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If we have made any achievement today and if we are the top country in the region in terms of science and industry - certain areas of industry - we have made these achievements under sanctions. We have made military progress. We have made scientific progress. We have made astonishing achievements in the area of medicine.
We have made progress in the area of industry - in those complicated industries which the world did not think we have the capability. We have made progress in biological sciences. We have acquired knowledge in areas which were previously in the hands of certain experts and these experts did not allow anyone to acquire these areas of knowledge, except for their own small group.
All these achievements have been made under sanctions. If they had not imposed sanctions, perhaps we would not have reached our current position. If they had taken our money and sold their outdated weapons to us, we would not have thought to benefit from the innovation and talent of our youth, we would not have produced airplanes, tanks and missiles and we would not have overtaken many regional countries in terms of these productions.
If they had opened their markets to us and given us whatever we wanted, they would have taken our money and put it inside their pockets, and we would not have made these achievements.
Ayatollah Khamenei, 03/21/2006