News / Middle East

    Iran's Supreme Leader Calls EU Support for Sanctions 'Foolish'

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.
    x
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.
    Iran’s supreme leader has lashed out at European nations for supporting economic sanctions against his country in the latest salvo by an Iranian political leader responding to the country’s currency crisis.

    In a speech in the northeastern city of Bojnourd on Wednesday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the European states “foolish.”

    “They are sacrificing themselves for the sake of America, and it’s foolish,” he told a crowd during a speech broadcast on state television. “This [sanctions] is a war against a nation. Of course, with the grace of God, they will be defeated by the Iranian nation in this war.”

    Khamenei contrasted last week’s street protests against the plummeting value of the rial in Tehran with ongoing economic protests in Europe.

    “For an hour or two a number of people set two or three garbage cans on fire in a couple of streets in Tehran, and they [the Westerners] started to celebrate and said there are protests in Iran,” Khamenei said. “Is our situation worse than yours? There have been protests on streets of major European countries for around one year, during day and night. Your problem is far more complicated than ours. Your economy is frozen. Do you celebrate that Iran’s economy has been weakened? It’s you that are wretched.”

    Khamenei also addressed the notion that some of Iran’s economic problems are homegrown, saying inflation and unemployment are the country’s two most important problems but that they could be solved.

    “They [sanctions] may create problems. Mismanagement may even increase these problems. That’s correct but it’s not something the Islamic Republic can’t resolve,” he said.

    Khamenei called the sanctions “illogical” and “barbaric” and said the relationship between sanctions and Iran’s nuclear program is a “lie.”

    Bernd Kaussler, an assistant professor at James Madison University in Virginia who focuses on Iran, agrees that the coordinated international effort to put pressure on the Iranian economy is starting to create problems for Tehran.

    “It seems to me that Europe has come a long way from the early days of constructive engagement and is now in tandem with U.S. policy, to the extent that EU sanctions against Iran are in accordance with legislation passed in the U.S.,” he said.

    Khamenei is the latest Iranian leader to address the people in the wake of a dramatic decline in the value of the country’s currency, the rial.

    Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed “psychological pressures” linked to Western sanctions for the currency fall while also denying charges by political rivals that his economic policies have worsened the situation.

    Also last week, hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told worshippers at Tehran University “these [economic] pressures won’t last,” and that Iran “has proven that it will not be worn down by pressures and has experienced how to live with problems.”

    The rial has lost a third of its value in the past week and dropped as much as 80 percent over the past year, further compromising Iran’s already shaky economy. Iran’s official inflation rate is 25 percent. Western sanctions have severely restricted the country’s ability to sell oil on the world market and limited its access to the international banking system.

    The sanctions have been imposed over Iran’s refusal to stop its uranium enrichment program. Iran claims the uranium is for nuclear energy, while the U.S. and its allies say Iran is striving to build nuclear weapons.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Qasem from: Iran
    October 10, 2012 4:50 PM
    VOA...!!! why you do not display comments???

    by: Jamal from: USA
    October 10, 2012 4:22 PM
    By the way, I know VOA will never publish my blogs. Because the truth hurts!

    by: Jamal from: USA
    October 10, 2012 4:21 PM
    There is NO DOUBT that the currency crisis is fabricated by Iran's enemies. Logic tells you their money is backed up by black gold (oil), how can it tumble to 3 times less of it's value in 3 weeks "IF" logic was the reason. It is as Ahmadinejad said, a psychological assault on the Iranians everywhere. At least that's what "logic" and common sense will tell you.

    by: Jamal from: USA
    October 10, 2012 4:17 PM
    America will do well by herself if she stops meddling in ME affairs. Iran has been there for at least 2500 years and will be there for at least another 2500 more. It is as old as there is in ancient civilization. We should stop demonizing Iran which has not started a war for over 200 years, and learn to live in peace like they have for the last couple centuries, instead of demonizing and warmongering against them to serve all her enemies except the US. Iran is a rich nation, both culturally and in natural resources. 3 decades of warmongering hasn't made a bit of difference when it comes to them doing what we want them to do. And what we want them to do is not necessarily legal, as they are a signatory to the NPT. Stop the warmongering against my people in Iran. They have done NOTHING to the US or anyone else for that matter. Stop the warmongering against Iran.


    by: Azam Shah from: Iran
    October 10, 2012 3:30 PM
    I tell you West America Europe... this guy is Turkey... he is not Iranian... America, you don't understand. Ayatollahs are a brutal occupying force on Iran. They destroyed our past, they attack our natural allies and they support terrorist organizations in Iraq Azerbaijan, Syria, Lebanon... they make many of us people that can write English to distort "overt" operations on your media... they have destroy our future... please listen... Ayatollahs are blood suckers that leach and consume the vital strength of our nation... Iranian don't want Nuks, please believe me, we try to do all we can but the Ayatollahs are a Fascist organization just like Nazis with brutal internal security... you will not believe if i told you more.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora