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Resistance economy (Persian: اقتصاد مقاومتی‎) is a way to circumvent sanctions against a country or region experiencing sanctions. This can involve increasing resilience by substituting local inputs for imported inputs, the smuggling of goods and an increase in barter trade. A country may even attempt to turn these pressures into opportunities. In some ways sanctioned economies bear some resemblance to an economy on a war or emergency footing.[1]

Measuring economic activity in nations under sanctions requires different techniques than those used for other countries.


This phrase first used by Ayatollah Khamenei Supreme Leader of Iran during a meeting with Iranian entrepreneurs as a response to the Western sanctions and subversion policies against Iran in 2011.[2]



The term was used in relation to the Gaza strip. In September 2007 Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza, focused on weapons and construction materials that could be used for terrorist purposes. At its height, the blockade also limited agricultural imports and exports via Israel. Imports and exports via Egypt have been subject to varying Egyptian policies, with Egypt at times also greatly restricting traffic as an "anti-terrorist" measure.[3] One 2011 conference paper by Salah R. Agha of the Islamic University of Gaza used the term "resistive economy" to describe the situation.[4]


Iran has been under increasing sanctions owing to its disputed nuclear program. The response has emphasized reliance on domestic capacities, reducing dependence on oil exports and developing barter trade and an import substitution industrialization.[5][6] As much as 70% of Iran’s imports could be substituted by domestically produced products.[citation needed]

In detail, it encourages increased exports of electricity, gas, petrochemicals, and oil byproducts instead of crude oil and other raw materials, expansion of the production and exportation of knowledge-based products, increase in domestic production of strategic goods, development of markets in neighboring countries, reforming consumption patterns and fighting corruption.[7][8]

Policies of resistance economyEdit

The “Resistance Economy” is a concept declared originally by the Supreme Leader of Iran. In his June 2012 speech, he claims 'A few years ago, I proposed the idea of 'economy of resistance'".[9] According to this speech he first talked about resistance economy on the 21. March 2007. While he does not explicitly mention the term economy of resistance or resistance economy here (on the English translation), he does mention key aspects of what he will later refer to as resistance economy such as the criticism of extravagant consumption[10]. In his August 2012 speech he explains that resistance economy aims to promote economic self-reliance, a strategy that would defeat the US-led efforts against Iran via economic and trade sanctions.

“The Resistance Economy is an inspiring pattern of the Islamic economic system and a good chance to make an economic epic,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.

In his March 2014 speech, Khamenei specifies the ten main aspects of the economy of resistance:

1.      Creating dynamism

2.      Resistance against threatening elements

3.      Reliance on domestic capacities

4.      Adopting a jihadi outlook

5.      Making the people the pivot

6.      Security for strategic and fundamental goods

7.      Reducing oil dependence

8.      Reforming the norms of consumption (no decadence and waste)

9.      Combatting corruption

10. Promoting a knowledge-based economy[11]

According to the Center for Preserving and Publishing the Works of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed, "Following an indigenous scientific pattern, rooted in the revolutionary and Islamic culture, will lead to defeat of enemies and their withdrawal from an imposed economic war against the Iranian nation".

“The Resistance Economy will also present an inspiring pattern of the Islamic economic system for the growing international crises and can prepare the ground for creating an economic epic.”

The 24-point general policies of Iran’s Resistance Economy were set based on the Article 110 of the Constitution and after consulting with the Expediency Council.

The ideology of the Resistance Economy, with its core concepts of self-sufficiency, proclaims that the Islamic Republic can survive — and indeed flourish — despite the US-led sanctions.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [1] "Iran develops economy of resistance" by Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Isfahan; Financial Times; September 12, 2012
  2. ^ "Comprehensive Definition of Resistance Economy". hawzah, 1389 SH.
  3. ^ A Multi Criteria Crop Planning Model Based on the "Resistive Economy" Characterizing the Situation in Gaza Strip. Faculty of Islamic Studies - Sustainable Growth and Inclusive Economic Development from an Islamic Perspective
  4. ^
  5. ^ Iran mulls cut to crude oil sale
  6. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini: Iran Leader Unveils 'Economy of Resistance'. Associated Press, February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Leader's Speech to Government Officials". 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  10. ^ "Leader's Speech at Imam Reza's (a.s.) Shrine". 2007-03-21. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  11. ^ "Leader's Speech on the Economy of Resistance in Meeting with Officials and Business Communit". 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2018-12-11.

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