Iran News Round Up

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

Key takeaway: Russia has reportedly requested access to an Iranian air base it used in 2016 to support its bombing missions in Syria.

Unverified sources claimed that Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev requested on April 10 that Iran allow Russian long-range bombers to use the Artesh’s Shahid Nojeh Air Base in Hamedan, Hamedan Province in western Iran. Russian forces previously used Shahid Nojeh Air Base to conduct operations into Syria in August 2016. Both Iranian and Russian officials left open the possibility of future Russian use of the base at the time. An agreement allowing Russia to use Iranian facilities may require the Iranian Parliament’s approval.

Russia’s use of the base in 2016 was of limited significance for Russian military operations in Syria, as Russia maintains its own air base in Syria’s Latakia Governorate. Current Russian operations in Syria may depend more heavily on Iranian basing, however, if future U.S. military action against Russia in Syria threatens Russia’s air base in Syria. President Donald Trump warned that Syrian President Bashar al Assad will pay a “heavy price” for employing chemical weapons against civilians in the Syrian-opposition held town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. The Assad regime-Russia-Iran Coalition has begun relocating its military assets and personnel in advance of an expected U.S.-led operation.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from March 10  - March

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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April 13, 2018

Russia reportedly requests access once again to Iranian base for bombing missions.

Unverified sources claimed that Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev requested on April 10 that Iran allow Russian long-range bombers to use the Artesh’s Shahid Nojeh Air Base in Hamedan, Hamedan Province in western Iran. Lavrentiev allegedly made the request during his meeting with Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani. Russian forces previously used Shahid Nojeh Air Base to conduct operations into Syria in August 2016. (Telegram)

April 13, 2018

Russian special presidential envoy travels to Tehran to discuss situation in Syria.

Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev paid an “unexpected” visit to Tehran to meet with senior Iranian officials on April 10. Lavrentiev met separately with Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani and Foreign Ministry Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari. Shamkhani and Lavrentiev had a “long and confidential” meeting on recent developments in Syria including President Donald Trump’s warning that Syrian President Bashar al Assad will pay a “heavy price” for employing chemical weapons against civilians in the Syrian-opposition held town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. Shamkhani and Lavrentiev also discussed Iran’s response to Israel’s April 8 strike on Iranian forces at the Syrian regime’s T-4 Military Airbase in Homs Governorate, Syria. Ansari discussed political and tactical coordination between Iran and Russia in Syria during his meeting with Lavrentiev. Ansari also dismissed claims of the Syrian government’s role in the chemical weapons attack on Douma and expressed Iran’s opposition to the use of chemical weapons. (ISNA) (IRNA) (IRNA)

April 13, 2018

Velayati calls for enhanced Iranian-Syrian coordination to confront U.S. and Israeli threats.

Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati emphasized the need to enhance coordination and consultations between Iran and Syria in order to confront threats from “the Israeli regime, the U.S., their supporters, and their regional tools” during his visit to Damascus, Syria on April 11. Velayati reiterated Iran’s continued support for the Syrian government during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Velayati also met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Muallem and Syrian Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party Deputy Secretary General Hilal al Hilal. Velayati also visited pro-Syrian regime forces stationed in Eastern Ghouta as well as smuggling tunnels during his visit.  (IRIB News) (Twitter) (IRNA) (IRNA) (IRNA) (IRNA)

Citations & Links

1. Telegram
https://t.me/Military_Press/2348

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/97012107015/%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87-%D9%86%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%88%DB%8C%DA%98%D9%87-%D9%BE%D9%88%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82882963

3. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82882990

Citations & Links

1. IRIB News
http://www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/2100616/%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%82-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%87%D8%B1%DA%AF%D9%88%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85

2. Twitter
https://twitter.com/Presidency_Sy/status/984367529584943104

3. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82884801

4. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82883864

5. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82884074

6. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82884037

Economy
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April 13, 2018

Rouhani administration tackles currency market crisis.

President Hassan Rouhani and a ministerial delegation approved and announced 16 directives to organize and manage Iran’s currency exchange market. Directives include the requirement for imported goods into Iranian Special Trade-Industrial Zones and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) to be registered. First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri announced the new directives to relevant state institutions, including Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the Interior Ministry, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, and the Central Bank of Iran. The directives follow President Hassan Rouhani Government's order to unify Iran’s official and free market exchange rates. The establishment of a fixed-rate for the Iranian Rial comes after significant devaluation of the Iranian Rial. The Iranian Rial has devalued by more than 30 percent since September 2017. (President.ir)

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/103870

Domestic Politics
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April 13, 2018

Ahmadinejad-era ministers and deputies issue statement denouncing Ahmadinejad’s recent actions.

Forty-three of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ministers and deputies noted that Ahmadinejad’s recent “destructive behavior and positions” have affected Iran’s national unity and sense of togetherness in a public statement issued on April 12.They criticized Ahmadinejad and suggested that his disagreeable and critical approach toward certain government officials has opened the door for “foreign enemies” and “rioters” to endanger the regime and damage the Iranian people’s interests. Ahmadinejad has capitalized on recent Iranian anti-regime protests to leverage popular discontent to erode the legitimacy of regime officials and key institutions. Ahmadinejad has called for “immediate and free presidential elections” and the removal of Judiciary head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani in recent letters sent to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Ahmadinejad-era ministers and deputies expressed their dissatisfaction with the current economic state of the country and praised regime strengths , such as strengthening the Axis of Resistance and defending Iranian security. The letter’s signatories also noted the country’s poor economic condition and livelihood issues present amongst the country’s “weak and intermediate strata.” They attributed these issues in large part to the “incorrect approach” of President Hassan Rouhani and his government. (Tasnim News Agency)  

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/01/23/1699184/%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%87-43-%D8%B9%D8%B6%D9%88-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AA-%D9%86%D9%87%D9%85-%D9%88-%D8%AF%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D9%86%DA%98%D8%A7%D8%AF

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