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 the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. 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
Military and Security
- Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officials, including the Head of the Passive Defense Organization IRGC Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali and the Head of the Basij Organization IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, released statements commemorating “Artesh Day.” Head of the Organization for the Publication and Preservation of Artesh Sacred Defense Values Brig. Gen. 2C Ebrahim Golfamam said on the occasion that “Imam Khomeini revived the slogan of the army for the people and the people for the enemy and showed that the Artesh is not separate from the Islamic Revolution.”
- Artesh Navy Forces Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the Fateh submarine will be unveiled this year.
- Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Esmaili announced the successful testing of Poush and Ghader mobile missile launchers, which add “increased mobility and agility” to the country’s defense systems.
- Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced increased use of drones in border areas and warned that the Artesh will not be “surprised against the enemies.”
- Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Sedighi hailed Iran’s nuclear progress as “a cultural and Islamic victory,” adding “[The Supreme Leader] stated that we will not retreat from the achievements that scientists have achieved in the matter of peaceful nuclear energy. Therefore, by the order of the deputy of the Imam of the Age [12th Shi’a Imam Mahdi] the Arak heavy water reactor and other facilities are not closeable whatsoever.”
- Iran’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s recent statements urging Iran’s cooperation for a speedier settlement of nuclear issue are a “surprise” given “the present environment of cooperation with the agency.” Najafi emphasized that Iran has demonstrated its commitment to the Joint Plan of Action agreement and that “the agency has yet to prove any deviations.”
- IRGC weekly ssweekly published an evaluation of the nuclear talks and geostrategic situation of the West; it reads in part:
- “Comprehensive negotiations have passed their first steps, during which the Americans and Westerners have not been not in a favorable position. An assessment and evaluation of their situation in the international system, their obstacles in the region and global and security transformations, internal economic challenges, and intensifying competition of superpowers show that America and the West no longer even have their unlimited options in the past. They have shown a passive behavior regarding important events during the past two years.”
- “One of the reasons for the inclination of America and the West for a low-cost agreement with Iran that gains the most concessions is that they lack new options should the agreements fail or are incapable of remaining hopeful in the practical guarantee of their tools of sanctions or their other tools in the international system.”
- President Hassan Rouhani, addressing the annual Artesh Day ceremonial march in Tehran, praised the Artesh and said “Our armed forces made the enemies aware during the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq war] that this is the ‘land of lions.’ We will not permit any superpowers to implement any conspiracies against this country.” He added “Our neighbors must know that our Artesh and armed forces have supported stability in the entire region. All regional countries that seek to move independently can rely on our armed forces.”
- President Hassan Rouhani announced 99 development plans for the Sistan va Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran, which will be implemented by the end of the Iranian calendar year in March 2015. He added that he was unable to discuss border security issues with the provincial armed forces in his recent trip.
Expediency Discernment Council Secretary and former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaei discussed Resistance Economy, nuclear negotiations and the IRGC’s role in the economy :
- He emphasized that the Resistance Economy policies document is the country’s “most important” document after the country 2025 Vision Document and Article 44 related to privatization.
- “The minimum achievement [of the Joint Plan of Action] is the creation of unity in society, and we would see that America will not cooperate when we reach an agreement and have relations.”
- “In resistance economy we must not have empty capacities and all capabilities must be in the framework of Basij principles. Border areas can be a good arena for the armed forces’ entrance. We have plenty of land and food in these areas where the people and the private sector do not invest, but the armed forces can use it instead of some individuals taking these capitals to the other side of the border.”
IRGC Cultural Deputy and Expediency Discernment Council member Saffar Harrandi said “We, in theory, will not back down a particle from our ideals. It is, however, possible that that we have apparently backed down, which the Supreme Leader interprets as heroic flexibility. But this does not mean that we have backed down a step from our ideals.”
- Harrandi stated that this year’s emphasis on culture is because “the enemy’s strategists and think tanks have reached this conclusion that their main effort must be towards cultural and social issues.” He then relayed his concern that some administration officials consider culture a subordinate issue.
- First Deputy to the President Eshagh Jahangiri relayed the administration’s “insistence” to National Expansion Fund (NEF) board members that NEF money should not be used until the admininistration can forumlate a policy “on using NEF resources." Jahangiri also emphasized that the Supreme Leader’s “resistance economy” policies have “predicted important duties” for the fund, which “must be pursued and executed with precision.”
- Assembly of Experts member and Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda attended the “Resistance Economy in the Path of Inward Progress” conference and said “Being anti-Arrogant [anti-Western] has no difference with heroic flexibility. We must insist on our principles and talk with the world from a position of strength…Ministers who consider themselves obedient to the Supreme Leader must not meet with [former President] Mohammad Khatami, because Khatami’s position regarding [the 2009 post-election] Sedition has yet to be cleared. These meetings are not right.”
- NSFP Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini said that the Foreign Ministry must pursue all avenues in acquiring the monies of Babak Zanjani that are outside of the country. Zanjani was recently arrested on corruption charges; he owes $2 billion to the Oil Ministry.
- National Virtual Space Center Deputy Saeed Mehdioun announced a review of legislation and “determination of the role of executive bodies and [organizing] the necessary cooperation in this arena” this year.
- Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei announced that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will travel to Moscow this upcoming Tuesday to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from countries sharing the Caspian Sea. President Rouhani is also scheduled to visit Russia in September-October.
- Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani announced the formation of the Joint Iran and Belarus Economic Commission following meetings with Belarussian officials. Larijani said that Iran and Belarus share “many propinquities” regarding “the region’s sensitive situation.”
- Parliament Energy Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Amiri Khamkani said recent nuclear negotiations have raised expectations in the country’s energy sector and added “allocating 14.5% of oil and gas sales to oil industry investment can increase oil exports.”
- Deputy Oil Minister in Hydrocarbon Resources Mansour Moazami called 2013-2014 the worse year in terms of Iran’s energy security. He announced that officials expect 1.2 million barrels per day crude oil exports in 2014-2015 and the petrochemical industry suffered $8 billion in losses in the past year due to gas shortages experienced during high times of demand.
Photo of the Day
- Senior Artesh commanders attend “Artesh Day” marches.