Economic sanctions on Iran have led to significant progress in the fields of science and technology, a prominent member of the Iranian clergy and the Friday Mass Imam of Mashhad, Ayatollah Alam-olhoda, told worshipers on Friday.

Ahmad Alamolhoda

Ahmad Alamolhoda

ISNA reports that Elm-olhoda said on Friday June 12: “There is no doubt that sanctions have taken their toll on us and caused problems; however, we need to ask: have they made us desperate? Have we reached a point that the key to all our problems is the lifting of sanctions? It is definitely not so.”

He then referred to Iran’s keen progress in science and technology under the sanctions regime, saying: “It is now 35 years and three months that Iran is under sanctions and during this time it has made the highest level of progress in the fields of science and technology.”

The role of sanctions and their effect on the Iranian economy is a hot topic of debate among Iranian politicians these days.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Sunday June 7: “When we say the cruel sanctions should be lifted, do not roll your eyes. Sanctions must be lifted so that investors come to our country to invest, and the people’s problems, whether it’s drinking water or financial and banking matters, will be resolved.”

Hardliners, however, have criticized Rohani for emphasizing the burden of sanctions.