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: President Hassan Rouhani rebuked Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen and called for an immediate ceasefire, while Tehran expressed optimism about a potential ceasefire in Yemen.

President Rouhani continued the rhetorical war against Riyadh; he ascribed its ongoing military campaign in Yemen as a product of “mental imbalance” from failed hegemonic strategies. Rouhani said the intervention in Yemen was prompted by Riyadh’s “failed dreams” in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, adding: “We hope everyone will come to their senses…to fulfil the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proposal that includes an immediate ceasefire, Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue, and the formation of a government that represents all ethnic and tribal groups.” Rouhani’s statements are part of a concerted effort by the regime to insinuate that a Saudi-led coalition is a nuisance for Pakistan and strategic liability for the Gulf States.  Rouhani’s lambasting of Saudi leadership reinforces Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s criticism of Riyadh in his April 9 speech. Khamenei suggested that the Saudis no longer have composure or tact due to the “Inexperienced youngsters” in the Saudi court.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian alluded to an impending ceasefire in Yemen on April 21. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister stated: "We are optimistic that we will see different Yemeni groups sit at the negotiating table in the coming hours and make efforts to strengthen the political process in the country.”


Official Statements

  • Rouhani: intervention in Yemen is not compatible with international law. President Hassan Rouhani held a press conference prior to departing for Indonesia to attend the 60th Asian African Conference in Jakarta. Rouhani said that he will hold a series of bilateral meetings with a number of heads of state, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Rouhani expressed Iran’s interest in broadening economic relations with Asian and African states and said, “This year [Iran] is pursuing economic growth and prosperity and in this regard we need to have better relations with other countries…” Rouhani also discussed the ongoing crisis in Yemen and the P5+1 nuclear negotiations:
    • “The Islamic Republic will continue the negotiations with serious determination and hopes that the opposite side demonstrates the same will as well, so that we can reach a general and detailed agreement within the next couple of months.”
    • “[A nuclear] agreement would create a climate for better cooperation in the region, Asia, and the world; I believe the agreement will be beneficial to everyone.”
    • On Yemen: “Unfortunately we are witnessing the intervention of some irresponsible countries in other countries, that is not only illegal according to international law but it is not compatible with Islamic law.”
    • “Destroying the infrastructure of an impoverished country and killing children, women and men makes no sense…”
    • “Now some of these countries [implying Saudi Arabia] had wishes that they acted on in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and North Africa, but have failed to fulfill their dreams; now these failures have accumulated, causing emotional and mental imbalance, which has been directed and turned into bombs that are being dropped on [innocent] civilians in another country [Yemen].”
    • “We hope everyone will come to their senses…to fulfil the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proposal that includes an immediate ceasefire, Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue, and the formation of a government that represents all ethnic and tribal groups.” (
  • Rezaei foresees years of regional crises. Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei discussed ongoing regional issues and said that the Middle East could remain unstable for years to come. The former IRGC commander stressed the need for operational readiness and stated: “One of the reasons I asked the Supreme Leader to permit me to [return to the IRGC to] is to pass on my experiences to future generations.” Rezaei added that the next decade will be climactic because of aggressors like the Saudis. He reiterated Iran’s opposition to foreign military intervention.  Rezaei said that Iran is a “pioneer of peace and security” in the region and that its influence provides bargaining power for Tehran in diplomatic interactions. (YJC)
  • Pourdastan: no other solution in Yemen except compromise and dialogue. Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said, “The independent country of Yemen has been targeted by al Qaeda terrorists and its [al Qaeda’s] supporting countries because of its [Yemen’s] [hopes] of liberation, peace…”  Pourdastan noted that Iran believes that the “strategies of some countries, who consider themselves representatives of world peace, are wrong and greedy; not only are [their policies] not contributing to world stability and security, but every day they are fueling a new war in the region.” (Defa Press)
  • Ravanchi: “I don’t have a Twitter page.” Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi denied reports claiming that he has a Twitter account. According to Fars News, a twitter account was created for “Majid Takht Ravanchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs and nuclear negotiating team member.” (Tabnak)
  • AFGS discusses role and history of IRGC. Ahead of the April 22 anniversary of the Supreme Council of the Revolution’s ratification of the statute of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters released a statement on the role and the history of the IRGC:  
    • “The existing philosophy of the IRGC, which is defined in the capacity-building of ensuring sectors for the… defense of the gains of the [Islamic] Revolution and the national power in the preservation of independence and territorial integrity of the country and dealing with the threats facing the state and the nation, has enjoyed this revolutionary character from various and diverse mission and roles.”
    • “The history of the Islamic Revolution and the historical memory of the nation of Iran frankly and boldly testify that if not for the epic-making and vulnerability-risking of this revolutionary… institution in the spheres of defense of the Islamic Revolution, and the un-doing of intrigue and conspiracies of the chains of the enemies of Iran’s system and country had not existed, perhaps in the recent…years, another fate [would have been] determined for the country; Imam Khomeini’s famous saying continues to illuminate Iranian society: “if there were no IRGC, there would also be no country.” (Sepah News)



Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Abdollahian expresses optimism about an imminent ceasefire in Yemen. Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with his Swiss and Syrian counterparts in Tehran to discuss the ongoing crisis in Yemen. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister stated: "We are optimistic that we will see different Yemeni groups sit at the negotiating table in the coming hours and make efforts to strengthen the political process in the country.” (YJC)
  • Zarif meets with Syrian deputy foreign minister in Tehran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad to discuss mutual regional and international concerns. Al Mekdad thanked Iran for its support of the Syrian government and reported on the latest developments in the fight against terrorists, particularly at the Yarmouk Camp for refugees, and discussed his recent talks with representatives of the Syrian opposition in Moscow. Al Mekdad also expressed his country’s support of the joint statement from the nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, calling the achievement a “benefit for all developing countries.” Al Mekdad also praised Iran’s four-point plan to “end the crisis in Yemen,” which “strongly condemns the brutal attacks on innocent people.” Al Mekdad announced Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem would be present at the next meeting of ministers of member states of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran.  (IRNA)
  • Rouhani arrives in Jakarta. President Hassan Rouhani arrived in the Indonesian capital on April 21. Rouhani was invited by his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo to participate in the Asian African Conference in Jakarta. (
  • Dehghan meets with Azeri counterpart. Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan met with his Azeri counterpart Yavar Jamalov in Baku, Azerbaijan. The two purportedly discussed “development of defense cooperation between the two countries. Dehghan stated, “We want Azerbaijan [to be] an independent, advanced state with sovereignty; this trend is apparent in the country.” Dehghan also stated, “Diversification of mutual cooperation will provide…reinforcement for…greater confidence and grounds for additional, higher cooperation on bilateral, regional, and international issues.”  (Sepah News)



Nuclear Talks

  • Iranian negotiating team to arrive in Vienna April 22 ahead of P5+1 talks on April 24.The Iranian negotiating team is scheduled to meet with EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid on Wednesday and Thursday. The P5+1 and Iran will hold talks on Friday “at the deputy foreign minister level.” (Mehr News)



Domestic Politics

  • Parliament forms council to oversee implementation of ‘resistance economy.' The Parliament “agreed that the Council for Coordination and Pursuit of the Implementation of the Resistance Economy would be established, consisting of the first vice president, the deputy speaker of the Parliament, and the first deputy of the Judiciary.” The decision followed Parliament’s deliberations on the “implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution, in the case of the plan for how to pursue the implementation of the general policies of the resistance economy.” (Mashregh News)



Military and Security

  • Iranian advisor killed in Syria. Hadi Kajbaf was responsible for training and organizing some of the volunteer forces in Syria. Kajbaf was killed by ISIS militants in Basri al Hariri in Dera’a Governorate. (ABNA
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