At a ceremony for praising 2016 Olympic and Paralympic medallists, President Hassan Rouhani said sport brings unity, security and cultural integrity for the Iranian nation.
Sport is the origin of sustainable development, continued the President, adding: "Sport, like knowledge and art, is a national matter".
He continued: "We have one nation, one leader, one government and one parliament; we all must make attempts for Iran and Iranians' authority".
Stressing that nothing is more important for a nation than hope for the future, Rouhani added: "Public sport brings livelihood and hope to the society and athletics is the symbol of pride for the nation".
"Making people hopeless about future and openings is tantamount to obstructing people's progress," said Rouhani, stating that faith does not accompany hopelessness.
Stability in planning and correct economic moves are essential for people's hope, he continued, adding: "Powerful diplomacy, economy, culture, art, and sport constitute the 'National Basket of Hope'".
He also said: "Handling the problems of the society needs happiness, and sport generates happiness. Sport is the base for the society's health".
President Rouhani also referred to Iranian women athletes and said: "Women athletes are the guardians of Islamic and Iranian culture and the symbol of national identity and pride".
Our women have successful presence in all political, management and social stages, he said, adding: "We must not limit people's responsibilities inside the house; Islam considers men and women as having equal values".
"What makes Paralympic champions' work special, is that they bring national pride for us with more endeavor and effort", Rouhani stressed.
"Sport can lay the ground for interaction with the world and bring prosperity to our economy and tourism," he added.
He went on to refer to the year of "Resistive Economy; Action and Deed" named by the Supreme Leader and said: "Economy is related to sport and a part of sport is related to economy and can bring sport tourism".
"Above economic issues, sport can confront Iranophobia and create dialogue and interaction with the world," the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran said.
He also referred to the latest Men's Freestyle World Cup 2017 held in Kermanshah and said: "You showed your hospitality and made the U.S government ashamed of its actions by granting visa to American wrestlers. The world will judge. This was indicator of Iran's greatness".