A top Iranian cleric called on Friday for adopting a resistance economy policy to undermine international and western sanctions against the Islamic republic over its nuclear program. "Economic autonomy is a component part of sovereignty," Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said, adding "Resistance policies are instrumental to economic independence." Time is ripe for adopting resistance economy and Iran is a rich country in terms of human and natural resources, said Khatami who was leading Tehran Friday Prayers attended by tens of thousands of people. "If they (the West) remove sanctions, Iran will turn into a paradise, but if they don't, we will not be hurt and resistance economy will thwart all the sanction spells," said Khatami who is a member of the Assembly of Experts tasked with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities. Khatami's remarks were an allusion to earlier calls by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who urged the country's top officials to seriously pursue and implement general policies of " resistance economy" in the face of western sanctions. In February, Khamenei outlined general policies of a " resistance economy" plan which called on the government to promote knowledge-based high-tech industries, boost domestic production and reduce dependence on imports. It also called for privatization, increased exports of goods and services as well as foreign investments. "Resistance economy" is part of Iran's policy to fight international and western sanctions imposed against the country over Tehran's controversial nuclear program. Khamenei has called Western sanctions "a full-fledged economic war."