Khamenei addresses Iranians for Persian New Year amid coronavirus outbreak

Iran state TV broadcast of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's New Year message. (Screengrab)

In a televised message on the occasion of the new Persian year, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei named the upcoming year the year of “surge in production.”

Iranian channels broadcasting the speech did not say they were broadcasting live, and the message may have been pre-recorded. One Tehran-based journalist said the speech was pre-recorded.

Read more: Coronavirus: Where is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei?

Khamenei described the previous year as “tumultuous” for the Iranian people.

“The past year began with floods and ended with coronavirus, and during the year, we had earthquakes and sanctions, but the peak of last year’s events was America’s terrorist crime of killing [Qassem] Soleimani,” he said.

Islamic Revoulationary Guard Corps commander Qassem Soleimani was killed on January 3 in US drone strike at Baghdad International Airport.

Read more: Coronavirus ‘not that big of deal’: Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

“The past year was a difficult year, and the suffering of the people was not minor, but besides the hardships, there were some unprecedented highs, and the Iranian nation really shined,” added Khamenei.

Khamenei thanked all Iranians involved in combating the spread of coronavirus in the country, saying “divine awards” awaits them.

As well as drawbacks, sanctions haven’t had only negative consequences for Iran, said Khamenei.

“Sanctions have had benefits too,” he said. “They have forced us to turn to domestic facilities to provide the country’s needs.”

Read more: Coronavirus kills one person in Iran every 10 minutes: Spokesman

The focus in the new year will be on increasing production, following last year, which was the year of “boosting production.”

“This year is the year of surge in production. This is the slogan of the year. Officials should act in a way that production will witness a surge, God willing, and that there will be a tangible change in the lives of the people,” he said.

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Last Update: 07:02 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
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