"The enemy is engaged in an economic war on us. We must defeat the enemy in this war and God willing we will defeat it," the Leader told a huge crowd at the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad on Thursday.
"We will defeat the enemy, but this is not enough. Beside defeating the enemy, we must establish deterrence" in the economic sphere, the Leader said.
The Leader made the statements on the occasion of the new Iranian year of 1398 which started on Thursday.
Ayatollah Khamenei touched on "unrealistic speculations" about threats to Iran in the new year, dismissing them as part of the enemy's psychological war.
"The enemies of this nation, in addition to what they do in reality, also wage a psychological warfare and make boastful exclamations which should be taken as they are," he said.
“I believe the year 1398, with divine grace, will be the year of opportunities, possibilities and opening - not threats,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei touched on US sanctions, saying they are an opportunity to expose Iran's weaknesses and improve the country's administration in the coming years.
"Sanctions can be an opportunity because experience has shown that countries with natural resources such as oil, whenever their revenues have fallen, they have found motivation to implement economic reforms and rescue themselves from reliance on oil."
The Leader said extensive studies have already begun at the governmental, research and academic levels to find out how to run the country with non-oil revenues.
"As long as oil revenues are abundantly in their disposal, government officials and others will not think of an economic reform in the country."
Ayatollah Khamenei cited the "Sacred Defense" years of 1980-1988 when Iran had to fight a war with Iraq under former dictator Saddam Hussein amid an international embargo on Tehran.
"The enduring of hardships during the war led those with ideas and thoughts to change military reliance on outsiders as a result of which the Islamic Republic of Iran is now better and superior than all the regional countries in terms of military and defense capabilities."
Ayatollah Khamenei said, “To the dismay of the enemies, we will continue to reinforce our defense strength and will not give in to outside pressure.”
Iran, he said, must emulate its defense industry to insulate its economy. "We must reach a point of deterrence where the enemy realizes that it cannot use economic fissures to harm and pressure us."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has a strong fist and a powerful hand to reach this point and possibility in economic matters and the opportunity has been put in front of us in light of the enemies' threats," the Leader said.
In order to create an economic deterrence, he said, Iran should fully cease to think of Western help. "We can expect intrigue, betrayal, and stabbing in the back from the West but not help and honesty.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Europeans had failed to fulfill their commitments after the US withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"Despite the US pullout, the Europeans should have carried out their obligations under the JCPOA with stoicism but they refused to do so under various pretexts."
A new trade channel known as Instex, established by the European Union to purportedly cushion the blow of reimposed US sanctions on Iran, "is more like a bitter joke," the Leader said.
"Although Western politicians wear suits, neckties and eau de cologne and carry Samsonite briefcases in their hands, they are wild inside in true sense of the word."
Ayatollah Khamenei also criticized some individuals and sections of the media in Iran "engaged in adorning the West."
"I don't mean we cut ties with Western countries because I have always encouraged different administrations in different periods to develop ties with them but this also does not mean we should follow them since the West should not be trusted."
Iran's current problems, the Leader said, are partly due to trusting the West in various negotiations. "Today, government officials have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to move with the West on the right path."
Ayatollah Khamenei further slammed the Europeans for their reaction to the recent massacre of Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
"Neither European politicians nor their media would bother to call it a terrorist act. They called it a shooting," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"Whenever there is something against someone favored by the West, terrorism and human rights are lined up for confrontation, but here such a blatant act is not called terrorist. Such are they," he added.
The Leader cited Western support for the Saudi regime despite its devastating war on Yemen and elimination of dissidents, touching on recent reports about a multibillion-dollar US plan to build nuclear reactors in the kingdom.
"I do not know of any regime in the region and perhaps the world as bad as the Saudi government.
It is not only despotic, dictatorial, corrupt and tyrannical but also sycophantic," he said.
"They want to supply such a government with nuclear equipment. They have announced to build missile manufacturing centers for it. Here, they see no problem because (Saudi Arabia) depends on them and belongs to them.
"Of course, if they build them, I personally will not be upset because I know that God willing they [the facilities] will fall into the hands of Muslim Mujahedin in the not too distant future,” the Leader said.
With Iran facing its "second phase" of the Islamic Revolution, the country has to identify its advantages and capacities and use them to shield against shortcomings and weaknesses, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"The West and the United States have come to the conclusion that if the nation of Iran decides to achieve something, nothing can stop their will. Hence, they are trying to weaken the willpower of the Iranian nation."
The Leader said, "Today, the enemies should open their blind eyes to the most advanced industries in Iran making their presence felt in the face of Western industries, thanks to the country's faithful youths."
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need to support entrepreneurs with a Jihadist spirit as he underlined promotion of domestic production in line with Resistant Economy.
Earlier Thursday, the Leader called the new Iranian year as the "Year of Economic Boom."
"In a jihad, literate and efficient people will find the right ways with scientific methods, and thus the economy will flourish," he said.