TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday slammed U.S. threats of military action against Iran as a ploy to distract attention from the economic war against the Islamic Republic.
The Leader rejected as "sheer lies” claims that a military confrontation with Iran would have been imminent had it not been for the nuclear deal that was signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group of states in July 2015.
"Why do they mention the war? In order to divert minds from the real war,” the Leader said during a meeting here with a group of people from the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.
The Leader explained that economic pressures and sanctions are the "real war” against Iran.
The threat of a military action has been used as a strategy in dealing with the Islamic Republic by both the previous and current U.S. administrations, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
He pointed to enemy plots to pile up economic pressure against Iran to spread disappointment among the public, calling on state officials to redouble their efforts to address economic woes, including unemployment and inflation.
Iran's president must do more to improve the economy, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding unemployment, recession and inflation all remain major problems.
"I have asked the honorable president to advise his executive managers that management must take place with transparency, supervision and follow-up," the Leader said.
"Otherwise if managers say 'This should take place' and another person says 'Of course' there will be no progress and no visible work will get done."
In the speech, Ayatollah Khamenei also said calls for national reconciliation were "meaningless" since there is no quarrel among the Iranian people.
Despite some natural differences on certain political issues, the Iranian people are united and integrated when it comes to Islam, Iran, and independence, the Leader underscored.
He said the enemies have failed in their attempts to portray the Islamic establishment in Iran as inefficient and such attempts amount to beating the air.
Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the nation’s support for the establishment despite all shortcomings, saying the enemies are vainly attempting to portray the Iranian establishment as ineffective.
"The enemy is trying to ignore developments and major achievements in the past 38 years and demoralize the people,” he said, adding that some of the accomplishments and breakthroughs made over the past four decades are usually impossible to make in even a century.
Ayatollah Khamenei further lauded the Iranian people’s massive turnout in nationwide rallies that marked the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
On February 10, people from all walks of life rallied in different cities and towns across the country to celebrate the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the former U.S.-backed regime and set the stage for the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Prior to the rallies, the Leader had called on the nation to attend the demonstrations en masse in response to the new U.S. administration’s hostile rhetoric and threats against the Islamic Republic.
"These are the third and fourth generations of the Revolution, who are standing against the enemy and making themselves heard with determination,” the Leader said in reference to the youths that actively took part in the rallies.