National security is a strategic national issue. In the area of
economics, economic security is provided when our economic
strategy is to safeguard the national interest.
Iranian economist Dr. Musa Ghaninejad said, “If the policymakers think
scientifically, the policy and strategy they adopt will have a well-defined,
rational and coherent framework. When there is no normative thinking, there
will be no coherent strategic policymaking. That is why we do not have a
clear long-term strategy on major issues in foreign policy, international
economics, and economic policymaking. Regardless of the political aspect, we
have always been economically entangled because the policymakers have not
had a normative and coherent economic thinking, they have observed economic
issues expediently all the time.
“We want science for difficult situations,” he said in response to
policymakers who blame difficult conditions, sanctions and economic wars to
justify wrong economic policies. Under normal conditions, markets operate
and the economy operates by itself. By the way, in times of hardship such as
the time of sanctions, we must turn to science. If science fails to solve a
complex problem, then what is higher than science to solve it?
Since the Revolution, due to the political ideology dominating the minds of
the revolutionaries in our country, there has been no normative
policy-making except in very short periods and at specific times and for
specific cases. Contingent or short-term thinking is the opposite of
long-term, scientific and strategic thinking, and contingent policy-making
is opposed to a policy-making based on normative thinking; I mean thinking
based on scientific principles. If the policymaker thinks scientifically,
his policy and strategy will have a well-defined, rational and coherent
But if policymakers do not have a normative thinking, they will suffice to
contingent and expedient policies. From the viewpoint of political
philosophy, this is a well-known issue. Ambiguity of the basis of dominant
political thinking has been our plight since the beginning of the
Revolution. When there is no normative thinking, there will be no coherent
strategic policy-making. That is why we do not have a clear long-term
strategy on major issues in foreign policy, international economics, and
economic policy-making. Regardless of political aspects, our entanglement
from economic point of view has always been that since the policymaker has
not had a normative and coherent economic thinking, they have observed
economic issues expediently all the time.
We need to define our
national security and national strategy through expanding
For example, when faced with inflation, the policymaker has gone for price
control instead of seeking to investigate the root causes of inflation and
solve the problem scientifically, because they have not been basically
adhering to the fundamental idea with which the inflation problem could be
explained. Decisions have been made on other issues in the same way on a
day-to-day basis and based on the day’s requirements.
course, this expedient thinking has its strengths and weaknesses. However,
if we look at the root causes, we see that this is a long-term problem that
is rooted in a fundamental flaw which is the absence of long-term, normative
and strategic thinking. At times such as the current situation when we are
faced with sanctions, and economic pressures and difficulties have been
intensified further, contingent policymaking becomes more prevalent and more
evident. However, these basic flaws are still in place under normal
How can policymaking based on the teachings of economics, contrary to
claims, enhance national security?
National security is a strategic national issue. In the area of economics,
economic security is provided when our economic strategy is to safeguard the
national interest. For example, what was China’s economic strategy in
relation to the powerful and imperialist governments of the world, such as
the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s? The Chinese
came to the conclusion that as long as they have not turned into a great
economic power, they have nothing to say internationally in the military or
political arena. As a result, they changed their course. They said we must
solve the problem of poverty and become an economic power. The solution they
found was to move to a market economy and use foreign investment.
The old misconception that Marxists promoted and was accepted in China
during the Maoist era was that foreign capital inflows make the country
dependent and exploited. The Chinese set aside that misconception and turned
to scientific thinking. Scientific thinking is that, both parties benefit
from free trade. Foreign investors benefit greatly from investing in China,
but this is a mutual benefit. The Chinese benefit, too. As a result, a
penniless China becomes wealthy due to interaction with the outside world.
Is a wealthy China better able to provide more security to China or a poor
China? Through strategic thinking, they concluded that China should become
rich. They did not define their security in poverty and self-sufficiency.
China no longer sought to oppose foreign investment and to follow those
stupid Marxist doctrines, but formulated its economic strategy based on
scientific facts. As a result of this change China has now become a world
economic power and its national security is by far greater than that of Mao
Zedong’s era. We should have done the same, but we did the opposite.
Under the ninth and tenth governments, in conditions that our international
relations were weakening and the tension in our foreign relations was
escalating, instead of using the opportunity of increased oil prices to make
more investments in the oil field and to raise oil exports, they reduced the
oil production capacity and oil exports.
At the time when oil prices were high, we could increase our oil exports to
five million barrels through heavily investing in oil and gas fields and
using foreign investors so that they would not be able to impose sanctions
If we were to export five million barrels of oil, world markets would depend
on our oil and they would not be able to sanction on our oil, but when we
export only two million barrels they would easily impose sanctions on us.
How would national security be defined at that time? Unfortunately, since
scientific thinking was not dominant, the path we took and the strategy we
adopted, which of course was more of a slogan against the West, resulted in
the reduction of the country’s oil production potential, and as tensions
escalated in foreign relations, sanctions escalated and we could no longer
The absence of scientific thinking brings about such catastrophes for the
country. Now our problem is the same. If we want to strengthen national
security, in economic context, we need to have the most relationships with
foreign countries, especially our neighbors, and make them dependent on our
economy. When we liberate trade, interdependence is formed, it is true that
we depend on other countries, but they also depend on us.
We must define national security in this context. If we sit down and say we
restrict imports and exports and build a self-sufficient country, we should
know that this self-sufficient country will become the most vulnerable
country. This is a wrong and unscientific path. National security must be
defined in the context of interdependence, not in the context of economic
self-sufficiency. Which country has been able to secure its national
security economically through economic self-sufficiency? Not even one
country can be mentioned as an example. We are living at a time when
economics and technology have become global. We can’t even imagine becoming
a self-sufficient country in terms of industry, agriculture, etc.
We need to define our national security and national strategy through
expanding economic relations. When we could do it through using oil, we
missed the opportunity. Now, some are chanting self-sufficiency and
non-dependence. This viewpoint is economically dangerous for our national
security and should be set aside. Self-sufficiency only means more poverty.
If we want to define security by poverty, we will become like North Korea
and Cuba. The reality is that self-sufficiency leads to poverty, and poverty
makes every country more vulnerable and not stronger. So this unscientific
viewpoint must be set aside.