Leader's speech in meeting with government officials

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on June 23, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with government officials on the occasion of the month of Ramadan.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.

Oh God, make our tongues firm with sawab and with wisdom

One issue that is repeated in the prayers of the auspicious month of Ramadan is drawing people's attention to the worlds after this material world, the world of death, the world of the grave, the world of the Judgment Day and one's difficulties in facing divine calculations and divine questioning. This is one of the issues that exist in the prayers of the auspicious month of Ramadan. Paying attention to this is very important for us officials who have certain responsibilities. A factor that helps us control and monitor this is attention to these worlds. When we understand that "Not the weight of an atom becomes absent from Him" [The Holy Quran, 34: 3] that no small move, action and statement will escape the eyes of divine calculators after our death and that we will be questioned about all these things, this will deeply affect our behavior, our statements and our moves.

We read in holy dua of Abu Hamza, "Bestow mercy on me when I am on the verge of dying and when the hands of my dear ones turn me over in my bed". This condition occurs to many people. Perhaps, many people have witnessed this moment when one is on the verge of dying. You and I cannot do anything at that moment when no one is closer to us than God: "And We are nearer to him than you, but you see not" [The Holy Quran, 56: 85]. At that moment, no one and nothing can save us from the precipice that is ahead of us except for good deeds and divine blessings. We say in this dua, "Oh God, bestow mercy on me". We ask God to show mercy on us: "And bestow Your blessings on me when they put me on the ground washing my body and when my dear ones and relatives turn me over to different sides".

We ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His mercy and blessings on us when our body is being washed after death. At that moment, we are involuntarily in the hands of those who perform ghusl. This will happen to each and every one of us. None of us will escape that moment. It will happen to all of us and therefore, you should think about it.

"And show kindness to me when my people carry my corpse into the grave". They carry us, hold us on their shoulders and take us to our eternal home. "And be generous towards me when I am alone in my grave, entering upon You." They will bury us in a grave. This is a reminder. So, we should not ignore these moments and they should always be in front of our eyes. This is one of the reasons why we are advised to visit graveyards and the dead. Some people do not like it when they are reminded of death. They should not dislike it because this is a cure and medicine. It is a cure for our selfishness, our ignorance and our lust.

We read in another part of the holy dua of Abu Hamza, "Oh God, bestow Your mercy on me when I have no answer to give, when I cannot find my tongue to give you answers and when my mind makes a mistake when you ask me a question". When we are short of answers before divine questions, we should know that divine questions are not like the ones that are asked in this world. In this world, we can maneuver the other side by using his own folly, ignorance and emotions, but there, everything is clear to the Being Who questions us. Therefore, we should think about that moment.

In another part of this dua we read, "I cry for the day when they take me out of the grave, naked and feeling terrible. I cry for that day when I will be carrying the heavy load of my sins and at times I look right and sometimes, I look left and I see that everyone is involved in their own affairs." At that time, everyone is thinking about themselves and no one will help us in any way.

"Each one of them, that Day, will have enough concern of his own to make him indifferent to the others. Some faces, that Day, will be beaming, laughing, rejoicing" [The Holy Quran, 80: 37-39]. Believers, the pious and those who took care of themselves and who did not leave the road of right, justice and divine responsibilities are described in this sentence: "Some faces, that Day, will be beaming, laughing, rejoicing". Their faces are happy, smiling and bright. Some people are like this. "And other faces, that Day, will be dust-stained and blackness will cover them" [The Holy Quran, 80: 40-41]. These are ayahs from the Holy Quran, but in the dua of Abu Hamza the word "humiliated" has also been added. Of course, this is not the only concept that exists in these prayers. Like all other prayers, the prayers of the month of Ramadan draw us towards the sweet and pleasant spring of divine mercy as well.

This month is the month of humility, repentance, piety, return to God, self-edification and morality. In the sermon delivered by the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) on the last Friday of the month of Sha'ban, there are certain points that show this month is not only the month of worshiping God. It is also the month of morality and the month of acquiring and implementing moral qualities. These are points that we should pay attention to in this month.

In this very sensitive and important meeting, I have chosen three issues to discuss. One is the issue of the economy which was pointed to in the statements of the honorable President. He made good statements and presented good statistics. I too have a viewpoint to discuss in this regard. Another is the nuclear issue which has become the focus of many of our efforts - whether foreign or domestic ones - in the present time. I have certain viewpoints in this regard that I deem necessary to discuss. And if there is enough time, I will touch on regional matters as well.

On the issue of the economy, I should say that the month of Ramadan is the month of piety. What is piety? Piety means constant care of ourselves so that we do not take the wrong path and do not get stuck in the thorns of problems. Piety is, in fact, an armor that a pious person wears. It protects him from the harm caused by poisonous arrows and deadly spiritual blows. Of course, this harm is not confined to spiritual matters: "And for those who fear Allah, He prepares a way out and He provides for him from sources he never could imagine" [The Holy Quran, 65: 2-3]. Piety has many important effects even in worldly affairs. This is personal piety. The same thing holds true for a society and a country. What is the piety of a country? What is the piety of a society? A society - particularly if it has lofty and elevated ideals like the Islamic Republic's society - is under constant attack. It is subject to attacks launched with poisonous arrows. This requires piety as well.

What is social piety? Social piety can be defined for different areas. In the area of the economy, social piety means the economy of resistance. If we want to avoid the harm caused by global fluctuations or if we want to avoid the poisonous arrows that are fired by hostile policies in the world, we have no option other than turning to the economy of resistance. The economy of resistance is an element of strength in the face of all those people and powers that use all their economic, political, media and security capacities in order to deliver a blow to our people, our country and our system. One of the ways that they have found until today is penetration through economy. It is many years now that we have been issuing this warning and officials have made good efforts within the remit of their capabilities, but we should pursue the economy of resistance inside the country with all our power and by using all the capacities of the economy of resistance. This is social piety on the issue of the economy.

Of course this model is not particular to us. Some other countries have also formulated and selected the model of the economy of resistance for themselves and they have witnessed the results. The focal point in the economy of resistance is on the internal alongside the external. An internal focus should not be interpreted as isolation. We should focus on the inside as well as taking a look at the outside, but we should rely on our domestic capabilities and capacities. I would like to speak a little about this matter. Of course, I have said many things in this regard before.

The policies on the economy of resistance - which have been prepared and announced - were not formulated all of a sudden. They are not an impulsive matter or based on personal viewpoints. They are the product of a collective mind and long consultations. After the policies on the economy of resistance were prepared with these qualities and promoted in the media and after our friends and colleagues in the honorable administration adopted some measures in this regard, they were approved by many economic experts. They placed great emphasis on it and thus, the phrase "the economy of resistance" entered the current economic culture of the country and found a place in the economic discourse of the country. This shows the correctness and strength of this path.

The economy of resistance is contrary to the old model which was dictated by powers for the so-called developing or third-world countries. They dictated a certain model - I do not want to expand on this model - which says that if third-world countries want to achieve economic growth and prosperity and if they want to reach the level of global economy, they should follow this model whose main reliance is on the outside with all this implies. The economy of resistance is the opposite of this model. It is a model that is completely different from the old model. But some people continue to speak about that model. The focus of the economy of resistance is on domestic capacities. Some people might think that the model is good, but doubt its possibility. I would like to say firmly that this model works in our country. The model presented in the economy of resistance is completely possible in the current conditions of the country.

The capacities that are available to us for this job are many and they are mostly untapped. One is our human resources. There are many educated youth with expertise and self-confidence in our country and this is one of the blessings of the Islamic Revolution, of course provided that wrong policies will not make our country move towards aging. The condition is like this for the moment. In the present time, a considerable portion of our work force is between 20 and 40 years old with good education, with mental and intellectual preparedness, with high morale and with great self-confidence. Today, we have ten million university graduates. We have more than four million students who are graduating. This is 25 times more than the early revolutionary era. From the beginning of the Revolution until today, the population of the country has doubled and the number of students has increased by 25 times. This is one of the sources of pride for the Islamic Revolution. This is our human resource and it is a very great opportunity.

Another capacity is the economic position of our country. According to official statistics in the world, the Islamic Republic is ranked twentieth in the global economy. We are ranked twentieth and we have the necessary capacity to come twelfth because there are many untapped capacities in the country. We have natural resources, we have oil and we are ranked first in the area of oil and gas. The sum of our oil and gas supplies is more than all countries in the world. We have many mines as well.

Another capacity is the excellent geographical position of the country. In regional and global geography, we are a crossroads that connects the north to the south and the east to the west. This is of paramount importance to the issue of transit - for transporting energy and different goods.

Another capacity is our neighborhood with 15 countries with a population of 370 million. This means an available market without needing to take long paths.

Another capacity is our 70-million domestic market. If we shift the focus to this domestic market and to national and domestic production, the condition of production will dramatically change.

Another capacity is the existence of major infrastructure in the area of energy, in the area of rail, road and air transportation, in the area of communications, in financial centers, in power plants and in dams. These are infrastructures that have been built in the course of many years with the efforts of all administrations and with the help of the people. Today, these infrastructures are available to us.

Besides all these things, we have considerable experiences in the area of management. These experiences have helped us to engage in non-oil exports. The honorable President presented the figures related to the year 1393. But even in the years before that, growth in the area of non-oil exports was tangible in the country. This is a model in itself.

These capacities exist in the country. Of course, these are only part of our capacities. The experts who meet with us and who sometimes write reports for me have presented a long list of the existing capacities that can be beneficial to the economy of the country. All these things are true. These capacities should be utilized.

The current problem of the country is not that we have a shortage of projects and plans and that we do not have good ideas. Our problem is that we do not pursue good ideas and good projects the way we should. This is the basis of the issue. In intellectual environments, it is stressed that the problem of the Islamic Republic is not a shortage of good ideas. Good ideas are being expressed frequently. The problem is that these correct ideas should be pursued in a way that they lead to results. We should see their results in a very clear and visible way.

Well, there are certain challenges which cause friction and corrosion. They are problematic and therefore, they should be cured.

One is our inner challenges meaning adopting a simple and superficial outlook towards the problems at hand, being satisfied with some of the achievements that we make and failure to get to the depth of the problem.

Mere engagement in intellectual discussions does not move the task forward. It is necessary to take action. Showing laziness in taking action is our major challenge. Sometimes, conclusions and results operate on a long-term basis - not on a short-term basis - and this frustrates some people. This is one of the challenges. Sometimes, great feats may be achieved in the course of a generation. Despite this, they should be pursued and we should move forward. There are many tasks that would have produced some results if we had started them 10, 15 years ago. There are many tasks that were begun 10, 15 years ago and today, we are witnessing their results. The day when different ideas were discussed in different universities of the country about the scientific movement, no one would have thought that this movement - which was created 10, 15 years ago - would be established, but it was established. Our university professors, our students, our academic personalities and our talented youth showed diligence. Today, we have launched an important movement in the area of science compared to 12, 13 years ago. We have made astonishing and - in some cases - dazzling progress in some areas. If we begin the work today, we will achieve results in 15, 20 years.

One of our challenges is parallel and easy yet dangerous paths. This is one of our challenges. I do not forget that during my presidency - 25 years ago - we faced a problem regarding the importation of a product that our society needed. We used to import it from the Europeans, but the Africans had the same product as well and it was good enough. However, our friends in charge of such affairs were not ready. We offered them some advice and we stressed the point. In a meeting, they agreed with what we said, but it was difficult because for them, working with the Europeans was easier. It was a parallel and easy but at the same time, harmful path. Such paths push us to the edge of a precipice, weaken our friends and strengthen our enemies. They help those who are our enemies in their heart to take the country's affairs in their hands.

Another challenge occurs when someone thinks that if we abandon our ideological principles and the ideological principles of the Islamic Republic, paths will open and closed gates will be unlocked. This is a grave and fundamental mistake. Of course, the brothers in our diligent administration are acting with complete belief in these principles. They really believe in the Revolution and its principles and values. We do not blame these brothers, but there are some people among our officials - in general - who think that if we compromise some of our principles and beliefs, many closed doors will open to us. This is not the case. This is a grave mistake and we have witnessed the results of this mistake in some other countries - whose names I do not want to mention - in the recent years. The path to progress is resistance and insistence on principles.

Another challenge occurs when some individuals think that the people do not endure problems. This is not true. The people have actually endured problems. If problems are explained to the people in the true sense of the word and with complete honesty, our people are a loyal people. They are a people who stand firm and resist.

Another challenge is having doubts about domestic capabilities. One of the challenges is that we do not trust our scientists and popular and non-governmental groups in economic affairs. They should be trusted. The people should be involved in the great economic chain of the country.

The last word in this regard is that one of the tasks that we should carry out in the area of the economy of resistance is to show firm determination. We should be after implementing - in the true sense of the word - the economy of resistance inside the country. Another task that we should do is to avoid laziness. We should avoid adopting a comfort-based outlook and we should rely on jihadi management. The slogan of jihadi management that I brought up last year is for all times. I stressed that it should not be confined to this year. We need jihadi management. In the first years of the Revolution, during the war and in the course of the past 30-plus years, whenever we relied on jihadi management, we succeeded. Jihadi management might sometimes fail but it will be followed by progress as well and it will further the task. Jihadi management means reliance on divine power and on Allah the Exalted, and furthering the task with wisdom and acumen but at the same time with firm determination and without having any doubts and fear about the consequences.

Of course, constant promotion of a culture that suits the economy of resistance is necessary as well. Everyone - including the IRIB, the officials in newspapers and the media, executive and legislative officials, Friday prayer leaders from throughout the country and anyone who has a minbar and can speak to the people - should promote a culture that is in line with the economy of resistance. This culture could be the culture of economizing and using domestic products. Of course, the point about economizing and using domestic products is primarily addressed to the officials of the country because one of the most important consumers of the country is the administration itself. The administration should insist on using domestic products and it should consider it its responsibility to do so. Even if we have to have tolerance, that is alright. Sometimes, they say that such and such a product does not have the quality that its foreign counterpart does. This is alright. If we want it to enhance its quality, we should help it. If we help it, its quality will be enhanced. Otherwise, its quality will be reduced on a daily basis.

Another essential task is to confront unnecessary imports and smuggling in a serious way. Attending to small and medium-sized production workshops is another essential task. I stressed the necessity of this matter in the beginning of the year as well. Reviewing monetary policies and the activities of the banking system of the country - I also spoke about this matter in the beginning of the year - is another important task. Experts and sympathetic personalities have certain things to say in this regard and their opinions should be heard and receive attention. These are tasks that we should carry out.

Of course, the main condition for achieving all these things is harmony and unanimity, and the solidarity that the honorable President touched on. The administration should be assisted. Officials should be assisted because they are in the middle of the arena. Unnecessary opposition and controversy should be avoided. Causing controversy - no matter who does so - is unacceptable and inappropriate. Everyone should help so that God willing, this great movement will produce results. This was what we wanted to say on the issue of the economy. I believe that we can accomplish great feats in the area of the economy. We can hope that by Allah's favor, we will pass through this difficult road.

On the nuclear issue, I will first raise three introductory points and then I will discuss certain matters in this regard.

The first point is that what I say in this meeting and in other public meetings is exactly the same things that I say to officials, the honorable President and others in private meetings. Some people say that the red lines that have been officially announced are sidelined in private meetings. This is a false and untrue statement and it is a propaganda tool that they use. We have witnessed and are witnessing this. What we say to you in this meeting or in other public meetings is exactly the same things that we discuss with our friends in the administration and with the negotiating team. Our statements in both meetings are the same.

The second point is that I consider the negotiating team - the friends who have shouldered these responsibilities during this time - to be trustworthy, brave, courageous and religious. Everyone should know this. Many of the participants in this meeting are not aware of the content of the negotiations. If you were aware of the content and details of the negotiations and what happens there, then you would surely confirm part of what I am saying. Besides, I know some of these friends up close and I know some from of their performance record. They are religious and trustworthy people. Their goal is to further the affairs of the country and to solve problems and they are working on it. They really have national zeal and courage. They are confronted with a large of number of people - I do not want to mention the appropriate description of these people because sometimes, there are certain descriptions which some people really deserve, but it is not appropriate for us to present it. They really express their viewpoints and pursue matters, in the face of such people, with complete courage and with absolute precision.

The third point is about the esteemed critics. I am not against criticism. It is alright to criticize and it is necessary and helpful. However, everyone should pay attention that criticizing is easier than taking action. We easily see the other person's flaws while we fail to see the dangers, difficulties, concerns and problems that he deals with. This is like watching someone who wants to dive into a pool. Imagine that you are standing beside a pool. Someone has gone up and he wants to dive into the pool from a height of 10 meters. You are watching him. He dives into the pool and you - who are watching him beside the pool - say, "Well, he bent his legs and knees. This is one error." Yes, this is an error, but you should climb up the diving board, take a look at water from that height of 10 meters and then you should make a judgment. Criticizing is easy.

Of course, what I am saying should not prevent you from making criticisms. You can criticize, but you should do so by considering the fact that the other side might be aware of some of the faults that we express in our criticisms. But they have reached this conclusion anyway because of necessity or another reason. Of course, I am not saying that they are infallible. This is not what I am saying. They are not infallible and they may make a mistake in their decisions and actions, but the important point is that we believe in their trustworthiness, their piety, their zeal and their courage. These were three necessary points that I wanted to raise as the introduction to my statements.

I would like to present a short history of these negotiations. Our negotiations with the Americans are, in fact, different from our negotiations with P5+1. The Americans themselves asked for these negotiations and their proposals date back to the time of the tenth administration. So, the negotiations with the Americans began before the arrival of the current administration. They made a request and chose an intermediary. One of the honorable personalities in the region came to Iran and met with me. He said that the American president had called him, asking him to help. The American president said to him that they want to resolve the nuclear matter with Iran and that they would lift sanctions. Two fundamental points existed in his statements: one was that he said they would recognize Iran as a nuclear power. Second, he said that they would lift sanctions in the course of six months. Through that intermediary, he asked us to negotiate with them and to resolve the matter. I said to that honorable intermediary that we do not trust the Americans and their statements. He said, "try it once more" and we said, "very well, we will try it this time as well." This was how negotiations with the Americans began.

I would like to raise a point for the attention of officials - of course, everyone should pay attention to it. In global challenges, reason dictates that we take two arenas into consideration. One is the arena of reality and action. So, one arena is the arena of reality and action which is the main arena. In the arena of reality and action, the official who is trying to pursue his activities creates certain assets and resources. This is one arena. Another is the arena of diplomacy and policy. In the arena of diplomacy and policy, this official turns the assets into a concession and national advantage for his country. If one is empty-handed in the first arena, one cannot do anything in the second arena either. You should have an advantage and an asset in the first arena - the arena of action, reality and field work.

The day when we entered into the nuclear negotiations, we had an acceptable and important advantage. We felt that we were entering the arena with a strong hand. Our advantage on that day was that we had managed to produce 20-percent uranium while we were under sanctions and while all nuclear powers had refused to give us 20-percent uranium for the Tehran research center. On that day, we needed radiopharmaceuticals. Then, we managed to turn this 20-percent uranium into fuel plates and to use it. The other side was stunned. There is a long story about this, which many of you may be aware of. During a series of long negotiations, they did not agree to give us - that is to say, sell us - 20-percent uranium and they did not allow anyone else to sell it to us either.

As a result, we said that we would produce it inside the country. Our youth - our scientists and the group of people inside the country who are diligent, optimistic and self-confident - managed to astonish the other side and thus, they produced 20-percent uranium. And you know that - perhaps, I have said this on another occasion as well - in the process of nuclear enrichment, the important and difficult part is moving from three, four percent towards 20 percent. Reaching the 90-percent phase from the 20- percent phase is a very simple move. When someone obtains 20 percent, the other phases will be very easy. The difficult and important part is the part from three, five to twenty percent. Our youth managed to take this difficult path. They produced 20-percent uranium and fuel plates. This was one of our achievements and advantages. We entered the negotiations with this morale. The strategy of resistance and persistence in the face of pressures worked.

The Americans acknowledged that sanctions do not have any effect as was pointed out in this meeting. This is a completely correct analysis. The Americans reached the conclusion that sanctions do not produce the desired effect anymore. Therefore, they pursued other options - we are running out of time and I should discuss matters as quickly as possible. They realized that without dependence on others, we can achieve advanced technologies. We relied on this logic and we entered into the negotiations.

Of course, we did not lose caution. From the beginning, we looked with suspicion at the foreign negotiators and the American side. We did not trust them because of our experiences and therefore, from the beginning, we entered into the negotiations with caution. We believed that if they kept their word, then so much the better. We too were prepared to make concessions. We do not believe that we should not make any concessions in a negotiation and that we should not make a backward movement on some issues. This was not the case. We were prepared to make some concessions in a reasonable and rational way. However, we were after a good agreement. I should add that both we and the Americans speak about a good agreement, but when we speak about a good agreement, we mean a fair agreement. On the contrary, when the Americans speak about a good agreement, they mean a totalitarian agreement.

We had just begun to move forward in the negotiations when "their excellencies" began to show their greed. Every day, they said something new and every day, they made a different excuse. Their six months became one year and it even became longer with the passage of time. Negotiations began to take various forms. It was their haggling and greed that lengthened the negotiations. Besides, they issued threats. They threatened to impose more sanctions. They even threatened to launch military attacks. They issued threats "on the table" and "below the table" and other such things [audience laughs]. This is how their excellencies have behaved until today.

We have announced that by a certain deadline, we should have 20,000 MW of nuclear power. This is the country's need. The country seriously needs 20,000 MW of nuclear power. This figure has been calculated by organizations in charge. Of course, besides this, there are many other needs and benefits that we should pursue, but they do not want these achievements to be made. Of course, they want to preserve pressures and at the same time, they want to destroy the nuclear industry. They do not intend to lift all sanctions as you can see in the present time. They even threaten to impose more sanctions. This is one point.

The second point is that our opposing side - the current administration of America and decision-makers in that country - need these negotiations. This is the other side of the matter. They need this. It is considered a great victory for them if they can achieve their goal in the negotiations. This is, in fact, a victory over the Islamic Revolution. It is a victory over a people who have claims of independence. It is a victory over a country that can be a model for other countries. The American managerial apparatus needs these negotiations. All the arguments, bargaining, lies and tricks that their excellencies use, focus on these two issues.

From the beginning, we entered the arena in a reasonable way. We spoke in a reasonable way and we did not show greed. We said that the other said has imposed cruel sanctions and therefore, they should be lifted. Very well, this is a give-and-take relationship. It is alright with us to give something. We are ready to give something so that sanctions are lifted, however the nuclear industry should not stop and come to any harm. This is the first thing that we said. We have said this from the beginning and we have followed it until today.

These are the most important red lines that have existed. We mentioned certain things as the main guidelines. These are the most important ones. Of course, there are other things as well.

One is that they insist on long-term limits and restrictions. We said that we do not agree with 10, 12-year limits. Ten years is a lifetime. All that we have achieved took place during 10 years. Of course, the nuclear history of the country is longer than this and sometimes this is pointed out by some people. However in the first years, nothing was really done. The main and fundamental task was carried out during the past 10, 15 years. Therefore, we do not agree with a 10-year limit. We have announced to the negotiating team for how long we agree with the limits. But we have also said to them that we do not agree with a 10, 12-year limit and other time spans that they speak about.

Even during this restriction period that we would accept, research, development and production should continue. This is one of the red lines on which the honorable officials have placed great emphasis. They said that they are not willing to stop our research and development work. They are right. Even during these restriction years, research and development should continue, but they say a different thing. They say that we should not do anything for 10, 12 years and that we can engage in production and development after that. This is bullying and an exceedingly wrong statement.

Another important point is this: I would like to stress that economic, financial and banking sanctions - whether those imposed by the United Nations Security Council, those imposed by the U.S. Congress or those imposed by the U.S. administration - should immediately be lifted at the time of signing the agreement, and any remaining sanctions at reasonable intervals. Of course, the Americans have presented a very complex, multi-layered and bizarre formula. It is not at all clear where this formula ends up and what its results will be. As I said, I speak in a straightforward manner, I do not know diplomatic expressions very well. What we are saying is straightforward. This is our opinion.

Another fundamental point is that lifting sanctions should not depend on the fulfillment of Iran's commitments. They cannot say, "you should stop using Arak's heavy-water reactor and decrease the number of centrifuges. After you do this, as well as some other tasks, then the Atomic Energy Agency will come and oversee the matters. If it testifies that you are telling the truth and that you have done these tasks, then we will lift sanctions." We do not agree with this in any way. Lifting sanctions is not dependent on the fulfillment of Iran's commitments. Of course, lifting sanctions has certain procedures. This is alright with us. We accept that the procedure of lifting sanctions should be in line with the procedure of the fulfillment of the commitments that Iran has taken on: some in return for some, others in return for others and it should go on like this.

Another fundamental point is that we are opposed to the matter that all actions should be contingent on the Atomic Energy Agency's reports. We are skeptical about the Agency because it has shown that it is neither independent nor just. It is not independent because it is under the influence of powers. It is not just because it has repeatedly issued unfair verdicts and views. Besides, if they say that the Agency should ascertain that there is no nuclear activity in our country, this is an unreasonable statement. Well, how can they ascertain of that? What does ascertain mean anyway? They cannot ascertain that unless they search each and every house and the entire country inch by inch. Otherwise, how can they ascertain? Making all actions and measures contingent on the Agency's reports is neither reasonable nor just.

I do not agree with extraordinary investigations either, nor do I agree with questioning political personalities in any way nor with inspecting military centers. As I said before, we do not agree with 15, 25-year time spans - they constantly speak about a 15-year time span for such and such a task and a 25-year time span for another task. The time spans are clear, they have a beginning and an end and they will finish.

These are fundamental and important points and we insist on them. Of course, these are not the only red lines. Our friends in the negotiating team are aware of our viewpoints. We have discussed the details - those that I am concerned about - with them. Of course, there are many details that I do not get involved in.

We are after reaching an agreement. If someone says that there is a person among the officials of the Islamic Republic who is not after reaching an agreement, they have said a wrong thing. Everyone should know this: all the officials of the Islamic Republic - me, the administration, the Majlis, the judiciary branch, different security and military organizations and the like - share the view that an agreement should be reached. Everyone also shares the view that this agreement should be an honorable one and that the interests of the Islamic Republic should be considered in a careful and scrupulous way. There is no disagreement about this. I, the administration, the Majlis and every other organization and person share these beliefs and opinions. The agreement should be a fair agreement, one that ensures the interests of the Islamic Republic.

I should add that we are after the lifting of sanctions. Our purpose of entering into the nuclear negotiations is to lift sanctions. We are seriously pursuing the goal of lifting sanctions, but at the same time, we consider sanctions as an opportunity. It should not be the case that some people express surprise at the idea of sanctions as an opportunity. They might say, "How can sanctions - such a bad thing - be an opportunity?" Sanctions made us rely on ourselves. They made us think about our inner capabilities and the pursuit of domestic capacities. That we import everything with oil earnings is the most dreadful disaster and problem for a country like ours. Unfortunately, this problem has been haunting our country since the pre-revolutionary era and it is continuing in a very serious way. We should put an end to this. We pursued domestic capacities in the area of science, technology and different other areas. By Allah's favor, we should do the same in the area of the economy.

These were our statements about the nuclear issue. Of course, I had written down some points to discuss about regional issues as well, but when I look at the clock, I see that adhan has been said. So, I will not disturb you more than this.

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad (s.w.a.) and his household (a.s.), make what we said and heard serve You, Your cause and Your servants. Dear God, purify our intentions. Dear God, shower Your blessings on officials and activists in the administration, in the Majlis, in the judiciary branch and in the Armed Forces - all of whom are busy working hard. Bestow Your assistance and guidance on them.

Greetings be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings