Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analysts Mehrdad Moarefian and Marie Donovan, with contributors Farzin Farzad and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 continued a day after the self-imposed deadline and are scheduled to resume on April 2. Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi stated that sanctions and nuclear research and development are the two unresolved issues.

Iran and the P5+1 moved closer to reaching a preliminary agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry extended his stay in Lausanne, Switzerland, and will continue negotiations to reconcile remaining differences. Abbas Araghchi, meanwhile, reiterated the Supreme Leader’s negotiations guidelines regarding the regime’s atomic research and the immediate removal of all economic sanctions. The International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister explicitly stated that any nuclear deal must address these two issues and added: “The type and the entity by which the sanctions have been imposed vary, they must be distinguished, but we insist that in the first step of the agreement all economic, financial, oil and banking sanctions must be lifted.”


Nuclear Talks

  • Unknown source: Iran and the P5+1 are currently drafting a statement. A “diplomat close to the negotiations” told a Russian news outlet the two sides are writing a two-page political statement. The source purportedly stated that the “document will be ready before the end of today [April 1].” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Kerry and Zarif consult immediately following P5+1 meeting. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “began bilateral consultations” following the P5+1 session. (IRNA)
  • Zarif: “chances are good” for a joint statement. Zarif also addressed reporters between the two meetings, stating that “solutions for most issues have been completely determined; however, after tomorrow writing must be started.” Zarif stated that “chances are good,” the two sides would issue a joint statement. (Mashregh News)
  • Araghchi: despite differences, negotiations will continue. Abbas Araghchi stated, “…given that some differences and distances exist on which we must decide, negotiations will continue.” The International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister emphasized that the departure of some of the P5+1 foreign ministers “does not mean…the end of the negotiations...the talks will continue.” Araghchi added:
    • “It is not possible to have a deal without lifting sanctions, all sanctions must be removed.”
    • “The type and the entity by which the sanctions have been imposed vary, they must be distinguished, but we insist that in the first step of the agreement all economic, financial, oil and banking sanctions must be lifted.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Tehran-P5+1 reportedly reconcile technical issues. The foreign ministers of Russia and Iran announced that solutions to the remaining issues, thus, all of the key issues were found in the context of the comprehensive nuclear talks. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that, “Iran and the P5+1 have agreed on key issues and experts are working on the text that Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini will announce in the next few hours.” Meanwhile, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head Ali Akbar Salehi and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Muniz resumed talks at 9 am local time. (ISNA)
  • Baeidinejad: issues relating to sanctions still on the table. Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad said, “active negotiations are underway and efforts continue to find final solutions to the same issues…The suggestions will naturally be edited differently and this process will continue until we reach solutions for the issues.” Baeidinejad added:
    • “Our focus is now on this topic, and it is not assigned a specific time limit and everyone agrees that all efforts should continue until the necessary decision is reached… the issue of sanctions was not resolved yesterday or today. We had long discussions on this topic; however some of the issues relating to sanctions are still under negotiation.” (Mehr News)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Abdollahian stresses open dialogue in Syria and Yemen. Hossein Amir Abdollahian urged regional states to combat terrorism at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, hosted in Kuwait. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister called for an immediate end to logistical support for terrorists in Syria and said, “If Syria's borders are sealed against any infiltration by the terrorists, and if the neighboring countries carry out their role in controlling terrorist activities, and if training and arming of the country's antigovernment rebels are halted, then terrorism in the war-torn country will be ultimately eradicated.” Abdollahian underlined Iran’s support for reconciliation and reform in Syria and Yemen, while reiterating Tehran’s opposition to military intervention. (Fars News Agency)
  • Kowsari congratulates Iraqis on the liberation of Tikrit. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari praised Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani for mobilizing volunteer forces in Iraq with his fatwa. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member attributed the victory over ISIS in Tikrit to the Iraqi people and its leadership. (YJC)
  • Parliament plans to review incendiary remarks made by Turkish President. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari announced that Parliament will review Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming trip to Iran. The NSFP Parliamentary Commission member urged the foreign ministry to rescind its invitation to Erdogan and highlighted the similarities between Erdogan’s statements and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusations against Iran. (Tasnim News Agency)
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