Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.{{authorBox.message}}

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Key takeaway: Senior Iranian officials dismissed President Donald Trump’s statement that he will not waive sanctions lifted under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) again if Congress and the Europeans are unable to address the deal’s “terrible flaws.”  

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed that Iran would not renegotiate the JCPOA. President Hassan Rouhani stressed that Trump’s efforts to undermine the JCPOA, a “long-lasting victory for Iran,” have failed. Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi said that Iran has successfully isolated the U.S. from its European allies, noting that the EU has not complied with U.S. calls to modify the agreement. Iran will very likely resist any U.S. or Western attempts to amend the nuclear deal.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from January 13-16.

AEI Must Reads
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1 day ago

Iranian Anti-Regime Protests and Security Flaws: A Dataset

Mike Saidi demonstrates how the recent protests highlighted weaknesses in the readiness of Iranian security forces in a dataset using videos submitted by Iranian protesters. View the dataset here.

1 day ago

Why Did the U.S. Sanction Iran’s Sadegh Amoli Larijani?

Marie Donovan discusses the political background of Iran’s newly-sanctioned Judiciary Head Sadegh Amoli Larijani in, “Why Did the U.S. Sanction Iran’s Sadegh Amoli Larijani?

1 day ago

Iranian protests give America chance to advance freedom.

Frederick Kagan states that the United States and its partners must take action in order to weaken Iran’s position in the region in the wake of the protests in, “Iranian protests give America chance to advance freedom.”

1 day ago

Don’t Be Fooled: the Iran protests won’t overthrow the regime.

Frederick Kagan and Marie Donovan write that the regime’s preparations for anti-regime protests and the absence of a centralized leadership of unarmed protesters did not threaten the regime’s survival in, “Don’t Be Fooled: the Iran protests won’t overthrow the regime.”

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Nuclear Deal Developments
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1 day ago

Iranian officials dismiss Trump’s calls to modify JCPOA.

Senior Iranian officials reacted to President Donald Trump’s decision on January 12 to issue his last sanctions waiver against Iran unless the U.S. and Europe fix the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) “disastrous flaws.” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed that Iran would not renegotiate the JCPOA. President Hassan Rouhani stressed that Trump’s efforts to undermine the JCPOA, a “long-lasting victory for Iran,” have failed. Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi said that Iran has successfully isolated the U.S. from its European allies and noted that the EU has not complied with U.S. calls to modify the agreement. National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Committee Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi dismissed Trump’s threats as saber rattling to withdraw from the deal and said that Trump had no choice but to continue waiving the sanctions. (Reuters) (E) (Reuters) (E) (ABNA) (ABNA) (ABNA)

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-nuclear-decision/trump-issues-ultimatum-to-fix-iran-nuclear-deal-idUKKBN1F108D

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-rouhani/irans-rouhani-says-u-s-has-failed-to-undermine-nuclear-deal-tv-idUSKBN1F306F

3. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%d8%a7%d8%ae%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%a7%db%8c%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%86/%d8%b8%d8%b1%db%8c%d9%81-%d8%a8%d8%b1%d8%ac%d8%a7%d9%85-%d9%82%d8%a7%d8%a8%d9%84-%d9%85%d8%b0%d8%a7%da%a9%d8%b1%d9%87-%d9%85%d8%ac%d8%af%d8%af-%d9%86%db%8c%d8%b3%d8%aa-%d8%a2%d9%85%d8%b1%db%8c%da%a9%d8%a7-%d8%a8%d8%a7%db%8c%d8%af-%d8%a8%d9%87-%d8%aa%d8%b9%d9%87%d8%af%d8%a7%d8%aa%d8%b4-%d8%b9%d9%85_731027.html

4. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%d8%a7%d8%ae%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%a7%db%8c%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%86/%d8%aa%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%85%d9%be-%d8%b9%d9%84%db%8c%e2%80%8c%d8%b1%d8%ba%d9%85-%d8%b1%d8%ac%d8%b2%d8%ae%d9%88%d8%a7%d9%86%db%8c%e2%80%8c%d9%87%d8%a7-%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%87%db%8c-%d8%a8%d9%87-%d8%ac%d8%b2-%d8%a7%d9%85%d8%b6%d8%a7%db%8c-%d8%aa%d8%b9%d9%84%db%8c%d9%82-%d8%aa%d8%ad%d8%b1%db%8c%d9%85%e2%80%8c_731066.html

5. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%d8%a7%d8%ae%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%a2%d8%b3%db%8c%d8%a7%db%8c-%d8%ba%d8%b1%d8%a8%db%8c-%d9%88-%d8%ae%d8%a7%d9%88%d8%b1%d9%85%db%8c%d8%a7%d9%86%d9%87/%d8%ae%d8%a8%d8%b1_731053.html

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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1 day ago

Rouhani and Shamkhani meet with Syrian parliamentary speaker.

President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with Syrian People’s Assembly Speaker Hammoudeh Sabbagh in separate meetings in Tehran on January 16. Rouhani said that the U.S. presence in Syria is “against international norms” and is an “[attempt] to conspire against Syria’s territorial integrity and regional security.” Shamkhani expressed his concern over “any political or military action… that provides Syrian territory to terrorist groups or [allows] foreign forces to occupy Syrian soil.” Their statements follow announcements of the potential formation of a U.S.-backed Kurdish border security force in northeastern Syria. (IRNA) (IRNA)

1 day ago

Foreign Ministry denies Financial Times’ claim that Zarif agreed to ballistic missile talks.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghassemi denied the Financial Times’ report that  Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif agreed that Iran will hold “intensive and very serious dialogue” on Iran’s ballistic missile program with European officials according to the German Foreign Ministry. Zarif met German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, as well as EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Belgium on January 11. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghassemi emphasized that Iran’s ballistic missile program is non-negotiable. (IRNA)

1 day ago

Judiciary head condemns U.S. sanctions on him.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on 14 individuals and entities, including Judiciary head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, on January 12. The U.S. Treasury Department targeted Larijani due to his involvement in “ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing” human rights abuses against Iranian citizens. Larijani condemned the U.S. in response and described the designation as an “honor” for the U.S. to personally target him. The Foreign Ministry argued that the U.S. sanctions on Larijani are in violation of international law. The U.S. also sanctioned individuals and entities for their role in censoring anti-regime protests, and for aiding Iran in weapons proliferation. (Treasury.gov) (E) (Treasury.gov) (E) (ABNA) (IRNA)

1 day ago

Rouhani administration spokesman pledges support for increase in defense budget.

Rouhani administration spokesperson and Planning and Budget Organization head Mohammad Bagher Nobakht stated that while the Rouhani administration “opposes increases” to its 2018-2019 fiscal year budget proposal as a general rule, it will “defend” any proposed increases to the armed forces’ budget by Parliament. The Rouhani administration’s budget proposal already recommends moderate increases to the IRGC and the Artesh’s budgets. Parliament and the Guardian Council must review and approve the Rouhani administration’s budget proposal before it becomes law. Protesters criticized Iran’s involvement in regional conflicts at the expense of addressing domestic needs during the recent unrest across the country. (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82798016

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82796522

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82798819

Citations & Links

1. Treasury.gov
https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0250

2. Treasury.gov
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180112.aspx

3. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86/%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B3%D9%88%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%85-%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B4-%D8%AF%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7_731148.html

4. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82793756

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/274319/

Military and Security
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1 day ago

Judiciary spokesman denies government involvement in protesters’ deaths.

Judiciary spokesperson Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei claimed that bullets used to kill protesters during the recent unrest do not match ammunition used by law enforcement and military personnel. He repeated other officials’ statements that Evin and Arak Prison detainees Sina Ghanbari and Mohammad Heidari died from suicide. Ejei stated that 25 people died in the recent protests and 465 protesters remain in custody, including an unspecified European dual national whom police arrested for taking pictures of the protests. Ejei added that law enforcement officials arrested 622 people during the protests’ first three days but later released many of them on bail. Reformist Parliamentarian Mahmoud Sadeghi announced that “more than 40” parliamentarians called for an independent investigation into the deaths of detained anti-regime protesters in a letter to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. Sadeghi did not name the signatories of the letter. Sadeghi claimed on January 9 that security forces arrested 3,700 protesters since the start of the unrest.  (Reuters) (E) (Radio Farda) (E) (New York Times) (E) (Press TV) (E) (Etemaad)

  • Judiciary denies parliamentary request to visit Evin Prison. Sadeghi also said that the Judiciary denied a parliamentary request to send a parliamentary delegation to visit Evin Prison. The Parliamentary Security, Judicial, and Political Committee submitted the request on January 10 to review and monitor security forces’ performance in detention centers. (Radio Farda)
1 day ago

Iran reportedly lifts block on Telegram.

State news agency IRNA reported that the government lifted restrictions on Telegram on January 13 after blocking the popular messaging application during the protests. The Associated Press reported that it confirmed with residents in cities across Iran that the government has restored access to the application but reports suggest that regime is still throttling Telegram services. Activists and protesters used Telegram to coordinate and share videos of demonstrations during recent anti-regime protests throughout the country. (Reuters) (E) (IRNA) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-unrest-arrests/dual-national-arrested-in-iran-during-unrest-judiciary-idUSKBN1F30GM

2. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-judiciary-say-400-antigovernment-protesters-still-detained/28975064.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

3. New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/14/world/middleeast/iran-protests-deaths.html

4. Press TV
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/14/548922/Judiciary-unrest-riots-Iran-Gholam-Hossein-MohseniEjei

5. Etemaad
https://t.co/U7wYatGmCw

6. Radio Farda
https://www.radiofarda.com/a/iran_mahmoud_sadeghi_letter_ali_larijani_saro_ghahremani/28974621.html

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-rallies-telegram/iran-lifts-block-on-telegram-app-imposed-during-unrest-report-idUKKBN1F20W2

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82794901

Economy
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1 day ago

Iranian oil tanker scuttled after collision with Chinese freighter.

Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank off the coast of Shanghai, China, on January 14 after a collision with a Chinese cargo ship on January 6 that spilled natural gas condensate in the sea and set the adrift oil tanker on fire. The Iranian government declared a national day of mourning while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his condolences to the families of the 32 crew members who are presumed dead. (Reuters) (E) Tasnim News Agency (E) (IRNA) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-accident-japan/burning-iranian-oil-tanker-sinks-after-january-6-accident-chinese-state-tv-idUSKBN1F309G?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/01/15/1628083/ayatollah-khamenei-expresses-condolences-over-loss-of-iranian-sailors

3. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82797952

Key takeaway:  Reformists seek to gain political traction after the recent protests demonstrated a significant amount of popular disenchantment with politicians across Iran’s political spectrum.

Sixteen reformist political figures issued a statement emphasizing that focusing on the question of external interference in the protests will lead to neglecting the protests' “root causes.” The reformists’ statement is likely in response to the initial reactions of conservatives and hardliners to the protests. Conservatives and hardliners have acknowledged the protesters’ economic grievances, but have also stressed that foreign actors helped instigate the protests.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from January 5-8.

AEI Must Reads
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January 10, 2018

Iranian protests give America chance to advance freedom.

Frederick Kagan argues that the United States and its partners must take action in order to weaken Iran’s position in the region in the wake of the protests in, “Iranian protests give America chance to advance freedom.”

January 10, 2018

Don’t Be Fooled: the Iran protests won’t overthrow the regime.

Frederick Kagan and Marie Donovan write that the regime’s preparations for anti-regime protests and the absence of a centralized leadership of unarmed protesters did not threaten the regime’s survival in, “Don’t Be Fooled: the Iran protests won’t overthrow the regime.”

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Domestic Political Reactions to the Protests
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January 10, 2018

Reformists to hardliners: Focus on protests’ root causes, not external interference.

Sixteen reformist political figures issued a joint statement on January 7 emphasizing that focus on external interference in the recent wave of anti-regime protests “leads to negligence toward the [protests’] root causes.” The signatories acknowledged general U.S. interference in Iranian domestic affairs, but argued that interference from abroad is not possible “without the existence of internal conditions.” Most of the statement’s signatories included former reformist government officials and parliamentarians, including former reformist President Mohammad Khatami’s brother Mohammad Reza Khatami.

  • Reformist parliamentarian Mahmoud Sadeghi also tweeted on January 7 that no foreign powers played a role in the protests, according to unidentified Iranian intelligence officials. (Shargh Daily) (Radio Farda) (E) (Al Monitor) (E) (Twitter)
January 10, 2018

Khamenei accuses U.S. of working with Israel, a “Persian Gulf country,” and MEK to instigate protests.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the U.S. of working with Israel, an unidentified “wealthy Persian Gulf country,” and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to provoke the recent wave of anti-regime protests in Iran. Khamenei stated that a “wealthy Persian Gulf country” financed the operation. Khamenei also accused the U.S. of operating two “command posts” to organize the effort. Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri also previously accused the U.S. of working with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the MEK. Montazeri also described alleged U.S. “operations rooms” in Erbil, Iraq, and Herat, Afghanistan, used to facilitate the protests. Khamenei also emphasized the importance of reducing Iran’s unemployment in another part of his speech. (Fars News Agency) (Twitter) (E)

January 10, 2018

Rouhani: Economic grievances were not the sole motivation for anti-regime protests.

President Hassan Rouhani stated on January 8 that economic grievances were not the only cause of the recent wave of anti-regime protests. Rouhani attributed the protests to cultural, social, and security issues as well. Rouhani emphasized that there is a divide between the values of Iran’s older and younger generations. Rouhani argued that the older generations cannot impose their lifestyle and values onto the youth. Rouhani also noted that the public’s access to social media should not be restricted permanently “because [the government] cannot be indifferent” to the public’s life and business. Rouhani separately gave remarks on January 8, emphasizing the need to boost Iran’s economic production and exports to the global market, while decreasing unemployment. (ISNA) (IRNA) (Ghatreh) (New York Times) (E)

January 10, 2018

PM: Alavi said that “domestic political current” started Mashhad protests.

Reformist-leaning Omid faction parliamentarian Jalal Mirzaei told Iran Online News that Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said that a “domestic political current” started the Mashhad on protests on December 28. Mirzaei noted that Alavi said that “based on Intelligence service’s assessments, it became clear that a domestic political current started the unrest in Mashhad which very quickly… became uncontrollable.” Mirzaei said that Alavi stated that the protests cannot “only be attributed to foreign guidance” and that many reasons and causes exist. Mirzaei later denied the Iran Online News report and accused the news site of “spreading gossip” in an attempt “to create disagreements in the country and to disturb public mentality.” Interior Minister Abdol Reza Rahmani Fazli, Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Ashtari, and Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) head Abdolali Ali Asgari accompanied Alavi during a briefing to parliamentarians about the recent protests on January 6. News outlets have circulated rumors that hardline Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ahmad Alam ol Hoda instigated the protests in Mashhad. (ION) (Fars News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Shargh Daily
http://www.sharghdaily.ir/News/149832/%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B6%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7

2. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iranian-reformists-reject-claim-foreign-interference/28959461.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

3. Al Monitor
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/01/iran-reformist-statement-protest-backlash-violence.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

4. Twitter
https://twitter.com/mah_sadeghi/status/950092749306585088

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13961019000664

2. Twitter
https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/950690758301974528

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101809337/%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AD%D9%82-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%AF%D9%88%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%86-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82788453

3. Ghatreh
http://www.ghatreh.com/news/nn40904810/%D8%B6%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B2%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF%D8%AC%D9%87-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AF

4. New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/world/middleeast/iran-rouhani-protests.html?_r=1

Citations & Links

1. ION
http://www.ion.ir/News/312803.html

2. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/13961018001851

3. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/10/17/1621385/%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%BA%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%BA%D8%AA%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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January 10, 2018

Khoshrou: Iran has “strong evidence” of foreign interference in anti-regime protests.

Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshrou stated that Iran has “strong evidence” that external powers directed the recent wave of anti-regime protests in Iran. Khoshrou stated that individuals in the U.S. and Europe instigated the protests and encouraged violence. Khoshrou made the claims during an emergency session of the UN Security Council (UNSC). U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called for the meeting to address the protests in Iran on January 2. (Iran Khabar) (CNN) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Iran Khabar
http://www.irankhabar.ir/fa/doc/news/103810/%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%84-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%B7-%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AD%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%85%D9%87-%D9%81%D8%B9%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%A1%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%AF

2. CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/02/politics/nikki-haley-iran-united-nations-north-korea/index.html

Military and Security Reactions to the Protests
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January 10, 2018

Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry announces indigenous alternative to Telegram.

Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry Digital Media Center head Morteza Mousavian announced on January 8 that the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry will unveil an Iranian social networking application similar to the messaging application Telegram “in the coming days.” Mousavian emphasized the Iranian-made social network’s similarities to Telegram in terms of quality and usage. (Fars News Agency)

January 10, 2018

Mashhad city council votes to create protest spaces.

The Mashhad City Council unanimously approved a proposal requiring the city government to create “suitable spaces” for public protests within the next two months. Cultural and Social Committee Chairman Ehsan Usouli said that the proposal’s purpose is to implement Iranian citizens’ constitutional right to protest. Mashhad was the first city to witness demonstrations during the recent wave of protests across the country. (ILNA) (Shora.Mashhad.ir)

January 10, 2018

Judiciary official vows severe punishment for protest leaders.

Judiciary Deputy Head Hamid Shahriari announced that the authorities have identified and arrested all of the “instigators” of the recent protests. Shahriari added that “the most severe punishment will be imposed on [the instigators.]” He did not divulge the number or identity of the detainees. Senior officials declared on January 3 that security forces had defeated the protests and that the number of protestors numbered no more than 15,000 people. (Mehr News Agency) (E) (ILNA) (BBC) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13961018001069

Citations & Links

1. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%AE%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%B6%D9%88%DB%8C-92/579765-%D8%AA%D8%B9%DB%8C%DB%8C%D9%86-%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%AA%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A2%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87

2. Shora.Mashhad.ir
https://shora.mashhad.ir/news/5270166-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85%DB%8C-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%B1-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF-%DA%AF%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AA.html

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency
https://en.mehrnews.com/news/131034/All-riots-leaders-identified-arrested-judiciary-official

2. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/579625-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%AD%D9%84%D9%82%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%A8-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AF%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%BA%D8%AA%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%AD%DA%A9%D9%88%D9%85-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%88%D9%86%D8%AF

3. BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42556729

Nuclear Deal Developments
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January 10, 2018

Iranian officials warn against possible U.S. reimposition of sanctions.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi warned International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano during a phone call that Iran may reconsider its relationship with the IAEA if the U.S. does not remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Strategic Council on Foreign Relations head Kamal Kharrazi, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bahram Ghassemi each separately warned that a U.S. decision to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran may constitute a U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA. President Donald Trump is expected to decide on January 12 whether to continue to waive U.S. nuclear sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal. (IRNA) (ILNA) (IRIB News) (Raja News)

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82789643

2. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/579854-%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%82-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%86%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AC-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%B5%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%AD-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%84-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

3. IRIB News
http://www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/1982320/%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%BA%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B7%D9%82%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AE-%D8%B3%D9%86%DA%AF%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%87-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D8%AF

4. Raja News
http://www.rajanews.com/news/282165/%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%DA%86%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D9%86%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D9%85%D9%85%DA%A9%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B2%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A2%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AC-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF

Key takeaway: Friday prayer leaders’ unified message is likely a regime attempt to quell anti-regime protests.

Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat ol Eslam Ahmad Alam ol Hoda called for cooperation between the government and its people to resolve economic difficulties.  Orumiyeh Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat ol Eslam Mehdi Ghureyshi stated that the people’s demands are the same as those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Prayer leaders in Tabriz, Ahvaz, Tehran, Qom, Rasht and Shahr-e Kord also acknowledged the economic grievances of the anti-regime protesters. Iranian authorities likely aim to instill confidence that the country can resolve the protesters’ economic grievances, as well as portray the image of a sympathetic regime that is synchronized with the will of its people.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from January 4-5.

Domestic Political Reactions to the Protests
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January 06, 2018

Friday prayer leaders call for cooperation throughout Iran to address the country’s economic issues.

Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat ol Eslam Ahmad Alam ol Hoda called for cooperation between the government and its people to resolve economic difficulties. Tabriz Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat ol Eslam Mohammad Ali al Hashem and Ahvaz Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Mousavi Jazayeri emphasized the need to address economic issues such as unemployment and inflation. Orumiyeh Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat ol Eslam Mehdi Ghureyshi stated that the people’s demands are the same as those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Prayer leaders in Tehran, Qom, and Rasht, Gilan Province, and Shahr-e Kord, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province also acknowledged the economic grievances of the anti-regime protesters. Qom Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Alireza Arafi called for protesters to demonstrate and voice their grievances legally.  (ISNA) (ISNA) (ISNA) (ISNA) (ISNA) (ISNA) (ISNA) (Reuters) (E)

  • 2017 presidential candidate and Astan Quds Razavi Foundation Head Hojjat ol Eslam Ebrahim Raisi warned that Iran’s enemies are attempting to manipulate the people of Iran. He added that the Iranian’s economic problems can be only resolved through harmony, national unity, and tranquility. (Basij News)
January 06, 2018

Montazeri accuses CIA officer of instigating anti-regime protests.

Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri accused U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer Michael D’Andrea of spearheading an initiative with cooperation from Israel and Saudi Arabia to foment social unrest in Iran. The New York Times previously reported that D’Andrea was previously appointed to head the CIA’s Iran operations. Montazeri claimed that D’Andrea worked with an unidentified individual affiliated with Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, while Saudi Arabia financed some of their expenses. IRNA reports that the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK), “monarchists,” and other nationalist groups participated in this initiative. Montazeri also stated that the individuals employed two “operation rooms” in Erbil, Iraq and Herat, Afghanistan to introduce ISIS militants into Iran during the protests. Separately, interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami stated the Saudis and Americans financed the recent protests in Iran. He also stated that “weapons were supposed to arrive from an American think tank in Erbil [Iraq] and Herat [Afghanistan].” (IRNA) (IRNA) (IRNA) (E) (New York Times) (E)

  • Representative of Shahinshahr Hossein Ali Haji Daligan said that “100-150 individuals,” some of whom “came from outside the city of Shahinshahr, caused disturbances in several areas.” He noted that some of them brought weapons. (Alef)

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507792/%D8%B3%D9%87-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%B4%D9%86%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AA

2. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507787/%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B2-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%BA%D8%AA%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%AF%DB%8C%DA%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D8%AF

3. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507809/%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86%D9%82-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%88-%D8%B5%D9%86%D8%B9%D8%AA-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B4%DA%A9%D9%84-%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%B1%D8%A7

4. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507801/

5. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507793/%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B4%DA%A9%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%BE%DB%8C%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF

6. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507789/

7. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/96101507794/

8. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-rallies/iran-stages-pro-government-rallies-cleric-urges-firm-punishment-for-protest-leaders-idUSKBN1EU16G

9. Basij News
http://basijnews.ir/fa/news/8971376/%D8%AF%D8%B4%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%BA%D8%AF%D8%BA%D9%87-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%84%DA%A9%D9%87-%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A2%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%A8-%D9%88-%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%82%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A6%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%B9-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%88-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%81%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%B1%DA%A9%D8%B2-%DA%A9%D9%86%D9%86%D8%AF

Citations & Links

1. Asriran
http://www.asriran.com/fa/news/583956/%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%DA%AF%D9%88%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%AC%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%B7%D9%86%D8%AA-%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A2%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%88%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%87-%DA%AF%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%86%D8%A7%DA%86%DB%8C%D8%B2%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%AF-%DA%A9%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%81%D8%B6%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AF

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82785820

3. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82785844

4. New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/world/middleeast/cia-iran-dark-prince-michael-dandrea.html?_r=0

5. Alef
http://www.alef.ir/news/3961012332.html

Military and Security Reactions to the Protests
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January 06, 2018

Iranian authorities claim to discontinue blocking Instagram.

ILNA reported on January 4 that Iranian authorities discontinued blocking the social media platform Instagram. ILNA also noted that Iranian authorities will continue to block access to the messaging application Telegram. (ILNA)

  • The Iranian embassy in London requested that the British Office of Communications (OFCOM) censor Persian language media based in the UK. The embassy alleged that Persian media outlets such as Manoto and BBC Persian are inciting armed revolt in Iran. (ILNA) (Reporters Without Borders)

Citations & Links

1. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%DB%8C-4/578526-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%B9-%D9%81%DB%8C%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B1-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AA-%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%AA-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B4%DA%A9%D9%84-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AE%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%B9-%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%84%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%87%D9%85%DA%86%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%81%DB%8C%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

2. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/578604-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AE%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%B2%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86

3. Reporters Without Borders
https://rsf.org/en/news/iran-tries-censor-coverage-protests-media-based-abroad

Regional and International Reactions to the Protests
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January 06, 2018

Nasrallah: Protests are “nothing to worry about.”

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah stated that the anti-regime protests in Iran “are nothing to worry about” during a television interview on January 4. Nasrallah attributed the protesters’ grievances to economic hardship and accused the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia of exploiting the issue to instigate social unrest in Iran. Nasrallah stated that the ongoing protests are not comparable to the 2009 Green Movement in Iran and described the demonstrations as “not large.” Nasrallah also praised Iranian authorities for addressing the protests “calmly and wisely.” (Associated Press) (E) (Reuters) (E)

January 06, 2018

Ryabkov warns U.S. against interfering in Iran’s internal affairs.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the U.S. against interfering in Iran’s domestic affairs on January 4. Ryabkov cited a U.S. proposal for an extraordinary UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting regarding the anti-regime protests in Iran as “harmful and destructive.” Ryabkov also stated that Iranian claims that external forces provoked the protests were not groundless. Ryabkov’s comments follow U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s remarks that the U.S. seeks an “emergency session” of the UNSC to address developments in Iran. (Reuters) (E) (Radio Farda) (E) (CNN) (E)

  • Fars News Agency reported that Russia called for an UNSC meeting on the protests “behind closed doors.” The UNSC was scheduled to meet on the Iran protests on January 5. (Fars News Agency)
January 06, 2018

ISIS encourages supporters to capitalize on protests.

The Islamic State urged its supporters in Iran to capitalize on the recent protests in Iran and “denounce the governance” and ideology of the Islamic Republic in its digital weekly newspaper published on January 5. The newspaper stated that the protests have “become a revolution against a regime that calls itself revolutionary.” (Available by subscription at ent.siteintelgroup)

Citations & Links

1. Associated Press
https://apnews.com/61980f0f3b0f47728f39546a54e89e42/The-Latest:-Hezbollah-chief-downplays-Iran-protests

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-rallies-hezbollah/hezbollah-plays-down-iran-protests-sees-nothing-to-worry-about-idUSKBN1ES1T6

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-rallies-russia-usa-un/russia-u-s-approach-to-iran-protests-interferes-with-its-sovereignty-interfax-idUKKBN1EU18A

2. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/russia-tells-us-stay-out-of-iran-protests/28955087.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

3. CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/02/politics/nikki-haley-iran-united-nations-north-korea/index.html

4. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13961015001237

Citations & Links

1. Site Intelligence Group
https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/

TIMELINE
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