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, Marie Donovan, and Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin, Caitlin Pendleton, and Jordan Olmstead. 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: Head of the Passive Defense Organization IRGC Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali introduced a comprehensive command and control system for monitoring biological, chemical, radiation, and cyber threats.
IRGC Brigadier General Jalali announced that the Passive Defense Organization will open a command and control system in two months. The command and control system will have four specialized headquarters for “defending against biological, chemical, radiation, and cyber threats.”
The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi claimed that Parliament is not required to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. In response, the Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani called for Parliament to pass a “fact sheet” in order to prevent misinterpretation of the agreement.
Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei stated that the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) is reviewing the JCPOA and should conclude its review “in the next couple of sessions.”
The Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute has created
several pages on www.irantracker.org to help clarify the hyper complex language of sanctions relief under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and to provide additional information about some of the entities that will be freed of international restrictions.
AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis analyzes statements from Iran’s senior leadership addressing the ballistic missile provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in his most recent blog post, "Iran has no qualm about exploiting the nuclear deal's weaknesses."
Military and Security
Jalali unveils new command and control system. IRGC Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali announced that a planned “command and control system for monitoring threats” will “be completed in two months.” The Head of the Passive Defense Organization said that under this system four “specialized headquarters” [gharargah takhasasi] will be tasked with “defending against biological, chemical, radiation, and cyber threats." Jalali also stated:
- On the command and control system: “The creation of a comprehensive passive defense plan against unconventional weapons such as nuclear, chemical, and biological [weapons] were part of the duties that were issued to the Passive Defense Organization and its components in Article 5 in the announcement of the general policies of the Supreme Leader.”
- On the headquarters: “The responsibilities which have been planned for the headquarters [are] planning, policy-making, leading, protecting infrastructure, and creating preparations for confronting threats and related incidents.” Jalali added that other responsibilities include “monitoring, tracking, and identifying [threats], improving the awareness of the population towards the threats, implementing exercises and drills, guiding public opinion, rescue and treatment, and the planning of strategic operations both at the national and provincial level…”
- On the role of each of the headquarters: “The Biological Defense Headquarters is really a national headquarters which counters biological threats and biological warfare with the national resources of the country.”
- “The Chemical Defense Headquarters includes countering chemical threats in addition to protecting infrastructure.”
- “The Radiation Defense Headquarters is both on the national and provincial level and assumes the role of managing the population in the event of nuclear or chemical tests.”
- “The Cyber Defense Headquarters includes countering attacks and threats from aggressive countries in the cyber realm against the infrastructure and cyber systems of the country.”
On cyber threats: “The most fundamental technology that is expanding in the world is cyber technology; cyber technology creates various areas of threats, in addition to being an opportunity…Many of our [cyber] attacks, including Stuxnet, are considered a type of cyber warfare… we therefore have these four ‘new threats’ [biological, chemical, nuclear, and cyber].” (Tasnim News Agency) http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/825436
LEF commander reaffirms Iran’s border security. Brig. Gen. 2C Mohammad Taghi Assar reassured reporters that Iran’s borders are fully secure and under tight control. The Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Manpower Deputy Commander added, “Iran even controls borders of certain neighboring states that are incapable of handling the job…” Taghi Assar underlined the importance of close relations between the LEF and the people for strengthening security. (Entekhab) http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/220124
- LEF Commander: We will aid Brazil with security measures during 2016 Olympic Games. During a meeting with Brazilian Ambassador to Tehran Santiago Irazabal Mourao, LEF Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Ashtari stated that Iran is prepared to aid “Brazil to ensure security during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.” Ashtari stated, “In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s police participated in (the security measures adopted for) the games with its high capacity and in cooperation with the Interpol… which was a good example of police cooperation between the two countries.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/825652
Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal
Araghchi: Parliament does not need to approve the JCPOA. During an interview with the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Abbas Araghchi discussed the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the Parliament’s review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs stated:
- “Although according to Article 77 of the Constitution all agreements and international treaties must be approved by Parliament, the JCPOA is a joint plan of action, which the two sides are voluntarily implementing.”
- “In our opinion, the JCPOA does not require Parliament’s resolution.”
- “Politically, the Foreign Ministry believes that for the protection of national interests, it is not advisable for Parliament to approve the JCPOA, because none of the P5+1 countries approved it in their own parliaments...”
- “It is also mentioned in the Constitution that if an issue is placed within the scope of the powers of the SNSC, this issue is outside of the powers of Parliament; in the last 12 years, our country’s nuclear issue has been in the power of the SNSC.” (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=90753
Rezaei: The SNSC is reviewing the nuclear agreement. Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei stated that the SNSC is reviewing the JCPOA and should conclude its investigation “in the next few [SNSC] sessions.” (Rezaei.ir) http://rezaee.ir/fa/news/2145/%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B...
Assoudi: The Basij should talk to the people about the nuclear deal. IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Mohammad Ali Assoudi urged the Iranian media to show self-restraint until the public understands the nuclear deal. The Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Cultural and Propaganda Deputy stated that “the topic of today is [the nuclear agreement] and until we discuss [it] with those who could not read the text and give our opinions, journalists should exercise self-restraint.” Assoudi claimed that the Supreme Leader opposes media outlets “painting a dark picture” of the agreement, and encouraged the Basij to “talk to the people [about the agreement] until they know what things we have given and what things we have taken.” (Basij Press) http://basijpress.ir/fa/news-details/53440/
Mohammad Javad Larijani: Parliament should issue a “fact sheet” on the nuclear deal. Mohammad Javad Larijani discussed the role of the Parliament in reviewing the nuclear deal. The Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council stated that the “Parliament will either ‘allow’ the government to implement the JPCOA or it will deny the government this right.” Mohammad Javad Larijani added, “When the Parliament ‘allows’ the government to implement the nuclear deal, there will be several important issues in the JCPOA; [but] in issuing a ‘fact sheet,’ Parliament can prevent misinterpretation by the enemy and also force the government to follow this fact sheet.” (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/219308
Parliamentarians write letter to Rouhani calling for missile tests. Thirty one parliamentarians wrote a letter to President Hassan Rouhani in which they called for missile tests and rejected any “restrictions on ballistic missiles in the UNSC resolution .” (ISNA) http://www.isna.ir/fa/news/94051910927/%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF%DB...
Ahmadinejad "has no plans for the election." Reporters asked former government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham whether former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would run in the upcoming presidential election. Elham responded that Ahmadinejad “has no plans for the elections." Elham added that Ahmadinejad is more concerned with expanding the discourse of the Islamic Revolution and the ideas of Imam Khomeini, which goes “beyond the elections.” (Tabnak) http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/523447/%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF%DB%8C%E2%80...
- Fazli: Around 4,000 candidates expected to run in the 2016 elections. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced, "There are signs and indications that some 4,000 people plan to declare their candidacy in the elections." The Interior Minister stated that the upcoming parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections in early 2016 would be "a scene of hot rivalries." (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940519000927
Alavi: Our responsibility is “in the service of culture.” Hojjat ol Eslam Mahmoud Alavi emphasized that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) sees its responsibility as “being in the service of culture.” The MOIS Head made his remarks during the Second Convention of Provincial Administrators of Culture and Islamic Guidance. He stated, “When we want to grow a culture of spiritual servitude and faith, we must first establish security and peace.” Alavi added:
- “Government is an instrument for culture. Culture must be regarded as a key element in the structure of the Islamic Republic… We must create security for culture so that cultural elements feel peace and security. In this peace, cultural forces have creativity and the ability to innovate.”
- “War is not limited to a hot or cold war. It is also a hard and soft war. Deceit and deception are not limited to hot war. A media war and a psychological war are also types of wars. Defamation is also war.” (ISNA) http://www.isna.ir/fa/news/94052011416/%D9%88%D8%B8%DB%8C%D9%81%D9%87-%D...
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Tehran dismisses Riyadh’s stance on the nuclear deal. Marzieh Afkham responded to Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir’s criticism of the JCPOA in a joint press conference with her German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier on August 10. The Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman stated: “When the senior representative of a regional government is infuriated to such an extent by the political settlement of issues in the region and at the international level, it leaves no doubt that he [the Saudi minister] has chosen a life of problems and crisis.” (MFA) http://mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&page...
Zarif set to arrive in Beirut. Mohammad Javad Zarif is scheduled to meet with Lebanese officials in Beirut on August 11. During the two day visit, the Foreign Minister is expected to discuss the nuclear deal with his Lebanese counterparts as well as demonstrate Iran’s support in growing bilateral relations in regional and international developments. (YJC) http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5287997/%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%A8%D9%87-...
Zarif postpones trip to Turkey. Foreign Minister Zarif postponed a planned visit to Turkey on August 11. Zarif was scheduled to meet with Turkish officials to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria. According to a Foreign Ministry official the trip will take place in the near future. (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=90790
Zarif: “Democracy cannot be established with military force.” Foreign Minister Zarif censured U.S. intervention in the Middle East in an article published by Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet on August 11. In the piece, Zarif blamed the emergence of ISIS and other terrorist groups on the U.S. invasion of Iraq and stressed: "Extremism and violence threaten not only the Middle East but also the entire world, and have turned into a problem with no boundaries.” (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/451867/%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%A...
- Zarif: “Democracy cannot be established with military force.” Foreign Minister Zarif censured U.S. intervention in the Middle East in an article published by Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet on August 11. In the piece, Zarif blamed the emergence of ISIS and other terrorist groups on the U.S. invasion of Iraq and stressed: "Extremism and violence threaten not only the Middle East but also the entire world, and have turned into a problem with no boundaries.” (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/451867/%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%A...
Palestinian President Abbas scheduled to visit Iran. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to visit Tehran in the coming months. Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), reportedly told Iranian officials about the planned visit during a recent meeting in Tehran. (Shia News) http://www.shia-news.com/fa/news/96285/%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%88%D8%AF-%D...
- Supreme Leader’s representative in Lebanon visits Hezbollah fighters in Syria. The Head of Lebanese Hezbollah’s Sharia Board Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek visited with the “resistance forces in the Qalamoun region” of Syria and spoke with Hezbollah fighters. Yazbek is also the Supreme Leader’s official representative in Lebanon. (Basij Press) http://basijpress.ir/fa/news-details/53390/
- Jalalpour: Iran can transfer Qatar’s gas to Europe. Mohsen Jalalpour said Iran can take gas from Qatar, transfer it through Turkey, and pump it into Europe if a deal is reached with Qatar and Turkey. The Chamber of Commerce President added that the prospect of sanctions relief has renewed talks to bring Iranian gas to Europe as well. (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/11/424236/Iran-Says-Can-Transit-Qa...