members of the Majlis and the administration had deemed it necessary and they did it. It is really a difficult task and we give him the right to find it difficult, but it has to be done in any way. One of the most important tasks is the issue of managing external trade so that our country will not turn into a place for foreign products. It should not be the case that the car industry and such and such industries are totally given to foreigners. Worst than all this is the issue of banks.
Another issue is the issue of the economy of resistance. This year is the second year of the economy of resistance. Last year - the year 1393 - was the beginning of implementing the policies on the economy of resistance. Our friends in the administration delivered certain reports to me and I personally and verbally thanked Mr. Jahangiri when he announced to 15 organizations that they should carry out these tasks. Later on, he sent me a comprehensive report which was, of course, summarized for me and I read it. Some of the tasks that have been carried out in the area of the economy of resistance are introductory tasks. If I want to give examples, it will take very long. Some of the tasks that have been reported are not related to the economy of resistance articles although there have been some efforts to relate them to the economy of resistance. Such tasks are among the daily affairs of organizations.
After all, organizations have certain daily affairs. They have reported these affairs to you saying that they have done such and such things. Later on, they have been recorded in the performance sheet of such organizations in the area of the economy of resistance while this is not correct. Some tasks too are not related to the economy of resistance articles at all. So, what has already been done is not enough. The policies on the economy of resistance are a complete and cohesive package. Besides, this package has not been prepared by a single individual, rather it is a product of collective thinking. Some people sat and prepared it. Some of the friends here who are familiar with economic matters are aware of this. Comprehensive work has been put in on this project. Later on, it came here to be discussed, studied and mulled over. After that, it went to the Expediency Council and it was studied there as well and finally, it has turned into these policies. So, it is the product of a reasonable and wise process.
This was why everyone approved of the economy of resistance. I know no economist, no friend and no enemy who has criticized the policies on the economy of resistance. Everyone has accepted it. So, this is a cohesive package and all its articles should be implemented together. How can this be done? It can be done when a unified practical plan is formulated for it. This was what I discussed with Dr. Rouhani some time ago. It was decided that he ask his friends to prepare this plan. This is necessary. We need a practical and operational plan which can determine the responsibilities of different organizations towards the articles of these policies. We should put time on it. Time is of the essence. A timetable should be prepared so that it becomes clear when exactly it should be finished. If no timetable is prepared, there will be no guarantee that it will be implemented during your term.
You want to implement it and you want the people to benefit from it. Therefore, you should put time on it. First, the practical measures for any article should be specified and it should be determined which organizations should be in charge. Later on, a timetable should be prepared for any area. After that, it should become clear what resources are necessary and how they are going to be provided. After all, these policies are like fieldwork. When you formulate a road map, you actually want to do a kind of fieldwork. There are certain requirements for this. What are the requirements? How can they be met? The way to meet these requirements should be specified. When such tasks are carried out, you can do observation and follow-up so that you see whether tasks are carried out or not and whether such and such an organization has fulfilled its duties or not. This is the way things will move forward.
The second point about the economy of resistance is that all the economic plans of the administration should be included in the policies on the economy of resistance, even the Sixth Plan and other annual plans and budgets. All of them should be shaped on the basis of this economy. None of them should be incompatible with these policies. Not only should they not be discordant with these polices, but they should also be completely compatible with them.
Another point is that divisions outside the administration should be included in these policies as well. You may announce the policies on the economy of resistance to ministries and governmental organizations, but there are certain divisions which are outside the administration. These divisions too can play a role in the economy of resistance. An example is Basij. I saw a report in this regard. In my opinion, it is very necessary - if Mr. President or at least Mr. Jahangiri have the time - to ask Basij what it can do in the area of the economy of resistance because it has the necessary capacities for this task. Its capacities are very good. Basij is not a minor organization, rather it is a great and prepared organization. You should call for Basij and see what it can do. If you do so, they will present their resources and deliver reports about the tasks that they have carried out. In my opinion, the resources of Basij are very good.
I mentioned Basij as an example. There are different divisions. There are certain economists and economic experts outside the administration. There are some people who have established some companies. The capacities of such individuals can be benefitted from. All these divisions should be included in the general plan. That is to say, the general plan should not only be reliant on executive divisions. So, the first step is the preparation of this plan with these characteristics.
The next step is to establish a powerful, intelligent and influential command center. Of course, I know that Mr. President has formed a council in which he himself participates. This is a very good task, but this is not the command center that I have in mind. Well, Mr. President has many other tasks to attend to and he cannot put all his time and energy on this task. There is a need for a command center like the ones that we used to have during the war. There have been other command centers as well and you Dr. Rouhani are experienced in such matters. We need a command center that can constantly supervise, observe and see which organizations have carried out their tasks, to what extent they have moved forward and what problems they have.
It is easy to talk and to plan, but taking action is different. When we want to enter the arena and move forward, certain problems arise that have not been predicted before. Of course, some of these problems can be predicted, but they arise in any case. This command center should resolve such problems in an urgent way. It should open the path and move forward and it should be influential. That is to say, they must listen to it. It should not be like today when Mr. Jahangiri constantly stressed that the gentlemen should speak for five minutes, but they turned these five minutes into seven, ten minutes. Whatever that command center says should really be obeyed by everyone.
Besides, you should report your progress to the people. Notice what will happen if you do so! Imagine that after six months - when you have prepared the plan the way we said and when this command center has been established for six months - the work will dramatically move forward. Then, you say to the people what you have done and the people will feel it in their lives. If you do so, the hope and optimism towards the future that you would like the people to feel will be completely achieved. Therefore, you should report to the people. Of course, there should be certain criteria for evaluation as well.
There are certain legal and judiciary requirements in the economy of resistance as well. The other two branches are ready to cooperate. The legislative branch - the Majlis - is prepared to cooperate. There might be a law that you have to change or amend and you might need to add a new law to the existing ones. You will need such things or you might need a judiciary move in certain areas. These two branches are prepared to do all these things so that the economy of resistance will be implemented.
The issue of recession was brought up in the meeting. Well, the three-percent economic growth rate shows that recession has been shaken. This means that there has been some activity. Now, we should see in which areas this growth exists and in which areas it does not exist. The sum of these positives and negatives is three percent. If recession is not combated in a serious way, even this three-percent growth rate will be jeopardized, inflation will be up again and we will face the problem of unemployment. Now, I should say that if Mr. Nematzadeh wants to pursue these things, he should know that the number of the factories that do not work in the present time - those factories that have everything but that do not work - has been reported to us. They have given us the exact number of these factories. They have specified the number of the factories that are working below 50 percent and 70 percent. Seventy percent is acceptable to some extent, but below 50 percent? Some of these factories do not have enough cash. In other words, there is something wrong with their working capital. This is related to banks. It is they who should answer in this regard. If that main workshop and command center is established in the area of the economy of resistance, all these problems will be resolved. But the problem of some of these factories is not lack of cash. They have received funds and these factories are ready to work. There are no problems ahead of them. As some people said, their machines are new and working, but they do not work. Why is that? This is because they have spent their money somewhere else. Well, this should be pursued by the judiciary branch. You should pursue the matter and ask them for answers.
When we speak about a command center, this is the reason. If it is established, such matters will be attended to. If the issue of recession is not attended to, this will impact all economic indicators and factors. Of course, the recent law - the one that was referred to in the meeting - is a good law, but it is not enough. Supporting production organizations, providing cash and working capital, and confronting - in a serious way - those who have made production units inoperative are all necessary tasks. I said this in the previous meeting - the meeting that we had with the friends - and I would like to repeat it here: the banking system should play its part. It should completely enter the arena.
One of the tasks that has been offered to us - they say that the ground is prepared for it - is entrusting some of the projects to the private sector. Of course, we should provide incentive for the private sector because in the present time there is a large amount of capital with no clear direction. Without a doubt, there is a large amount of such money. According to the reports that I have received, we have many untouched projects whose value is 400,000 billion tomans and all of these projects are governmental. If we can give 10 percent of these projects to the private sector, notice what will happen. All of a sudden, 40,000 billion tomans will enter the market. This is very important. If ten percent of these untouched projects - whose value is 400,000 billion tomans - is given to the private sector, a very important event will take place in the country. This is one of the tasks that should be planned and worked on.
The agricultural sector is important as well. Of course, I believe that Mr. Hojjati can really work on this. In my opinion, he is among reputable ministers who can really do this. However, what we expect him and the agricultural sector to do is to achieve self-sufficiency in producing vital products. You should not pay attention to what some people say about the notion that wheat is cheaper outside the country and other such notions. We should achieve self-sufficiency. We should do so in the area of vital products.
We should benefit from agricultural engineers. I once spoke to Mr. Rouhani about one of my trips to a province - I think, it was Hamedan. Some of our friends tried to gain information about this province and they informed us that farming is thriving and efficient in many parts of that province. When they asked, it became clear that they had employed young agricultural engineers and the province fortunately had many such engineers. The officials of the province had employed their services and they had listened to such engineers. This will facilitate the task, but it requires planning. This is not a difficult task. It only requires invitation, identification, planning and division of the tasks. You can carry out these tasks so that you can benefit from such engineers.
Another issue is benefiting from modern technology. The issue of water that was touched on in the meeting - rationing and making optimal use of water - is very important. Another issue is preventing imports. I would like to stress what I said before. You said that you have controlled imports, but there are some fruits on the market that are imported. But from where should Iran bring fruits that are better than ours? During the time of my presidency, someone from an Arab country - I do not want to mention his name - brought us dates in a very beautiful package as a souvenir. I said to myself that this is like taking zireh to Kerman as a souvenir [a common Persian saying that means taking something somewhere where there is plenty of it].
We have an abundance of dates. Despite the existence of mazafati dates and many other different dates in the southern part of the country - in Fars, Khuzestan and Baluchistan provinces - they had brought us dates. Of course, it was beautifully packaged. At that time, I showed it to executive officials and said to them, "Compare this with our dates. Ours is much better, but notice how beautifully it has been packagedd!" This is while our dates are presented in ugly sacks. They used to push and kick it into wicker sacks and offer it to the market! Of course, the situation has improved in the present time. In any case, fruit imports are unnecessary.
A fundamental issue which is primarily related to the Ministry of Agriculture - although it is not entirely related to it - is focusing on villages. This should really form a major part of the administrations planning. We should focus on villages. We have spoken at length about this in the past years, but it has not been put into practice. We should use value-added industries in villages and a number of cities. Once, I saw a pile of apples on the ground in Urmia. They said that it is not of any value and that paying workers would cost them a lot more than the income earned from selling these apples.
The same is true of peaches, apricots and grapes. Well, this requires value-added industries in those places. We have these fruits in many different parts of the country, but on many occasions, it is not lucrative for orchard owners to collect them. If we can have value-added industries and desiccants so that we can use them there, we should do so. Our capacities are extraordinary, really extraordinary. I saw a tomato in Iranshahr the size of a cantaloupe! It was not a special seed, rather it was a tomato which was that big. There was an orchard between Bampur and Iranshahr during the time when I was exiled to Iranshahr. They invited us there and then brought us a tomato the size of a cantaloupe. They also brought us an onion that was as big as a fist. I remember that when I held the onion in my hands, I said that I would like to measure its size. It was as big as my fist. I could not bend my fingers when I held it in my hands, it was that big. Well, we have such capacities in many areas of the country. If we attach significance to rural industries and villages and if we attach significance to orchard owners, this will be the best service to villages and to the poor there and in other places.
I have written down some points about mines, but our time is over and we do not like to put more pressure on Mr. Nematzadeh [participants laugh]. What has been reported to me is that we are using at most 15 percent of the mineral capacity of the country, only 15 percent! We should replace oil with mineral resources. We should really be able to do so. Many years ago - perhaps, 20 years ago - I mentioned this among the executive officials of the time. We should act in a way that we can close our oil wells whenever we like. We should act in a way that we will not be afraid of a lack of customers, markets and oil revenues. We should reach this point. So, we should really think about this. There should be a replacement for oil.
You can see in what conditions we are in the area of oil. One signal from powers and vicious elements in the region to each other will make the price of oil drop from 100 to 40 dollars. How long has it taken for the price of oil to go down from 100 dollars to the current price? So, this is not a reliable resource. We cannot make the economic fate and life of the country dependent on such a thing. Oil belongs to us, but it is in others hands and moreover, they earn more from it.
A European or another government that imports oil from our country benefits more than us by receiving tax and other things. We are giving our oil and we receive some money for it, but such countries take our oil and receive money from their people. Such governments use it more than we do by selling oil. What loss-making deal this is! Of course, sometimes we have to produce oil and we have no other option, but I do not at all become happy when I hear the figures on increased oil exports and oil production. I always think that we have to find a replacement for oil and if we decide to do so, one of the best replacements is mines.
In the case of mines, we should seriously avoid selling our raw materials. We have valuable mines. There are very valuable building stones in Kerman Province or in the southern part of Khorasan. If all of a sudden, we dig these stones and send them to Italy so that they work on it and gain value added - and after some time, they will export it to our country - one really finds it difficult to accept this. So, this is another issue. In my opinion, the role of the private sector is important on the issue of mines as well. According to the reports that have been sent to me, a number of provinces and governors have announced that they can involve the private sector in the area of mines and in other areas.
The issue of water - that I have written down to discuss - is very important as well. What Mr. Chit-Chian said in this regard is completely correct. Ground water subsidence is really important. The planning that you have done is not enough as planning only forms 50 percent or less of the work. You should implement your plans. Of course, you are thankfully a man of work. Reforming the irrigation system and farming models in any area of the country are important as well as economizing on water.
The last point is about the Sixth Plan. It is becoming late. By Allahs favor, you should prepare the Sixth Plan as soon as possible. As I said before, it should be completely compatible with the policies on the economy of resistance and then you should submit it to the Majlis as soon as possible. In my opinion, it should be ratified this year. The sooner, the better. You should draw the Majlis to the middle of the arena so that it can seriously pursue it. I hope that by Allahs favor, you will do so.
I hope that God will help you: "It is He Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers, that they may add faith to their faith" [The Holy Quran, 48: 4]. I hope that God will send down a kind of tranquility and peace into the hearts of all of us that is the exact opposite of mental disturbance and turmoil. This will increase our faith as well: "That they may add faith to their faith." We can achieve this tranquility by trusting divine power. This is why God says afterwards, "For to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom." I hope that God will help you. We too will always pray for you. I hope that by Allahs favor, working for the people and for God and working with purity will be part of the plans of all of us. I hope that Allah the Exalted will bless and accept your efforts.
Greetings be upon you and Allahs mercy and blessings
13:32 - 24/08/2016 / Number : 77538 / Show Count : 2037