"The sanctions applied by the Americans against the Iranian nation are a crime, and there is no doubt about it," the Leader said in a televised speech on Friday on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.
"The sanctions are a crime against a nation; even though it seems to be against the establishment, it is indeed against the entire nation," he added.
The Leader said surrendering to the enemy is not the way to lift the sanctions. “The only cure for sanctions is rather relying on domestic capabilities.”
“Some argue and propagate the idea that if you want to stop the US from bullying, you need to back off. No sir! A person who is accustomed to aggression will come forward if you back off. This is a clear and natural issue. If you accept the US demands, they will raise new demands,” he noted.
“What the US wants is that we totally abandon our nuclear industry, reduce our defensive equipment to one-tenth, and give up our regional power,” he said.
"Unfortunately, some people, under the influence of the enemy, say what good nuclear power has for us. Nuclear power is the definite need for our country in the future. We need at least 20,000 or 30,000 megawatts of nuclear power, which we cannot get through another means or it is not cost-effective. What should we do on the day we needed it?
Whose door should we knock? Should we beg from America and Europe to give us electricity or do enrichment for us? Will they do that? We have to think about tomorrow.
These are not the needs that will be ready in a few months or two years. It must be prepared in advance and we have prepared the ground for this."
Ayatollah Khamenei said the principle part of the nuclear industry has been maintained despite numerous damage Iran incurred because of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Leader pointed to the US call for negotiation with Iran, and said, “Those who call for talks with Iran seek to negotiate over these issues. Everyone must pay attention; I have said this for several times, and I have to repeat it, because some either fail to understand or pretend they can’t understand.”
“If the enemy talks of negotiation, it means ‘come to the negotiating table and don’t develop missiles’. If you give in to their demands … you’d make yourself defenseless; and if you don’t, you’d have to face the same story: disputes, threats and sanctions again. This is what negotiation means.”
The Leader said the reason for his opposition to negotiation with America is that “such negotiations have no use; of course they benefit from it [but Iran doesn’t].”
“The old guy who is in office in the US apparently took some propaganda advantages of negotiation with North Korea. He wants to use it [negotiation with Iran] for his personal gain in elections and elsewhere,” the Leader noted.
However, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed, the US ruling system seeks to achieve broader “vital” objectives beyond what the incumbent president seeks to gain from talks with Iran.
“They say you should abandon your defensive equipment, your regional power and national might. No man of honor interested in maintaining the country’s interests would give in to such demands. This is why I’m opposed to negotiation; moreover, we are in talks with the entire world, except for the US and the fake Zionist regime, and there’s no problem with that,” he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the enemies of the Islamic Republic seek to achieve short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals by imposing sanctions against the Iranian nation.
In the short-term, they seek to impose so much pressure that the nation gets weary, exhausted, and disturbed, so much so that they stand against the establishment, he said.
“You know that last year they said and this year they say there will be a hot summer – meaning the people should come and stand against the establishment, but they themselves got the hot summer,” the Leader said, apparently referring to anti-racism rallies which have been going on in the US for two months now.
Their mid-term goal, he said, is to prevent the country’s development through sanctions.
"They mainly seek to prevent the country’s scientific development,” he said, citing the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists as an example of the enemy’s efforts to hinder the country’s scientific progress.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the enemy’s long-term goal is to lead the country and the government into bankruptcy.
“One of the other goals they pursue is to dismantle the country’s economy; if a country’s economy collapses, it is not possible to live in that country anymore.”
The enemies also seek to achieve a collateral goal, which is to cut the Islamic Republic’s ties with the resistance forces in the region, Ayatollah Khamenei noted. “That’s because they know the Islamic Republic will keep helping them as much as it can.”
“We have a strategic depth in the region, based on which many nations and governments are our supporters and interested in Iran, ready to strive in the service of our goals. The enemies say you 'should give this up', but even if we do that, they will not stop there.
"When you are willing to reduce your ability to defend yourself and destroy your authority in the region; when you are willing to totally abandon your nuclear industry which is vital to the country, the enemy will not be satisfied yet and will demand something new," the Leader said.
However, the Leader added, these dreams will never come true and as a Persian proverb says, “A camel dreams of cottonseed.”
The Leader further pointed to a disinformation campaign, which works hand in hand with the sanctions and includes distortion of the truth and misrepresentation of the realities.
The main purpose of the disinformation campaign is to undermine the people’s morale, and to offer wrong solutions to people’s problems, Ayatollah Khamenei added.
The enemies, the Leader said, suggest if Iran wants the sanctions to be lifted, it must give in to US demands. “This is the gist of what they say.”
“Some people are influenced [by these insinuations] and exactly repeat what the enemies want, whether regarding the country’s weaknesses or its points of progress which they play down and offer wrong solutions,” the Leader said.
However, this campaign will fail to influence the majority of the Iranian people, because they have known the enemy and how biased it is, Ayatollah Khamenei added.
The Leader said the disinformation campaign tries to convince the Iranian people that the Islamic Republic must succumb to the US demands.
“If the distortion process fails, so will the sanctions,” the Leader said. “The arena is the arena of war of wills; when the process of sanctions is defeated and the will of the Iranian nation remains the same, it will prevail over the will of the enemy."
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Iranian people are smart and have taken advantage of the enemy’s sanctions, gaining achievements against the enemy’s will.
He went on to say that the US’ secondary sanctions led the Iranian scientists and producers to indigenize what the country could not provide because of Washington’s bans.
He pointed to the production of the advanced homegrown jet fighter Kowsar, the spare parts produced inside the country, the establishment of thousands of knowledge-based companies, the Persian Gulf Star Refinery built by the IRGC, and the major energy projects in southern and Western Iran as examples of the Islamic Republic’s achievements under the sanctions.
“Had they sold us a jet aircraft, we would not have produced the jet trainer Kowsar inside the country,” he said.
“They [enemies] have admitted that Iran managed to manufacture so many defensive products at the time of sanctions.”