Ali Khamenei's Economic Jihad

Essay by haiderrazaCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Haider Raza

Escalating tensions between Iran and Western countries has forced the West to impose international sanctions on Iran due to their expanding nuclear program. In a response to this, Ayatollah Khamenei has called for 'economic jihad' in Iran. This call by the supreme leader is to make Iran economically self-sustainable and resistant to any economic setbacks triggered through these sanctions. To ease down the impact of these sanctions Ali Khamenei has insisted the government to "monitor sanctions and increase the costs of imposing sanctions for the enemy". US banking and EU oil sanctions have declined Iran's oil revenues by more than 50 percent in the past two years. This has created a financial crisis within Iran and weakened Iran's national currency, by almost around 50 percent. Ali Khamenei has decided to establish counter measures to end these aggravating financial crises by establishing different economic policies. These policies include "choosing strategic customers, diversifying export methods; private sector participation in oil sales; increase the export of gas, electricity, petrochemical and oil by-products".

Apart from this, Ali Khamenei has told its citizen to "decrease its energy consumption; encourage barter deals in foreign trade; increase domestic production in a number of basic commodities; diversify the origins of imports; increase food and health security; reform financial markets; encourage foreign investment to increase non-oil exports, use diplomacy, especially with neighboring countries and increase tax revenue in order to improve the economy". Even though Iran has experienced some stability in the currency, the country continues to experience high inflation rates as high as 39.3 percent. Moreover, the unemployment rates have also soared to 24.3 percent. However, Iranian officials believe that the economic crises cannot be contained until and unless these sanctions are removed.[1: Najmeh Bozorgmehr. "Ayatollah Khamenei Calls for 'Economic Jihad' in Iran."