May 27 (UPI) -- Iran's Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei told the country's newly elected Parliament on Wednesday the economy and culture should be their highest priority.
Khamenei's statement was issued during the inauguration of the Parliament members in Tehran, a ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian leaders. The country seated 279 lawmakers after elections that included more than 7,100 candidates.
Khamenei told the lawmakers to concentrate on "culture and economy," including employment, production, and the national currency's value.
"The general policies of the resistance economy serve as a credible guideline in this area," Khamenei's statement said. He said their actions would "prove to the Iranian nation that they have made the right choices [by electing them]."
Rouhani told the Parliament the country would need its help to "hearten the nation and frustrate the country's enemies." The president said cooperation would be needed to combat "sanctions and provocations" from the United States along with the threat caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, Iran accounts for 137,724 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,451 deaths as of Wednesday, easily the most of any eastern Mediterranean country.