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: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that the West wanted to reach a nuclear deal with Iran in order to “infiltrate” it. He indicated that the nuclear deal “is still unsettled” as neither the Iranian Parliament nor the U.S. Congress “has adopted it yet.”
Supreme Leader Khamenei said that the West pursued a nuclear deal “to find a way to infiltrate the Islamic Republic.” He stressed that Iran “will not allow America to make economic, political, or cultural inroads into the country.” Khamenei said that the nuclear deal “is still unsettled given the fact that neither Iran nor the U.S. parliaments have adopted it yet.”
Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati called the demand for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step aside “irrational." Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meanwhile, met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. Zarif stated that Russia and Iran will be able to cooperate on regional issues, because they have a “shared vision.”
Managing Editor of conservative news outlet Kayhan Hossein Shariatmadari claimed that a close analysis of Supreme Leader Khamenei’s earlier comments on the nuclear deal suggests that Khamenei “is not in any way satisfied with the nuclear deal.” In response, Cultural Media Advisor to the Commander of the IRGC Hamid Reza Moghaddam Far criticized Shariatmadari for claiming to his “audience that the Supreme Leader thinks like him…”
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 explains how Iran is finding the regional landscape no more favorable after the nuclear deal as it attempts to open diplomatic options to resolve the major Middle East crises in his most recent blog post, "Iran finds the Middle East no friendlier after the nuclear deal."
Khamenei: West wanted a nuclear deal in order to “infiltrate” Iran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed Ahl al Bayt World Assembly members and the Islamic Radio and Television Union about the West meddling in Middle Eastern affairs on August 17 in Tehran. Khamenei claimed that the U.S. is trying to break apart Iraq and Syria; he also underlined the importance of Islamic unity to combat Western dominance in the region. The Supreme Leader warned about Washington’s plot to exploit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to infiltrate Iran, stating, “The foundation of this plot is to ‘make a difference’ and influence.’” Khamenei added:
- On the JCPOA: “The opposite side [the West] in the nuclear negotiations was seeking to clinch an agreement with Iran to find a way to infiltrate the Islamic Republic.”
- “We [Iran] will firmly block their way. We will not allow America to make economic, political or cultural inroads into the country. We will counter such infiltration with all our power.” The Supreme Leader said that the nuclear deal “is still unsettled given the fact that neither Iran nor the U.S. parliaments have adopted it yet.”
- “In the past 35 years the Islamic Republic has always been the target of threats, sanctions…and various political conspiracies… [Iran] is accustomed to the pressure.”
- On the Islamic Awakening: “Enemy conspiracies in… West Asia intensified…after the Islamic Awakening…began a few years ago in North Africa.”
- “When Egypt’s and Tunisia’s arrogant governments were overthrown by Islamic slogans in [the Arab Spring], the Americans and Zionists decided to use this formula to destroy the resistance states and therefore went on to Syria.”
- “Their [the Westerners’] impression is that they were able to suppress the Islamic Awakening movement, but this movement cannot be suppressed…”
- On regional crises: “Sowing discord between [Muslim] states, which is by far more dangerous than divisions among governments…is on the agenda of global arrogance.”
- “The creation of takfiri groups [like ISIS], which the Americans have admitted to having a hand in, is the most important tool to trigger religious divide among the nations, and unfortunately certain naive Muslims have fallen for this conspiracy…”
- “What is happening today in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and [elsewhere] is a political war, not a war among religious groups.”
- “America has no interest in human morality…and in the guise of beautiful words and smiles they commit crimes and murder.”
- On regional relations: “Iran has friendly relations with most of its neighbors; however, some countries also disagree with us and are stubborn…”
- “We are not united with arrogance [the West], but with our Muslim brothers we have friendship.”
- “We support resistance in Palestine and the region, and take all possible means to support anyone who fights Israel and is against the Zionist regime.” (Khamenei.ir) http://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=30506
Rouhani: The 1979 Revolution catalyzed the recent spread of Islam. At the sixth session of the Ahl al Bayt World Assembly, President Hassan Rouhani discussed the importance of unity in the Islamic community, the place of religion in the modern world, and the 1979 Revolution’s role in the spread of Islamic ideas.
- On unity in the Islamic world: “The enemies want to create division and schism in our region; contrary to their claims, we do not have a Shia crescent, but rather…we believe that all Muslims are unified in the face of infidelity and hypocrisy; the late [Supreme Leader] Imam [Ruhollah] Khomeini taught us how the followers of Ahl al Bayt and the Shia and the Sunni are brotherly together; today, the Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] also relies on the principle of unity, and has taught us that we must be united with one another.”
- “Iran’s scientific, spiritual, and political authority and power is not and will not be [used] against any of the neighboring countries; we are seeking to create peace and stability in the region by using our authority.”
- “Today, our wisdom to the whole world is the word ’sawa’ [Arabic for “equality”]; this word is emphasized in the Quran; in today’s world, it means peace, peaceful coexistence, unity, and brotherhood of all Muslims…”
- On religion in the modern world: “Yesterday, the West and the East claimed that the era of religion is over; but the Islamic Revolution actually makes clear that today is the era of religion…”
- “Islam is a religion that clearly announces that there must not only be defense of the mosque but…if defense and resistance and flying the flag of jihad is necessary, churches, synagogues, mosques, all temples and places where the name of God is mentioned, must be defended.”
- On the impact of the 1979 Revolution: “The resistance of the great nation of Afghanistan against the occupation of their country…the great movement of revival of Islamic thought in the Middle East and the spread of Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus, the presence of the Lebanese people on the resistance scene against the Zionists, the Islamic movement in Turkey and North Africa, were all waves which began with the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran led by the late dear Imam [Ruhollah Khomeini]; this wave still continues.”
- “The wave of the Islamic Revolution announces to the world that Islam’s borders are not the borders of blood, race, or extremism, but rather the borders of faith, belief, and ethics; so that this pattern does not know geographical boundaries, and can have and will have devoted followers in the depths of Europe, America, and parts of Asia and Africa.”
- “The Islamic Revolution showed that religion is not only for worship, rituals, and a program of life separate from the political and management world; it announced to the world that religion is the biggest social, cultural, and political power which has the ability to manage and administer society, and can simultaneously fight tyranny, arrogance, and colonialism; without relying on the East against the West… and only by relying on the faith of the nation and the ummah [community], [religion] can resist and win against all of the powers of the East and the West.” (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88711
Rezaei: “France, the UK and America” did not treat Iran well in negotiations. Mohsen Rezaei highlighted China’s constructive role during the P5+1 nuclear talks, claiming that China “financed more than a billion dollars” to Iran. The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary praised China for helping Iran and emphasized that Beijing “registered good records during our county’s time under sanctions… nations never forget the countries that come to its aid in difficult circumstances.” Rezaei criticized France, England, and America for their hostile approach to Iran during the nuclear negotiations, and suggested that if it were not for President Barack Obama, “We could have said that the [least] cooperative country was America.” (Rezaei.ir) http://rezaee.ir/fa/news/2163/%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%A...
Larijani: The policy of defying oppression will continue. During a meeting with senior judiciary officials, Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani stated that the West, and particularly the U.S., has a history of intervening in Iran. The Judiciary Head added that "some Muslim countries are still in illusion," but the teachings of Imam Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have helped identify the “Great Satan” of America as “the true evil.” Larijani stated that the U.S. will try to "modify and change" Iran following the nuclear agreement, but Larijani rejected this idea and urged all officials "to act within the constitution" to prevent the U.S. from intervening further. Larijani added that Iran will continue "to defend the oppressed in the world," and admitted to a current failure by not providing "much materially" to Yemen. (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=91264
Boroujerdi rejects General Odierno’s comments on Iraq. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi responded to retired U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno's comments on a possible partition of Iraq, stating: "The U.S. has created ISIS based on a calculated schedule in order to realize the Great Middle East plan and disintegrate the region. That's why the Americans are bringing up the issue of Iraq's disintegration." The National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary (NSFP) Commission Chairman also reflected on Turkey, calling it a "strategic mistake" for Ankara to push for a no-fly zone over Syria. He added that such a policy will "lead to instability in the region." (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/17/425077/Iranian-lawmaker-Alaeddi...
- Velayati: The people of the region will not allow their countries to disintegrate. Ali Akbar Velayati called the demand for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step aside “irrational.” The Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader said Assad and the Syrian nation have withstood “the avarice of America” and “reactionary regional countries” for four years without allowing the “axis of resistance” to be broken. (Velayati.ir) http://velayati.ir/fa/news/1534/%D9%85%D9%84%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D...
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Zarif meets with Lavrov in Moscow. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed expanding Iran-Russia relations during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. Zarif stated that the removal of sanctions will allow the two countries to expand cooperation in areas including transportation, oil, gas, and peaceful nuclear energy. Zarif added that Russia and Iran will be able to cooperate on regional issues because they have a “shared vision.” (MFA) http://mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&page...
Velayati meets with former Iraqi Prime Minister in Iran. Ali Akbar Velayati and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki discussed recent developments in Iraq on August 17 in Tehran. The Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader censured U.S. plots to disintegrate Iraq to gain “influence in the region,” adding that America “will not succeed." Velayati reiterated that Iran opposes such policies, warning that it “will stand against them and will support its friends and allies." (YJC) (Fars News Agency) (E)http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5293704/%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940526001178
- Maliki meets with First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki met with First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri on August 16. The two discussed regional developments, including the nuclear agreement and the fight against ISIS. Jahangiri stated, “I am confident that the Iraqi government and people will overcome current problems and will pass such tough time with success.” Jahangiri added that expanding cooperation between Baghdad and Tehran could help bring a resolution to the Syrian crisis. (IRNA) (E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81721778/
Maliki: Saudi Arabia is the source of regional problems. Nouri al Maliki called Saudi Arabia the source of all sedition in Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain as well as “the cause of all the suffering of Muslims.” He added that Iraq used Iran’s Basij forces as a model when forming the al Hashd al Shaabi [People’s Mobilization] forces. (ABNA) http://fa.abna24.com/service/sixth-conference/archive/2015/08/16/691576/...
Abdollahian: Iran “will continue its current strategy in Syria.” Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Syrian Information Minister Omran al Zoubi in Tehran on August 15. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs stated, “Supporting neighbors, friends and allies is the top priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy.” He also stated, “The Islamic Republic will continue its current strategy in Syria and will not change its strategy of fighting extremism and supporting Syria.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Press TV) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/830638http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/16/425025/Iran-Syria-AmirAbdullahia...
Three Iranian trucks attacked in Turkey. Mohammad Javad Atrchian reported that unknown gunmen attacked three Iranian trucks in Turkey along the Iranian-Turkish border. Two trucks were attacked on August 16 and another was attacked “a few nights ago.” None of the drivers were injured, but the attackers torched the vehicles. The senior official at the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development reported that Iranian vehicles have been attacked nine times in Turkey in the past month. (Fars News Agency) http://www.farsnews.com/13940526000299
- Senior Hamas officials to visit Tehran and Cairo. A delegation of senior Hamas officials will visit Tehran and Cairo to discuss ongoing negotiations over a ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip with Iranian and Egyptian officials. (Tabnak) http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/524963/%D9%87%DB%8C%D8%A6%D8%AA-%D8%AD%D9%8...
Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Talks
Araghchi denies connection between JCPOA and halt in missile tests. Abbas Araghchi said that Iran’s pause in missile tests “has nothing to do” with the JCPOA, and that the missile tests “might have been stopped for some other good reasons.” The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs added that the arms embargo in UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 is not binding and that Iran can "skip its implementation." Araghchi stated that lifting the arms embargo has never been part of Iran’s red lines. (MFA) (E) http://www.mfa.gov.ir/index.aspx?siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&fkeyid=&sitei...
Ravanchi: "There is no separate agreement behind the curtain." During a conference with the Article 90 Parliamentary Commission, Majid Takht Ravanchi discussed the nuclear deal, stating that the agreement "is the result of a collective work" and will require "a comprehensive look."
- The Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs added that there is a historical stigma attached to UNSC resolutions dating back to the Iran-Iraq War. Ravanchi said that Iran has "accepted the restrictions on the right of enrichment, but has not allowed anyone to comment."
- On centrifuges: "Our production...and research and development on centrifuges IR-2, IR-4, IR-6, and IR-8...will continue." He added that the IR-2 and IR-4 centrifuge types "are reliable enough" to sustain Iran with their enrichment amounts.
On sanctions: He added that once sanctions are lifted, anything related to Iran's economy and industry, including "financial, banking, transportation, and insurance," will be lifted at that time. He also added that the day the EU and the U.S. lift the sanctions is when the centrifuges at Natanz will begin "to slow down." (ABNA) http://fa.abna24.com/service/iran/archive/2015/08/17/691637/story.html
Kamalvandi: Documents have been handed over to the IAEA. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi claimed that Iran has provided the IAEA with information regarding its past nuclear activity according to the agreed-upon timetable. (IRNA)(E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81720386/
201 parliamentarians request JCPOA be submitted to Parliament “as a bill.” Two hundred and one parliamentarians parliamentarians issued a statement stating, “The text of the JCPOA must be sent to Parliament in the form of a bill and it is necessary that it be presented to the Parliament as fast as possible.” The statement added that “according to Articles 77 and 125 of the Constitution, review of the JCPOA is among the legal duties of the Parliament and the representatives of our nation; [Articles 77 and 125] requires the presentation of all information and cooperation with all the relevant government institutions.” (Mehr News) http://www.mehrnews.com/news/2884505/%DB%B2%DB%B0%DB%B1-%D9%86%D9%85%D8%...
Shariatmadari claims Khamenei is not satisfied with the nuclear deal. Hossein Shariatmadari wrote an op-ed analyzing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recentcomments on the nuclear agreement. The Managing Editor of the conservative news outletKayhan claimed that a close analysis of Khamenei’s words suggests that the Supreme Leader is “not in any way satisfied with the nuclear deal.” Shariatmadari added that Khamenei appears to be “fully aware of the insufficiency and the disastrous consequences of the agreement.” (Kayhan) http://kayhan.ir/fa/news/52516
IRGC cultural advisor responds to Shariatmadari’s comments. Hamid Reza Moghaddam Far issued a statement criticizing Shariatmadari’s claim that the Supreme Leader is not “satisfied” with the nuclear deal. The Cultural Media Advisor to the Commander of the IRGC wrote, “How can my revolutionary brother [Shariatmadari] say to his audience that the Supreme Leader thinks like him; he considers things like him; he understands things like him?!” Moghaddam Far added that “is it not better… to state your own position rather than to speak from the mouth of the Supreme Leader?” (Tasnim News Agency) http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/830790
Larijani: Entering negotiations was a strategic decision by the Islamic system as a whole. Ali Larijani stated that “the decision to enter nuclear negotiations was a strategic decision by the [Islamic] system as a whole that was not [only] related to this administration, but rather the end of the previous administration [as well].” The Parliament Speaker added that while Westerners “repeatedly insisted on negotiations with Iran” during the previous administration, the Iranian government decided to enter nuclear negotiations once the Democrats came to power since “they believed that [they] had to use the opportunity of negotiations since they knew that sanctions would not have enduring power in Iran,” whereas others, including the Republicans, “believe the agreement should not have happened and avow more sanctions on Iran.” Larijani also stated:
- “This agreement does not mean that the Islamic Republic and other countries are following the same path. Rather, we are following our own path and will always defend the oppressed.”
- On the economy: “One of the problems in various sectors of the economy is this: we have not been paying enough attention to domestic production, and to solve this issue we need to reach a national consensus.” (Entekhab) http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/221124
Military and Security
Firouzabadi: “Missile activity will face no obstacles.” Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi stated, “As has been planned in the country, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile activity will face no obstacles.” The Armed Forces General Staff Chief added that Iran only carries out missile tests after receiving the approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/51336
Jazayeri rejects allegations of IRGC activity in northeastern Syria. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri stated, “The Islamic Republic, as it has announced several times, does not see a need for the physical presence of its fighters in this region and believes that the people and the government of Syria, the people, army, and fighters of Iraq, and on the other side, the nation and fighters of Yemen, are themselves able to defend their regions that have been under attack.” The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy added that missile tests will be conducted in the “appropriate time.” (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/51389
Defense Minister: We have no need for atomic or unconventional weapons. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan stated that Iran’s doctrine is based on “defense and deterrence” rather than aggression. The Defense Minister said Iran considers a single principle during all of its planning, and that principle is that “defense is based on people. Therefore, we do not need nuclear or unconventional weapons.” (Sepah News) http://sepahnews.com/shownews.Aspx?ID=378dfdeb-2358-481d-8a51-6b7651499b4c
Saidi: The IRGC’s focus is protecting the values of the 1979 Revolution. Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Saidi stated, "The IRGC is known as the guard of the [Islamic] Revolution and its achievements, and is tasked with countering any threats against the Revolution.” The Supreme Leader's Representative to the IRGC also warned against the enemy's soft war tactics that "have targeted the Iranian people's 'hearts and minds.'” (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/830290
Rouhani meets with Coordination Committee on Resistance Economy. President Hassan Rouhani stressed the need to support export-oriented production in the post-sanctions era with the Coordination Committee on Resistance Economy. It was decided during the meeting that “the issuing of bank guarantees for the export of technical and engineering services will be facilitated,” and the National Development Fund will allocate export credits for target markets. (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88732
Naghdi: We should not change our foreign policy to attract investment. IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi claimed that those who advocate changing Iran’s foreign policy to attract foreign investment are “completely mistaken.” The Basij Organization Commander argued that proponents of greater foreign investment underestimate the “internal capacity and capability” of the Iranian economy, and that dependence on foreign assistance will result in a “beggar economy.” Naghdi asserted that the Iranian economy has sufficient manpower, science, and technology, and warned that foreign capital will only bring about more “shopping centers and huge shopping malls.” (Basij) http://basij.ir/news/69092-%D8%A8%D9%87%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%82%D...
Vaezi: Internet expanding to more villages. At the first national conference on rural development, Mahmoud Vaezi stated that last year 8,000 villages were connected to the Internet and by the end of this year a total of 25,000 villages will have Internet access. The Minister of Communications and Information Technology stated that the Internet is not just for browsing, but will "connect rural areas" and be the basis "for the development of education, health, and e-health in these areas." (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=91266&Video_ID=3249
INCC: $60 million of carpets have been exported this year. Iranian National Carpet Center (INCC) Head Hamid Kargar stated that hand-woven carpets have been exported to 80 countries and have totaled $60 million since the beginning of the Iranian calendar year (March 21). (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/16/425015/iran-carpet-Iranian-Nati...
- Iran and Germany to sign energy agreements soon. Houshang Falahatian stated that there have been talks with German energy companies to build power plants in Iran. The Deputy Energy Minister added, "Negotiations for [the] transfer of technology and know-how for building renewable energy generation units, especially solar and wind plants, are advancing at a satisfactory pace and we expect agreements to be signed soon." (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/17/425096/iran-germany-power-plant...