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: Hossein Amir Abdollahian praised Iran for its diplomatic role in ending Operation Decisive Storm. Ahead of the resumption of the Tehran-P5+1 nuclear negotiations, Abbas Araghchi reiterated the Supreme Leader’s redline of immediate removal of sanctions upon implementation of a final deal.
Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian reacted to Saudi Arabia’s announcement of the end of coalition airstrikes in Yemen, stating: “Iran was one of the parties which played an effective and important role in the ceasefire.” Iranian officials have continuously called for immediate cessation of the airstrikes since they began on March 26, and for a political resolution to the crisis. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani slammed Saudi officials’ claims that the airstrikes had fulfilled their purpose, claiming it had the opposite effect, especially in empowering al Houthi political wing Ansar Allah. He stated, “Is your purpose in this operation to kill the Yemeni people or destroy Yemeni infrastructure, or [did] you [want] to dominate the revolutionary people of Yemen in the country’s provinces [?]”
The first round of nuclear negotiations since the political framework agreement on April 2 began in Vienna, Austria; the Iranian negotiating team met with EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid today ahead of the meeting with the P5+1Friday. Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated that one of the main topics of the current round of talks is going to be the process of removing sanctions, and reiterated the Supreme Leader’s longstanding redline of immediate removal of sanctions upon implementation of a final nuclear deal.
President Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, focused on his “approach to eradicate terrorism.” Rouhani emphasized that the “fundamental concept in the fight against terrorism is the cherishing of human life,” focusing on peaceful recognition of the value of the lives of people of all religions.
Rouhani discusses plan to “eradicate terrorism.” President Hassan Rouhani delivered an address at the Asian-African Conference on April 22. He praised multilateralism as a “principle of the Bandung Conference,” stating: “Resorting to militant ways, including economic sanctions against sovereign states, is a manifestation of this trend [“militant unilateralism”].” Rouhani also spoke on the nuclear negotiations: “…the nation of Iran’s stability and resistance, and the speed of growth and development of the indigenous and peaceful nuclear program, finally led the opposite side to the negotiating table…I am pleased to announce that these [nuclear] talks are on the path of constructive engagement, [and] a final agreement could be found.” Rouhani also presented an “approach to eradicate terrorism:”
- “Counter-terrorism must be considered among the programs at the conference and in line with the principles and values of Bandung [Asian-African Conference].”
- “The fundamental concept in the fight against terrorism is the cherishing of human life. We must get to the point where, for world peace and safety’s sake, the lives of those of every religion and faith, nation and race, are equal and identical in the view of all.”
- “The greatest persecution of religions, is to abuse of the name of religion to justifying killing. A world-wide movement from cultural and religious leaders of nations must start to deal with doctrinal justification of killing. Religious fanaticism should be no excuse for political hegemony, especially the beautiful religion of Islam…”
- “Along with seriously confronting extremism and terrorism, we should rise up [to] identify and eradicate the attractive factors of and recruitment within terrorist groups.”
- “Moreover, the channels of financial, political, and intelligence power to terrorism should be prevented…As long as some governments follow the “good terrorism and bad terrorism” approach, streams of international terrorism will not receive an overwhelming global message fighting against this crime; each day, under a different name and with another government’s support, [international terrorist groups] will continue to exist.” Rouhani continued, “The current regrettable situation in Yemen and Syria are obvious examples of such circumstances [varied governments’ support for international terrorist groups]. Historical experience has shown that military intervention is not only is not only not an appropriate policy as a response to the crisis, but also leads to further deterioration.” (President.ir)
Abdollahian: Iran played “important role in the ceasefire.” The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister stated, “Iran was one of the parties which played an effective and important role in the ceasefire, the details of which we will announce at a later time.” Hossein Amir Abdollahian also said, “The collection of our diplomatic efforts and consultations – the details of which we will explain later – led to the occurrence of this event [the ceasefire] and the stop of military operations against Yemen.” Abdollahian also said, “By levying war against Yemen, Saudi Arabia did not only not strengthen its own security, but also marked unfavorable implications for its own and regional security.” Abdollahian stated that Iran will be transferring wounded Yemenis to Tehran for medical assistance. (Fars News Agency)
Larijani discusses Saudi Arabia’s decision to halt strikes in Yemen. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani slammed “warmonger” Saudi Arabia’s 27-day “childish” and “reckless” military intervention in Yemen and claimed that it had the opposite effect Saudi Arabia intended, including empowering al Houthi movement political wing Ansar Allah and degrading the “wise people” of Saudi Arabia’s “Islamic dignity.”
- “What happened in those 27 days in Yemen? More than a thousand people were martyred, thousands were injured and some of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed; and Ansar Allah Revolutionary Forces with the Yemeni Army controlled many of the provinces… Now the Saudi government should ask, which of these three goals was the aim of Operation Decisive Storm and what of all this fuss… in their statement that they reached their goals. ”
- “Is your purpose in this operation to kill the Yemeni people or destroy Yemeni infrastructure [?], or [did] you want to dominate the revolutionary people of Yemen in the country’s provinces [?]. This reckless behavior is not compatible with the identity of an Islamic country.” (Fars News Agency)
Defense Minister Dehghan: French authorities are inhumane. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan responded to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s comments accusing Iran of exacerbating the crisis in Yemen. Dehghan deplored French support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen and said, "France's obvious support for the savage invasion of Yemen demonstrates the Zionist and anti-human nature of the leaders of a regime that has always backed war criminals and authoritarian regimes over the past four decades." The Defense Minister added that France should be ashamed of itself for pretending to be an advocate of human rights. (Defa Press)
- Foreign Ministry addresses nuclear talks and Yemeni crisis. Marzieh Afkham reiterated that the P5+1 negotiations are exclusively related to the nuclear issue. The Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman said the main task in the current round of talks is to draft the text of a final agreement, stressing that the removal of sanctions are the main topic in these negotiations. Afkham also confirmed that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a telephone conversation on April 21. Elsewhere during her press conference, Afkham called for immediate humanitarian aid to Yemen and urged opposing groups in Yemen to resolve their grievances through inclusive dialogue. (YJC)
Fresh round of negotiations after framework agreement begin in Vienna. International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi met with the EU’s Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid in Vienna, Austria in the first round of talks after reaching the framework agreement on April 2. Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad, and other experts from the negotiations team were also present. Before the meeting, the Iranian negotiating team held internal consultations in order to begin writing the text of the final agreement. They will be working on the text in the coming days, as experts, headed by Baeidinejad on the Iranian side, will be simultaneously working on the details. Deputy Foreign Ministers of the remaining P5+1 countries will join the negotiations on Friday. After the three-day talks, Iranian negotiators will return to Tehran on Friday and then accompany Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday to New York to resume negotiations on the sidelines of the NPT Review Conference. Before heading to Vienna, Araghchi stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, with the ultimate objective of a final agreement, participates in negotiations in good faith; if there is a mutual desire to reach the right choice from the opposing side, the result is fully possible; it is in everyone’s interest.” (IRNA)
- Araghchi: sanctions must be removed on first day of agreement. Abbas Araghchi addressed reporters ahead of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations on April 22 in Vienna, Austria. The Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister stressed Iran’s redline of complete and immediate removal of sanctions, stating that they should be removed upon implementation of the nuclear deal. Araghchi said that one of the main topics of this current round of talks is going to be the process of removing sanctions. (IRNA)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Rouhani meets with Prime Minister of Japan. President Hassan Rouhani met with Shinzo Abe at the Asian-African Conference on April 22 to debate “bilateral, regional, and regional issues.” Abe stated: “Tehran-Tokyo relations are progressing well to a new era, and I am happy on this matter.” (Fars News Agency)
Rouhani co-chairs heads of state summit at Asian-African Conference. President Rouhani and President of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina co-chaired the event, which took place on April 22. “Member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation” held a meeting following the summit. (Fars News Agency)
Vice President meets Pakistani Minister of Commerce. Eshagh Jahangiri met with Pakistani Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan today to discuss increasing trade and economic cooperation across various sectors, infrastructure investment, and border security. The Vice President claimed that Iran has no restrictions in economic cooperation with Pakistan and discussed the need to remove barriers to trade. Khan congratulated Iran on its achievements in the nuclear talks and expressed hope for the cancellation of sanctions and economic development. Jahangiri stated:
- On regional security: “Pakistan is our close friend and we are ready to exchange opinions about in all bilateral, regional, and international issues with this country…Unfortunately, the blood of innocent Muslims is shed daily; large countries such as Iran and Pakistan can play a special role in solving problems in the region and the Muslim world… Iran and Pakistan can have a collaborative role in resolving the crisis in Yemen.”
- On nuclear negotiations: “Of course, Israel and the hardliners in America are creating obstacles for this, but with consent, conditions for economic cooperation will be prepared in advance.” (Tasnim News Agency)