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Iran Supreme Leader Warns Against Spread Of Pessimism

IRAN -- FILE PHOTO: A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran September 27, 2017
Tehran, Sept 6, 2018 (AFP)

Iran's supreme leader on Thursday warned against the spread of pessimism in the country, as people face mounting economic woes after the imposition of US sanctions.

Addressing the Assembly of Experts, an elected body of high-ranking clerics tasked with choosing the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for people's problems not to be overstated.

"This exaggeration intensifies the anxiety of public opinion and causes the pessimism virus to spread," Khamenei said in comments published on his official website.

"It is not correct to speak in a way that the audience is terrified and thinks that all is lost," he added, calling for both the good and bad aspects of state institutions to be highlighted.

Khamenei was speaking as Iranians adjust to sanctions imposed by the United States last month, after Washington pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.

The move by US President Donald Trump has exacerbated economic woes in Iran, with the Iranian rial losing 70 percent of its value in the past year.

The currency crisis has led to huge price rises in the country and put pressure on President Hassan Rouhani, who has so far been defended by Khamenei.

"No government can go on without the support and trust of the people, we must not act in a way that will deprive the government of the people's trust," the supreme leader said Thursday.