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 reiterated the Supreme Leader’s demand for the complete and immediate removal of sanctions. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani underscored his support for the preliminary nuclear agreement, while Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief Major General Hassan Firouzabadi praised the Iranian negotiating team.
President Rouhani reassured senior regime officials that Iran will maintain and operate its nuclear facilities and that sanctions will be removed. Rouhani stated, “Throughout the negotiations we called for the removal of economic, financial, and banking sanctions and there was no word on suspension. Otherwise, there would be no deal.” Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, meanwhile, urged all officials to support the administration and not “sabotage” a potential nuclear deal with the P5+1. The Expediency Discernment Council Chairman added: “Some may ignore the interests of the nation, and because of political and factional purposes, they express discouraging words; but what has been achieved up until now is very honorable, and care should be taken so that the path to reaching a final agreement is not sabotaged.”
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called the framework agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program a “promising” path to potential “economic prosperity.” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi also thanked the negotiating team, especially Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for adhering to the Supreme Leader’s guidelines, while also thanking President Rouhani. Senior officials seem to be united behind the negotiating team and the nuclear framework agreement.
Rouhani reiterates: sanctions must be removed not suspended. President Hassan Rouhani met with senior Iranian officials on April 5 to stress national unity and economic progress. Rouhani also discussed the nuclear framework agreement with the P5+1 and reassured the officials that the deal will remove sanctions. Rouhani stated:
- “The Iranian people and friendly countries are happy with this agreement and the low-minded competitors and enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not satisfied...”
- “In these negotiations we reached an agreement, in particular concerning the operation and details of Natanz and Fordow, and it was accepted that the Arak heavy water reactor would continue to operate.”
- “The world knows that there is no other option but to negotiate and reach an agreement with Iran, because the great Iranian people are courageous and determined to achieve their goals and will never break under pressures or sanctions.”
- “[Both] sides took concrete steps, but writing the final deal will be a very tough task.”
- On sanctions: “Throughout the negotiations we called for the removal of economic, financial, and banking sanctions and there was no word on suspension. Otherwise, there would be no deal.”
- On accusations of Iran’s hegemonic ambitions: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has never invaded a country and it does not intend to; history reflects this fact. However, if anyone wants to violate a people’s rights we will defend our rights.” (President.ir)
Zarif hints at U.S.’ “unreliable” nature during all stages of the negotiations. National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Spokesman Hossein Naghavi said that during Sunday’s NSFP Parliamentary Commission session, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hinted at the U.S.’ “unreliable” nature throughout the nuclear negotiating and said that discrepancies in the joint [EU-Iran] statement was an issue of translation. During his briefing to the NSFP Commission, Zarif stressed that both sides reached a “conceptual” framework agreement and the next step in the coming three months would be to draft a final agreement. Naghavi quoted Zarif:
- “If a deal is reached, it will be referred to the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] which will approve a resolution under Article 41 of Chapter VII that ‘cancels’ all previous [UNSC] resolutions.”
- “After [all parties start] to meet [their] commitments, [simultaneously] with the IAEA verification of [Iran’s] obligations, all EU economic-financial sanctions will be ‘cancelled,’ and secondary U.S. sanctions will be ’ceased,’ [since] the U.S. Congress must approve the cancellation of the [latter], we don’t want it to go to Congress.”
- “In regards to the Additional Protocol, Iran has certainly [complied] with the law.” (Fars News Agency)
Rafsanjani: don’t “sabotage” the road to a nuclear deal. Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani discussed the nuclear talks and the Iranian negotiating team: “Some may ignore the interests of the nation, and because of political and factional purposes, they express discouraging words; but what has been achieved up until now is very honorable, and care should be taken so that the path to reaching a final agreement is not sabotaged.” Rafsanjani added, “the [EDC’s] deadlock-breaking during its founding shows the foresight of the late Imam [Khomeini] as a religious and political leader; you know that before [the Expediency Council’s founding], how much of domestic affairs were delayed because of differences between the Parliament and the Guardian Council!” (YJC)
Araghchi calls recognition of Iran’s enrichment right a victory in negotiations. Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi said the annulment of all six resolutions under Chapter VII of the UN Security Council was the biggest achievement from the nuclear negotiations. Araghchi stressed that after a ten year-long battle, Iran successfully managed to urge the entire UNSC plus Germany to approve a resolution under Chapter VII after the signing of a final deal. Araghchi also stated:
- “The immediate removal of all economic and financial sanctions as a result of a final agreement was made quite clear in the joint [EU and Iran] statement in Lausanne.”
- “All economic and financial sanctions will be removed, and all Security Council resolutions will be cancelled on the first day of the agreement.”
- “Sanctions in various areas, including banking, oil and gas, release of assets, shipping, and transportation, will be cancelled.”
- “All of the details of the obligations of the parties must be binding. “[We will use] the reversible mechanism if the agreement is breached by the West.”
- “Not a single centrifuge will be abolished, but in order to build trust, they will be collected and stored at the Natanz nuclear site.” (IRNA)
Ali Larijani supports nuclear framework agreement. The Parliament Speaker highlighted the progress made in the nuclear negotiations and reiterated Parliament’s full support for the Iranian negotiating team. Ali Larijani pointed to the framework deal with the P5+1 and said, "The Lausanne press release…is a good sign for the settlement of the nuclear issue." Larijani added:
- “I hope in the coming two or three months that the negotiators will materialize the will of the Iranian nation to have nuclear science with special privileges; of course the necessary precautions should be taken in this regard, while the path already paved is promising…" Larijani added:
- “I also hope that these negotiations will remove the problems which have been created by the ill-wishers to pave the way for economic prosperity." (YJC)
- Firouzabadi congratulates Supreme Leader on the success of the nuclear negotiations team. In an address attended by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi thanked the “nuclear negotiations team, President [Rouhani], the brokers, and fieldworkers, and particularly Foreign Minister Zarif” on the success of the negotiations. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief added, “…with the continuing guidance of the Supreme Leader, the next stage of the negotiations is on a healthy path and in the interests of the state and people will continue.” (Sepah News)
- Rouhani briefed on latest nuclear developments. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Head Ali Akbar Salehi briefed President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet on the nuclear negotiations. Rouhani thanked the Iranian negotiating team and urged them to continue negotiating in a manner that safeguards national interests. (President.ir)
- Soleimani and Jafari attend funeral ceremony for Brig. Gen. Hejazi’s father. A funeral ceremony was held for the father of Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Deputy for Industrial Preparation, Support, and Research Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hejazi in Tehran today. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, IRGC Qods Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi, former Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, and Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian attended the ceremony. (Tasnim News Agency)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Interior Minister cites willingness to work with Pakistan on Yemen. In a ceremony commemorating Pakistan’s National Day attended by representatives of various countries in Tehran, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli highlighted Iran’s willingness to pursue agreements in fighting terrorism as well as human and drug trafficking in the region. The Interior Minister added, “We would like to cooperate with Pakistan on solutions for regional issues, particularly working together on issues concerning Yemen.” (Mehr News)