TEHRAN/ MOSCOW - The US sanctions on Iran were aimed at slowing down Tehran’s economic growth, but on the contrary, had resulted in the nation’s self-sufficiency, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday.

“The US’s goal in imposing sanctions is to paralyze and prevent the growth of national economy; but it resulted in a movement towards self-sufficiency in Iran. The Iranian nation used to import everything for years, now it has developed a habit of producing everything,” Khamenei wrote on Twitter.

The supreme leader went on to note that the global power of Washington was declining, while even the liberal democracy was “disgraced” after being exposed by US President Donald Trump and the Republican party.

“The challenge between the US and Iran has lasted for 40 years so far and the US has made various efforts against us: military, economic and media warfare.

There’s a key fact here: in this 40-year challenge, the defeated is the US and the victorious is the Islamic Republic,” Khamenei added.

In May, Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement and consequent reinstatement of sanctions that had previously been lifted under the nuclear deal. Washington re-introduced a first round of sanctions against Iran in August. The second round of sanctions, targeting Iran’s oil sector, is set to take effect on November 5.

Iranian FM discusses US

sanctions with EU officials

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held phone talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and his counterparts from Denmark, Germany and Sweden over the new US sanctions, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

On November 5, the second round of US restrictions against Iran, re-introduced after Washington’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will come into effect.

“During his Friday night conversations with Mogherini as well as Heiko Maas of Germany, Margot Wallstrom of Sweden, and Denmark’s Anders Samuelsen, the top Iranian diplomat discussed with them Washington’s re-imposition of sanctions against Iran and Europe’s efforts to counter such US moves,” the statement read.

The European diplomats reiterated their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, and willingness to cooperate with Tehran, according to the ministry.

“They also underlined the importance of European finance ministers’ obligation to enforce a special financial mechanism, announcing the mechanism will be officially registered and put into effect in the coming days,” the ministry added.

The European Union came up with several initiatives to keep Iran in the multilateral pact, including a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that it wants to set up with Russia and China to allow any country bypass US sanctions and trade with Iran past November.

A statement issued by the White House on Friday said the sanctions against Iran, to fully take effect on Nov. 5, would be “the toughest” and “unprecedented,” targeting many of the country’s “critical sectors” like energy, shipping, shipbuilding, and finance.

Iran launches fighter jet

production line

Iran on Saturday launched the mass production line of a homegrown fighter jet, official IRNA news agency reported.

The production line of the fighter jet, called Kowsar, was launched at Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Company in Iran’s central city of Isfahan, attended by senior Iranian military officials.

The jet, unveiled on National Defense Day in August, is equipped with “advanced avionics and fire control systems” and capable of carrying various weapons, which can be used for short aerial support missions.

It also uses digital military data networks, multi-purpose digital monitors, ballistic calculation computers and smart mobile mapping systems.

The jet has an advanced radar system, enabling it to detect enemy targets. It is also equipped with a head-up display, which promotes precision targeting. According to Press TV, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Saturday that “soon, the needed number of this plane will be produced and put at the service of the Air Force.”

Hatami said that the project has satisfied one of the most vital needs of the country’s military aviation industry. Kowsar is “the very symbol of fighting the (global) arrogance and standing against the excessive demands of ... the United States,” he was quoted as saying.

“The enemies’ psychological warfare, propagandist blackmail, and economic sanctions” had no effect on the lively trend of advancing the country’s deterrent capabilities, he stressed.