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: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is likely pressuring President Hassan Rouhani to force the resignation of members of his presidential cabinet.

Khamenei met with Rouhani and members of his cabinet during a closed-door meeting on July 15 amid mounting pressure from Parliament to make changes to Rouhani’s “economic team.” Khamenei acknowledged the legitimacy of recent public criticisms of government officials during the meeting and stressed the importance of the public perceiving the government as “capable and efficient.” Presidential Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi later confirmed that Rouhani will make “some changes” to his cabinet at an “appropriate time.” Rouhani noted in a spirited speech on June 27 that those “who think that the government is scared, will resign, or will give up… are wrong!” 

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from July 14 -19. 

Domestic Politics
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July 17, 2018

Khamenei meets with Rouhani and cabinet members

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with President Hassan Rouhani and members of Rouhani’s cabinet on July 15. Khamenei noted during the meeting that people need to see the government as “capable and efficient” in order for government officials to receive people’s praise and admiration and for people to oversee their failures and mishaps. Khamenei also acknowledged the legitimacy of recent criticisms of government officials and called on government officials to establish closer and stronger relationships with “people, workers, and manufacturers.” Khamenei’s meeting follows increased calls for a change in Rouhani’s “economic team,” including Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Massoud Karbasian and Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif. Both Seif and Karbasian were present for the closed-door meeting with Khamenei. (Khamenei.ir) (Khamenei.ir) (Khamenei.ir)

July 17, 2018

Vaezi confirms Rouhani will make changes to presidential cabinet

Presidential Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi stated on July 18 that President Hassan Rouhani is currently “reviewing and looking into different names” and will make “some changes” to his cabinet at an “appropriate time.” Hardliner parliamentarians and clerics are pushing for change within the Rouhani administration in order to placate public discontent over Iran’s deteriorating economic condition following merchant-class protests in Tehran in late June 2018. Reformist newspaper Etemaad reported on June 28 that Rouhani is considering former Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Ali Tayyeb Nia to replace Valiollah Seif as the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) head. (IRIB News)

Citations & Links

1. Khamenei.ir
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=551Kq5_hIdOSruvj7Yrvkc8OvVzVDdMNapE4oYlVe5gNRUbDiO7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2ffarsi.khamenei.ir%2fnews-content%3fid%3d40122

2. Khamenei.ir
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=1Lc-v6k6gDq9eA_c4ercetSD8iEtqGHVtAKseCmr0ZsNRUbDiO7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2ffarsi.khamenei.ir%2fspeech-content%3fid%3d40153

3. Khamenei.ir
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=rKd9793CN78hGcdfhgyG3X541WUvXrh-rUyqDlvsYuQNRUbDiO7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2ffarsi.khamenei.ir%2fphoto-album%3fid%3d40125%23i

Citations & Links

1. IRIB News
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=LB0W2bjtQrfCH_idjkAH9NakPm8gFFdIGzuV6EC5K5kNRUbDiO7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.iribnews.ir%2ffa%2fnews%2f2180243%2f%25D8%25A8%25D8%25B1%25D8%25AE%25DB%258C-%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B9%25D8%25B6%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C-%25DA%25A9%25D8%25A7%25D8%25A8%25DB%258C%25D9%2586%25D9%2587-%25D8%25AA%25D8%25BA%25DB%258C%25DB%258C%25D8%25B1-%25D9%2585%25DB%258C-%25DA%25A9%25D9%2586%25D9%2586%25D8%25AF

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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July 17, 2018

U.S. rejects European requests for OFAC licenses on forthcoming U.S. sanctions against Iran

Unidentified U.S. and western officials claimed that the U.S. rejected the UK, France, and Germany’s request for a U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license to exempt European companies from the forthcoming reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that they will consider granting OFAC licenses for U.S. sanctions against Iran only on national security and humanitarian grounds. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed that the U.S. rejected France’s request on July 13. (NBC News) (E)

July 17, 2018

Lavrentiev travels to Tehran to discuss Putin-Trump meeting and Syria

Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev met with Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Deputy Secretary for Foreign Policy and International Security Saeed Iravani during an official visit to Tehran on July 19. The two discussed U.S. President Donald Trump’s July 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, conflict resolution in Syria, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Lavrentiev’s meeting follows Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati’s meeting with Putin in Moscow, Russia on July 12. (Alef)

Citations & Links

1. NBC News
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=KVACrcafNShrws7jVhkhjTxtgX7p68_BgDVuplFIBfkNRUbDiO7VCA..&URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.nbcnews.com%2fnews%2fworld%2fu-s-refuses-european-requests-exemptions-its-new-sanctions-iran-n891371

Citations & Links

1. Alef
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=4DtDFfKUHwnD0t1OiT6SUg4kzbUSi4FzCOTgJnvMpNUNRUbDiO7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.alef.ir%2fnews%2f3970428149.html

Military and Security
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July 17, 2018

Bagheri travels to Islamabad to discuss security and defense ties

Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Chief IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri headed a senior delegation to Islamabad, Pakistan for a three-day visit to discuss counterterrorism, border security, and defense cooperation on July 16. Bagheri met with senior Pakistani political and military officials including Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. Bagheri announced that Iran and Pakistan intend to manufacture “joint defense products” to which both countries will have access. Bagheri’s visit may have been a follow-on coordination visit after Pakistani Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Bilal Akbar’s official visit to Tehran from June 29-30. The bilateral security meetings between Iran and Pakistan follow an increase in border clashes between Iranian security forces and unidentified militants. Anti-regime organizations such as Ansar al Furqan, Jundullah, and the Army of Justice have claimed responsibility for attacks on Iranian forces in the past. (Sepah News) (IRNA) (Defa Press) (Defa Press)

 

July 17, 2018

Two Basij members killed after border clash near Pakistan border

Unidentified militants killed two Basij Organization members in a clash in the Korin District, Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province in southeastern Iran on July 19. IRGC Ground Forces 110th Salman Farsi Brigade Public Relations Department announced that Basij fighters Alireza Shahbakhsh and Parviz Shahbakhsh died during the engagement. The July 19 incident is the fifth border clash since June 20, 2018. (Telegram) (ISNA)

July 17, 2018

Defense Ministry announces plans to upscale tank production and upgrades

Deputy Defense Minister for Industry Reza Mozaffari Nia announced that the Defense Ministry plans to “upgrade and produce 700 to 800 tanks” on July 16. Mozaffari Nia also stated that the Defense Ministry will produce 50 to 60 tanks annually for the Artesh and the IRGC. Mozaffari Nia added that the Defense Ministry-owned Bani Hashem Industrial Complex in Doroud, Lorestan Province will complete a large part of this effort. Defense Minister Artesh Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami visited the industrial complex on July 18. (Tasnim News Agency) (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. Sepah News
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=AjyBjEI1zcXkg7RbdEckIg-TwO9Y9332cZKiE4sblC1P9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sepahnews.com%2findex.php%2fcomponent%2fk2%2fitem%2f5911-%25D8%25B3%25D8%25B1%25D9%2584%25D8%25B4%25DA%25A9%25D8%25B1-%25D8%25A8%25D8%25A7%25D9%2582%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C-%25D9%2588%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1%25D8%25AF-%25D9%25BE%25D8%25A7%25DA%25A9%25D8%25B3%25D8%25AA%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AF.html

2. IRNA
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=CbqSUduRDynpmKjNmZmnUKRAya724kJwVHCPX26BuL9P9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.irna.ir%2ffa%2fNews%2f82972950

3. Defa Press
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=jnlZu-xrXSF2Y01prJ6OCFVhfFI572J2lsPJ9ZgY3ZpP9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fdefapress.ir%2ffa%2fnews%2f300064%2f%25D8%25AA%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B4-%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C%25D8%25B1%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D9%2588-%25D9%25BE%25D8%25A7%25DA%25A9%25D8%25B3%25D8%25AA%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25A8%25D8%25B1%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2588%25D9%2584%25DB%258C%25D8%25AF-%25D9%2585%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AA%25D8%25B1%25DA%25A9-%25D9%2585%25D8%25AD%25D8%25B5%25D9%2588%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7%25D8%25AA-%25D9%2586%25D8%25B8%25D8%25A7%25D9%2585%25DB%258C-%25D8%25A7%25D9%2581%25D8%25B2%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C%25D8%25B4-%25D8%25B1%25D8%25B2%25D9%2585%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C%25D8%25B4%25E2%2580%258C%25D9%2587%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C%25DB%258C-%25D9%2585%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AA%25D8%25B1%25DA%25A9

4. Defa Press
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=qLZb-BdPE_dHPCr95crJQlMbUcRZbn-IVKni1vh9J0BP9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fdefapress.ir%2ffa%2fnews%2f300074%2f%25D9%2587%25D9%2585%25DA%25A9%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25E2%2580%258C%25D9%2587%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AF%25D9%2581%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B9%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2587%25D8%25B1%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B3%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7%25D9%2585%25E2%2580%258C%25D8%25A2%25D8%25A8%25D8%25A7%25D8%25AF-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2588%25D8%25B3%25D8%25B9%25D9%2587-%25D9%2585%25DB%258C%25E2%2580%258C%25DB%258C%25D8%25A7%25D8%25A8%25D8%25AF

Citations & Links

1. Telegram
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=FZP-WTNqpY6HwSM0N3dIoHDUDLQILFUHUvRX_ioEpYZP9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=https%3a%2f%2ft.me%2fkhabaronline_ir%2f176891

2. ISNA
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=VW0GT34u4shNFNDYPWWZkl5FD-KUsLvBiF0NTwwhGgVP9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.isna.ir%2fprint%2f97042915725%2f%25D8%25B4%25D9%2587%25D8%25A7%25D8%25AF%25D8%25AA-2-%25D8%25A8%25D8%25B3%25DB%258C%25D8%25AC%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25B1-%25DA%25A9%25D9%2588%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25D9%2586-%25D8%25B2%25D8%25A7%25D9%2587%25D8%25AF%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=gzs70883RO0_BdaVpRq2Cn0vr0jbGmvxOKdFTGvCCo1P9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.tasnimnews.com%2ffa%2fnews%2f1397%2f04%2f27%2f1779143%2f%25DA%25AF%25D8%25B2%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1%25D8%25B4-%25D8%25AA%25D8%25AD%25D9%2588%25D9%2584-%25D8%25AC%25D8%25AF%25DB%258C-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25B1-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2588%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25B2%25D8%25B1%25D9%2587%25DB%258C-%25D9%2586%25DB%258C%25D8%25B1%25D9%2588%25D9%2587%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C-%25D9%2585%25D8%25B3%25D9%2584%25D8%25AD-%25D8%25AA%25D8%25B2%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25D9%2582-800-%25D8%25AA%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586%25DA%25A9-%25D8%25AC%25D8%25AF%25DB%258C%25D8%25AF-%25D8%25A8%25D9%2587-%25D8%25B3%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B2%25D9%2585%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25B1%25D8%25B2%25D9%2585-%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1%25D8%25AA%25D8%25B4-%25D9%2588-%25D8%25B3%25D9%25BE%25D8%25A7%25D9%2587

2. Defa Press
https://mail.aei.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=EHocj25Nf67z-mH7VsfZDI_nPCA0Y7GH2A3ZSDPusbtP9fc1iu7VCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fdefapress.ir%2ffa%2fnews%2f300275%2f%25D8%25AA%25D8%25AC%25D9%2587%25DB%258C%25D8%25B2%25D8%25A7%25D8%25AA-%25D9%2585%25D8%25AF%25D8%25B1%25D9%2586%25DB%258C-%25D8%25A8%25D8%25B1%25D8%25A7%25DB%258C-%25D9%25BE%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B3%25D8%25AE-%25D8%25AF%25D9%2586%25D8%25AF%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586%25E2%2580%258C%25D8%25B4%25DA%25A9%25D9%2586-%25D8%25A8%25D9%2587-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25B4%25D9%2585%25D9%2586%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25B1-%25D8%25A7%25D8%25AE%25D8%25AA%25DB%258C%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1-%25D8%25AF%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B1%25DB%258C%25D9%2585-%25D9%2585%25D8%25AA%25D8%25AC%25D8%25A7%25D9%2588%25D8%25B2%25D8%25A7%25D9%2586-%25D8%25A8%25D9%2587-%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AF%25D8%25AA-%25D8%25AA%25D9%2586%25D8%25A8%25DB%258C%25D9%2587-%25D8%25AE%25D9%2588%25D8%25A7%25D9%2587%25D9%2586%25D8%25AF-%25D8%25B4%25D8%25AF

Key takeaway: U.S. and Israeli pressure to secure a Russian-sponsored agreement in Syria is unlikely to result in the removal of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces from Syria.

Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 12 in Moscow, Russia one day after Putin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu reportedly called on Russia to remove Iran’s military presence in Syria in order to prevent additional Israeli strikes against Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s assets.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a similar request during his upcoming meeting with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. Velayati stated on July 13 that Iran’s “presence in Syria will continue” after his meeting with Putin. American and Israeli attempts to pressure Russia into setting conditions for the expulsion of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces are unlikely to succeed, in spite of serious international and domestic calls for Iran to stop its activities in Syria. 

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from July 6 - 13.

AEI Must Reads
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July 13, 2018

Iranian Protests Turn Deadly Again

Mike Saidi discusses the recent deadly protests in Khorramshahr in “Iranian Protests Turn Deadly Again.”

July 13, 2018

Iran’s Hardliners Will Be the First Winners of the Protest Movement

Nicholas Carl explains the implications of the expansion of Iran’s protest scene to include urban merchants in “Iran’s Hardliners Will Be the First Winners of the Protest Movement.”

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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July 13, 2018

Velayati and Netanyahu travel to Moscow to meet with Putin

Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 12 in Moscow, Russia. Velayati relayed messages from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani during his meeting with Putin and discussed regional security, nuclear-related, and economic issues. Velayati also noted that Russia would continue its investments in Iran’s oil economy and that Russian companies could serve as a replacement to European firms leaving the Iranian market following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal on May 8. Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei, Velayati’s Chief of Staff Ali Asghar Fathi, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also participated in the meeting.

Velayati’s meeting follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s June 11 meeting with Putin. An unidentified Israeli source claimed that Netanyahu proposed that Russia work to remove Iran’s military presence in Syria so that Israel “won’t take action against” Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime. Iranian regime officials have reiterated that Iran will not remove its “advisory presence” in Syria as long as the Assad regime requests Iranian assistance. (Jerusalem Post) (E) (Al Alam) (Reuters) (E) (Defa Press) (Alef) (Reuters) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Jerusalem Post
https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Top-adviser-to-Irans-Khamenei-says-meeting-with-Putin-was-very-constructive-562317

2. Al Alam
http://fa.alalam.ir/news/3666256

3. Reuters
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/BIwi5h5v8Ak/top-aide-to-irans-khamenei-says-putin-meeting-very-constructive-tv-idUSKBN1K21CY

4. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/299305/%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%85%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D9%87%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%88-%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3-%D8%AC%D9%85%D9%87%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B3%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%BE%D9%88%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%B4%D8%AF

5. Alef
http://www.alef.ir/news/3970421112.html

6. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-israel-russia/netanyahu-to-putin-remove-iran-from-syria-assad-safe-from-israel-idUSKBN1K12RC

Domestic Politics
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July 13, 2018

Water-related protests in Kazeroun result in one protester death

Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Kazeroun County Commander IRGC Col. Mohammad Ebbadi Nejad announced on July 12 that one protester died after LEF officials and protesters clashed near Kamaraj, Kazeroun County, Fars Province. LEF officials were dispatched to collect unsanctioned water pumps. Several local citizens resisted and allegedly threw rocks toward the LEF in response. LEF forces shot at protesters using pellets and injured several, resulting in the death of one protester. Ebbadi Nejad also noted that several LEF officials were injured after the protests. Videos of the protests have not surfaced on social media. Kazeroun County was the scene of the deadliest protests since the late-December 2017 Protests when regime security forces killed at least three protesters in mid-May 2018. (ISNA)

July 13, 2018

Deadly oil tanker crash in Iranian Kurdistan results in protests and destruction of LEF property

An oil tanker allegedly traveling from Kirkuk, Iraqi Kurdistan to Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province in western Iran crashed with a passenger bus, killing 11 people on July 11. Local Kurdish citizens began to protest following the crash. Unconfirmed social media reports claim that the protests began because the regime initially responded to the scene of the crash with Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) anti-riot police rather than dispatching aid. Videos disseminated on social media confirm that protesters set fire to at least one police vehicle and caused significant damage to two other police vehicles. Other social media reports claimed that the oil tanker was an IRGC tanker transporting oil purchased at a reduced cost from Iraq. Sanandaj County Mayor Mohammad Ebrahim Zarei denied IRGC involvement with the oil tanker. (Instagram) (Instagram) (Instagram) (Instagram) (Radio Farda) (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/97042111613/%DA%A9%D8%B4%D8%AA%D9%87-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%86-%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D9%86%D9%81%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%B1%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86

Citations & Links

1. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BlEfxnVhFHR/?hl=en&taken-by=manotoofficial

2. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BlETgTSnrjH/?taken-by=amadnews.official

3. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BlERJumHRiq/?take

4. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BlEPZp3nj1r/?taken-by=amadnews.official

5. Radio Farda
https://www.radiofarda.com/a/29356874.html

6. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/04/20/1773799/%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%86%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%AC-%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%81-%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D9%86%D9%81%D8%AA%DA%A9%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%B3-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%87%DB%8C%DA%86-%DA%AF%D9%88%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B7%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF

Military and Security
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July 13, 2018

Artesh and IRGC naval commanders discuss cooperation

Artesh Navy Commander RADM Hossein Khanzadi met with IRGC Navy Commander RADM Ali Fadavi on July 8 to discuss cooperation between the Artesh and IRGC navies. Khanzadi and Fadavi may have discussed contingency planning in the event that Iran moves to close the Strait of Hormuz. The meeting comes after senior IRGC officials emphasized support for the closure of the strait if the U.S. successfully persuades global partners to cease Iranian oil imports. (Defa Press)

July 13, 2018

Chinese Defense Ministry delegation pays official visit to Iran

Artesh Ground Forces Brig. Gen. Kiomars Heydari participated in a meeting between Artesh Ground Forces and a visiting Chinese National Defense Ministry military delegation on July 4. The delegation consisted of 16 special operations officers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Ground Forces, Air Force, and Navy. Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) International Affairs Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Ghadir Nezami Pour, and Artesh Ground Forces 65th (NOHED) Airborne Special Forces Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Cyrus Amanollahi all met with the Chinese delegation during its visit. (Tasnim News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency) (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/298863/%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D9%88-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%AF

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/04/12/1767287/%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%AD%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%B3-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/04/12/1767123/%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B6%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%A6%D8%AA-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%86%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C-%D8%B2%D9%85%DB%8C%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4

3. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/298215/%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%BE-%D9%86%D9%88%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%88%DB%8C%DA%98%D9%87-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%DA%86%DB%8C%D9%86

Key takeaway: A senior IRGC official threatened the closure of the Strait of Hormuz if the U.S. successfully persuades global partners to reduce Iranian oil imports.

IRGC Sarallah (Greater Tehran) Operational Base Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Esmaeil Kowsari stated that if Iranian oil exports are blocked then Iran “will not allow the [flow] of oil to other points in the world via the Strait of Hormuz” on July 5. Kowsari’s remarks follow President Hassan Rouhani’s July 3 implicit threat to close the Strait of Hormuz if Iranian oil exports are blocked. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari and IRGC Quds Force Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani also expressed their support for Rouhani’s comments.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from June 30 - July 6.

AEI Must Reads
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July 06, 2018

Iranian Protests Turn Deadly Again

Mike Saidi discusses the recent deadly protests in Khorramshahr in “Iranian Protests Turn Deadly Again.”

July 06, 2018

Iran’s Hardliners Will Be the First Winners of the Protest Movement.

Nicholas Carl explains the implications of the expansion of Iran’s protest scene to include urban merchants in “Iran’s Hardliners Will Be the First Winners of the Protest Movement.”

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Military and Security
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July 06, 2018

IRGC supports closure of Strait of Hormuz in response to potential reduction of Iranian oil imports

IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and IRGC Sarallah (Greater Tehran) Operational Base Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Esmaeil Kowsari all individually expressed support for closing the Strait of Hormuz and preventing the flow of oil through the strait on July 5 if the U.S. persuades global partners to reduce Iranian oil imports. The IRGC officials’ remarks were in response to President Hassan Rouhani's warning that the region will not export its oil if Iran also cannot on July 3 during his official visit to Switzerland. Jafari stated that Iran can show its enemies what it means for no one to use the Strait of Hormuz, suggesting that Iran is prepared to close the Strait of Hormuz if it is unable to export its oil. (Tasnim News Agency) (YJC) (Defa Press)

July 06, 2018

Senior Pakistani and Iranian military officials meet in Tehran

Pakistani Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Bilal Akbar discussed counterrorism efforts and defense cooperation with senior Artesh and IRGC officials during an official visit to Tehran from June 29 - 30. Akbar met with Artesh Commander Maj. Gen. Abdol Rahim Mousavi, IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, and IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour. Akbar likely visited Tehran to discuss Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts against militant groups around the Iran-Pakistan border region. Akbar’s visit to Tehran follows three deadly clashes in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan since June 20. (Defa Press) (Fars News Agency) (Mehr News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/04/14/1769028/%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%84%D8%B4%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B4%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%81%D9%87%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%AA%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%87%D9%85%D9%87-%DB%8C%D8%A7-%D9%87%DB%8C%DA%86-%DA%A9%D8%B3-%DA%86%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%86%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF

2. YJC
https://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/6587080/%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%AE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AC-%D9%86%D9%81%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B7%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%82-%D8%AA%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AF%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%AF%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85

3. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/298245/%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B6%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D8%AE%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%B3-%D8%AC%D9%85%D9%87%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%82%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%88-%D8%B5%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/297659/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%87%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D8%B7%D8%AD-%D8%A8%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A8%DB%8C-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF

2. Fars News Agency
https://www.farsnews.com/news/13970409000460/%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%85-%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%81-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%DB%8C%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C

3. Mehr News Agency
https://www.mehrnews.com/news/4333863/%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%B1%DA%A9-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%DA%AF%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%DA%A9-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86

Nuclear Deal Developments
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July 06, 2018

JCPOA signatories and EU convene to discuss “economic guarantees” to Iran

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif convened with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission members (the EU, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China) for a ministerial-level meeting in Vienna, Austria on July 6. The participants discussed “economic guarantees” that Europe can offer Iran to ensure it will continue to economically benefit from the JCPOA after the U.S. reimposes sanctions against Iran. Zarif stated that the Joint Commission should implement its “economic guarantees” before the U.S. begins to reimplement sanctions lifted under the JCPOA on August 7. President Hassan Rouhani previously expressed dissatisfaction with Europe’s “economic package” during separate phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5. Rouhani stated that Europe’s current proposals do not cover all of Iran’s demands. Rouhani called on Europe to propose a clear and timely plan to compensate Iran for the economic consequences of the forthcoming reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran. (EEAS.eu) (E) (Reuters) (E) (President.ir) (President.ir)

July 06, 2018

Rouhani suggests Iran may reduce cooperation with IAEA.

President Hassan Rouhani suggested that Iran may reduce cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during a meeting with IAEA Director Yukiya Amano on July 4. Rouhani made these remarks during an official visit to Vienna, Austria where he also met with Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. (President.ir) (President.ir) (President.ir)

Citations & Links

1. EEAS.eu
https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/48076/statement-joint-commission-joint-comprehensive-plan-action_en

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-talks/nuclear-deal-talks-set-to-drag-on-as-iran-seeks-more-from-world-powers-idUSKBN1JW0BQ

3. President.ir
http://www.president.ir/fa/105219

4. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/105218

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://www.president.ir/fa/105203

2. President.ir
http://www.president.ir/fa/105168

3. President.ir
http://www.president.ir/fa/105188

Domestic Politics
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July 06, 2018

Khamenei calls for “national strength” against enemy attempts to divide Iran

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for “national strength” against enemy attempts to divide the regime and the Iranian people in a speech during a graduation ceremony of IRGC Imam Hossein University Officer Academy cadets on June 30. Khamenei’s speech came one day after deadly protests in Khorramshahr, Khuzestan Province over water-related grievances on June 29. (Khamenei.ir)

July 06, 2018

Parliament plans to question Karbasian

Parliamentarian Amir Khojasteh stated on July 4 that Parliament will interpellate Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Massoud Karbasian during plenary session on an unspecified date. Khojasteh added that Karbasian was unable to satisfy Parliament during a meeting with the Parliamentary Economic Committee on June 3. Parliament will likely question Karbasian during open session after July 13. Parliamentarians have increased calls for President Hassan Rouhani to “reshuffle” his presidential cabinet’s economic team following merchant-class protests after June 25. Parliament’s interpellation of Karbasian may result in his impeachment. (Fars News Agency) (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Khamenei.ir
http://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=40055

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
https://www.farsnews.com/news/13970413000836/%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%88%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%82%D8%B7%D8%B9%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D8%AF

2. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/13970414000278

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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July 06, 2018

Belgian authorities arrest alleged terrorists plotting attack on MEK conference

Belgian authorities arrested two Belgian nationals “of Iranian origin” on July 2 on charges of plotting to conduct a terrorist attack on a June 30 Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) conference in Paris, France. Authorities seized over a pound of explosives and a detonation device from the couple and later arrested a third conspirator in France. German officials also arrested an Iranian diplomat in Vienna, Austria in connection to the plot. The Iranian Foreign Ministry later rejected accusations that the plot was connected to the regime. (AFP) (E) (Reuters) (E) (BBC Persian) (Twitter) (E) (IRNA)

Citations & Links

1. AFP
https://www.afp.com/en/news/23/belgium-charges-two-over-attack-plot-iran-opposition-france-doc-1708g01

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-attacks-belgium-iran/iran-diplomat-among-six-arrested-over-suspected-plot-against-opposition-meeting-idUSKBN1JS1C3

3. BBC Persian
http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-44685885

4. Twitter
https://twitter.com/JZarif/status/1013813850112692226

5. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82960780

TIMELINE
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