Ayatollah Khamenei Addresses Imports, Property Abroad

  • Khamenei criticized the import of luxury goods as dangerous and has caused complaints from producers and even the bankruptcy of some of them.
  • Last year, half a billion dollars were spent to import luxury US mobiles.
  • Khamenei described the purchase of property abroad as a "problem" and called on the government to address it.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei, said in a video meeting with members of President Hassan Rouhani’s government that the government should deal with the import of American luxury phones and the purchase of property abroad. He stressed that the return of currencies could have “logical reasons.”

Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is a marja’ and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, in office since 1989. He was previously President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the second-longest serving head of state in the Middle East (after Oman’s Sultan Qaboos), as well as the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Ali Khamenei, stated in a video meeting with the cabinet on Sunday morning:

“The Government Week is an occasion for reporting this year’s governmental services and examining weak and strong points. Speak directly to the people. Tell them about both your achievements and shortcomings, both what you were able to achieve and what you should have done but didn’t.”

Speaking on the occasion of “Government Week,” he criticized the import of luxury goods as dangerous, which has caused complaints from producers and even the bankruptcy of some of them. The remarks were echoed on Khamenei’s Twitter account but were later deleted.

Referring to the government’s announcement that $27 billion in export currency would not be returned, Khamenei stressed:

“National production is key to employment, welfare, reducing inflation and increasing the power of a national currency. An obstacle to production is unneeded imports such as luxury products. Last year, half a billion dollars were spent to import luxury US mobiles. The government must stop this.”

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran did not elaborate further that there were “reasonable reasons” for not returning some of the currencies. Khamenei’s remarks were published on his website, but a few hours later, part of his speech was deleted from the text, and even a tweet based on his remarks was deleted.

No explanation has been given for the removal of part of Khamenei’s remarks on his website, as well as the deletion of the Supreme Leader’s tweet. Elsewhere in his speech, Khamenei described the purchase of property abroad as a “problem,” and called on the government to address it.

With the deteriorating economic situation in Iran, the purchase of property and houses abroad has increased, especially in Turkey. A recent report by the Turkish Statistics Center states that foreigners’ home purchases have increased by about 35 percent in the country, with Iranians becoming the number one home buyer in Turkey, buying 540 housing units in July 2020 alone.

The Opinion of a Turkish Real Estate Expert in Tehran

Statistics from October show that that real-estate transactions in Iran’s capital Tehran have slowed down. The main reasons for the drop are deep economic recession and high inflation, which have affected the middle class, especially people on fixed incomes and salaries.

Can Khamenei’s remarks about the government’s approach to buying property abroad affect the purchase of Iranian homes in Turkey?

Before Khamenei’s speech, the promotion of buying houses, real estate abroad was banned for Iranians inside the country, and Khamenei’s speech would only have a psychological effect. The Iranian government should investigate the reasons for Iranians buying houses and property abroad and solve their problems.

Advertising to buy a house is prohibited in Iran. Even at the Tehran Real Estate Fair, Turkish companies were not allowed to distribute catalogs and brochures to buy real estate and were banned. It is also forbidden to write a contract or pre-sell the house (abroad). Advertising of property abroad is also prohibited in the media. You can not open an office and service in Tehran to buy a house abroad.

Despite all these clashes, Iranians are buying houses in Turkey because the economic situation in Iran is dire. According to news sources, before Coronavirus, Iranians were second in buying a house in Turkey, but after Coronavirus, they were ranked first in buying a house in Turkey.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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