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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton with contributors Ken Hawrey and Alice Naghshineh. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors.

Key takeaway: The Guardian Council confirmed the first round of results from the February 26 parliamentary elections.

The Guardian Council, the body charged with overseeing Iran’s elections, confirmed the first round of parliamentary election results in all 207 electoral districts on April 13. Runoff elections scheduled for April 29 will determine almost a quarter of seats in Parliament. The runoff elections will therefore be critical in determining the new Parliament’s composition after the first round resulted in a roughly even split among the reformist-moderate bloc, independents, and conservatives.

Iranian media announced the deaths of two Iranians in Syria as well as the recent burial of 29 Afghan fighters in Tehran. The Afghan fighters were reportedly killed during pro-regime operations “11 months ago” in Syria.

AEI Must-Reads

  • Frederick W. Kagan discusses current and requested Iranian and Russian assets in the Middle East in “Iran’s Plans to Transform the Middle East Military Balance.
  • Frederick W. Kagan and Vice Admiral John Miller (USN, Ret.) examine how Iran’s military shopping list could force the West to alter how it operates in the Persian Gulf in “Iran is muscling up. We should push back.
  • Alice Naghshineh and Ken Hawrey have published a translation of an article from Iranian newspaper Shargh that provides insights into the Artesh’s evolving rhetoric towards the Syrian conflict and the organization of the Artesh 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade, elements of which have deployed to the conflict. Read the translation here.

Domestic Politics

  • Guardian Council confirms parliamentary election results. The Guardian Council announced its approval of the first round of the parliamentary election results in all of the 207 electoral districts on April 13. Runoff elections for 69 of 290 parliamentary seats will be held on April 29. (Mehr News Agency) (IRNA)
  • Aref denies knowledge of a Rouhani-Rafsanjani-Khatami agreement to make him parliament speaker. Senior reformist politician and incoming parliamentarian Mohammad Reza Aref stated that he has “no information” about an agreement among President Hassan Rouhani and former presidents Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami for Aref to become parliament speaker. Aref also stated that reformists’ strategy for the second round of parliamentary elections, scheduled for April 29, is to encourage a high voter turnout similar to the first round. (Tasnim News Agency)

Military and Security

  • Larijani praises conclusion of “Great Prophet” drills. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani commended the completion of the IRGC’s “Great Prophet” drills, stating that the drills “represent a message of unity and security.” Larijani added that the deployment of IRGC Ground Forces to Sistan and Baluchistan province for the “Great Prophet” drills symbolizes the importance of the region for the Islamic Republic. The parliament speaker added that “today the enemy is trying to sow discord between the Shia and Sunnis in Iraq” and emphasized the importance of “preserving unity” among the two sects. (Defa Press) (Tasnim News Agency)


  • Kayhan: Why does the administration now oppose cutting subsidies? Conservative newspaper Kayhan published an article critical of the Rouhani administration’s opposition to Parliament’s vote to reduce subsidies. Kayhan questioned whether Rouhani, who previously voiced his support for cutbacks, might be worried that the cutback in subsidies will hurt his supporters in the second round of parliamentary elections. (Kayhan)

Casualties in Iraq and Syria

  • Two Iranians killed in Syria.
    • Omar Bahmani was a Basiji from Tehran province. (Mashregh News)
    • Ebrahim Ashriye was from Qom province. No further information on his rank or unit affiliation was provided. (
  • Twenty-nine Afghan fighters buried in Tehran. Iranian news outlets reported that 29 Afghan fighters were buried in Tehran recently. They were reportedly killed during pro-regime operations “11 months ago” in Syria and buried on the battlefield. (Fars News Agency
  • Two Fatimiyoun Brigade fighters killed in Syria.
    • Amir Hossein Heydari and Ismail Hosseini were killed recently during pro-regime operations in Syria. Hosseini was buried in Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan province. (Tasnim News Agency) (Pars Telex
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