TEHRAN: Iran's top leader has ordered the government to create an "economy of resistance" to counter sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear program.
In comments posted on his website leader.ir on Wednesday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Western sanctions "a full-fledged economic war" and said Iran is determined to force the West to retreat.
The program requires the government to diversify Iran's exports, reduce dependence on sales of raw materials and promote knowledge-based high-tech industries.
A nuclear deal reached in November with world powers has eased some sanctions but the core remains in place - including measures targeting Iran's oil exports, the pillar of its economy. Iran and the six-nation group began talks for a final deal in Vienna Tuesday. Khamenei says he doubts talks will succeed.