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: President Hassan Rouhani stated that the P5+1’s position on sanctions relief weakened during the nuclear negotiations. Senior officials marked the anniversary of the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
President Rouhani indicated that the P5+1 weakened its position on the schedule of sanctions relief, calling the “complete and simultaneous removal of economic sanctions” under the JCPOA a “great achievement.” Rouhani also said that Iran’s “main goal” in the negotiations focused on retaining nuclear facilities and “protecting enrichment and the right to research and development,” and that it “achieved these goals well.”
On the August 19 anniversary of the 1953 coup overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stressed that the Supreme Leader’s recent warnings of American attempts to “infiltrate” Iran by means of the nuclear deal should be considered “realistic and accurate.” IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami also discussed the anniversary of the coup, claiming that Washington pursued the nuclear negotiations because its “military power against Iran lost its credibility.”
Islamic Resistance Front of Iran Executive Deputy Mahmoud Eftekhari stated that Mohsen Rezaei’s involvement in the Islamic Resistance Front of Iran party overlapped with his return to the IRGC. The Islamic Resistance Front of Iran party was founded “at the proposal of Mohsen Rezaei.” The 1982 Statue of the Guards prohibits IRGC members from engaging in political activity.
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 highlights the Iranian leadership’s ongoing fears of the United States’ “soft war,” or use of covert activities and corrupting Western cultural and political ideas to subvert the Iranian regime, in the post-deal environment in his most recent blog post, “Iran braces for ‘soft war’ post nuclear deal.”
Rouhani: Iran did not compromise on its principles or goals in the negotiations. President Hassan Rouhani commented on the nuclear deal during a meeting with provincial and government officials. Rouhani stated, “Our main goal [in the negotiations] was keeping facilities for nuclear activity and protecting enrichment and the right to research and development…we managed to achieve these goals well.” Rouhani also stated:
- On the nuclear negotiations: “If the collective behavior of the Iranian government had not shown the necessary green light [for the negotiations] to the world, solving the nuclear issue would have been impossible…This is very important; the collective behavior of the Iranian government signaled to the world that we were determined to engage constructively and the world understood this sign.”
- “The world opposed every other country that pursued enrichment and these countries were finally forced to stop this activity: only the Islamic Republic of Iran was able to achieve its main goals in this fight.”
- On sanction relief: “This goal [of sanction relief] was also achieved and established… considering that they [the P5+1] insisted that first there will be suspension and then the gradual removal of the sanctions, the complete and simultaneous removal of the economic sanctions for us is a great achievement.”
- On regional diplomacy: “Our approach is constructive engagement and attempts to expand peace and [help] others avoid oppression…. Of course, we are a country that has proven that it will never accept force, oppression, or aggression.”
- On foreign investment: “We must not allow complicated bureaucracy to prevent the flow of investment and technology to the country…ministries that intend to attract investment and technology must remove the barriers.”
- On the “resistance economy”: “Certainly the post sanction situation for achieving the resistance economy is better than before… we must provide the appropriate social and political space.”
- On government priorities: “In the post-sanction period, in addition to providing security, which is the first priority and is mainly undertaken by the country’s ministries and border provinces, there are two other important tasks. The first is moving the economy and attracting investment and technology; the second is holding transparent, accurate, and healthy elections…just as the world looked at us respectfully after the result of the nuclear negotiations, we must hold elections that the world might respect and praise.”
- “No party, no faction or legal group must feel disappointed in our country…the Parliament in the future will not belong to one party or faction.”
On the Guardian Council: “The Guardian Council is an observer, not an executive… supervision and execution must not be mixed up; we must pay attention to the Constitution and practice it completely.” (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88768
Naghdi: There is no need for “IRGC special forces in northeast Syria.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi stated that “there is no need for the presence of IRGC special forces in northeast Syria, and [Iranian] aid in this country is only advisory” at a conference with officials from the Basij Organization and Ministry of Education. The Basij Organization Commander added that the West is “always looking to accuse a person of being outside his country [but] these accusations are baseless.” Naghdi also stated:
- On Western influence in Iran: “The country of Iran...stands in full support for implementing the commands [of the Supreme Leader] and will prevent American presence [in Iran].”
- “Now they have issued a resolution…they [the P5+1] are day dreaming of victory; in their documents they write that they will gain influence inside of Iran. They hope that something will happen in Iran in 2025. However, our enemies should know that God willing, the thing that will happen in 2025 is this: that an Olympics for Islamic Countries will be held in Jerusalem.”(Mehr News) (Basij) http://www.mehrnews.com/news/2887344/%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AD%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%88%DB%8C%DA%98%D9%87-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA http://basij.ir/news/69151-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%87-%D9%86%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B0-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%82%D8%AF%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF.html?t=%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%AF%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B4-%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%A8%D9%87
Ghalibaf: The JCPOA will not change our policy against the arrogant powers. Mayor of Tehran and former presidential candidate Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf discussed the nuclear deal during a conference with Ahl al Bayt World Assembly members. Ghalibaf claimed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, will not change Iran’s policy against the “arrogant powers,” noting that the “foundational and strategic issues are different than issues concerning economic and tactical decision making.” Ghalibaf warned, “One must not distort the heart and essence of the [Islamic] Revolution” and added, “It is naïve to believe that ‘Death to America’ is not relevant to the principle of the [Islamic] Revolution.” (Fars News Agency) http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13940527001399
Haddad Adel: “The JCPOA will not cause a schism or become a path for American influence.” Hardliner Parliamentarian Gholam Ali Haddad Adel discussed the Green Movement as well as connections between the 1953 coup and the JCPOA:
- On the 1953 coup: Haddad Adel discussed the anniversary of the CIA-orchestrated coup that overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah in 1953. Haddad Adel said that “blood ran from the eyes of the Iranian nation instead of tears,” during the Shah’s 26-year rule after the coup. He also stated, “Prisons were full of political prisoners who were tortured to death, mainly at the hands of brutal SAVAK [the Shah’s secret police] agents… America saw all of this, America knew all of this, and they were satisfied and supported the Shah.” He added that the Islamic Revolution “cut off the hands” of the U.S., Israel, and the U.K. in Iran.
- On the JCPOA: “Now, the Americans once again imagine having influence in Iran using the pretext of nuclear negotiations, as the Supreme Leader said in his speech two days ago. They plot to create schisms in Iran, just as they did between the supporters of Ayatollah Kashani and Mossadegh before the  coup.”
- “America must also know that the children of Khomeini and Khamenei will not allow American influence in Iran again. Iran will maintain its unity with obedience to the Supreme Leader. The JCPOA will not cause a schism or become a path for American influence. The Parliament will carry out its duties with unity in its decision-making on the basis of national interests and by forming the special commission to review the JCPOA.”
On the Green Movement: Haddad Adel condemned an anonymous letter that had been sent from “seditious activists” to U.S. politicians on November 30, 2009 during the Green Movement protests. He called the letter “shameful,” adding that the writers said to the U.S., “‘If you want to make the Green Movement victorious, put economic sanctions on Iran, since they want to build an atomic bomb. Do it until the people support us and stand against the Islamic Republic’… They explicitly said to the Americans that the Green Movement supports the complete separation of religion from politics in Iran.” Haddad Adel added that Iranians must be vigilant that the supporters of the Green Movement do not gain positions of power today. (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/455331/%D9%85%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%A8-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B4%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A2%D8%AA%D8%B4%E2%80%8C%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%87-88-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%A8-%D9%88-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A6%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%86%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%AC%D8%A8-%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B0-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D9%86%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D8%AF
Larijani: U.S. infiltration into Iran is "realistic." Ali Larijani stated, "We have seen how the U.S. adopted different schemes to extend its influence in the country, we have experienced its actions against the will of our nation." The Parliament Speaker added that the recent warnings by the Supreme Leader "should be deemed as a realistic and accurate one and people should be sensitive about it." Larijani stressed that the warnings stem from the U.S. involvement in the 1953 coup and acknowledged that "we cannot be forgetful about...this historical background." (IRNA) (E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81725446/
Saidi: Government must ensure proper observance of veiling and dress. Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Saidi stated, “The Islamic Revolutionary Guards must first guard themselves, and then guard the [Islamic] Revolution.” The Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC continued, “To guard one’s self means respecting religious compliance while [respecting] common limits in society.” He also stated, “Just as the Islamic government is in charge of the people’s health and nutrition, it has a duty to uphold observance with respect to dress and veiling as well.” (ISNA) http://www.isna.ir/fa/news/94052816361/%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%87-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA-%D9%88-%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%88%D8%B8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%AD%DA%A9%D9%88%D9%85%D8%AA
Salami: U.S. military “has lost its credibility” against Iran. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami addressed a gathering on August 19 in the city of Mashhad. The IRGC Deputy Commander referred to the 1953 CIA-led coup against Prime Minister Mossadegh and censured U.S. foreign policy. Salami touted Iran’s regional influence, claiming that the U.S. military option against Iran is no longer credible. Salami also stated:
- On the P5+1 nuclear talks: Salami said Washington pursued negotiations, because “America’s military power against Iran lost its credibility…”
- On regional developments: “[Iran] is not extremely powerful, but its influence is recognized, such as Israel’s four defeats against Lebanese Hezbollah.”
- “We see the strategic quandaries of American in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and the developments in Yemen and Lebanon.”
- On Turkey: “If Turkey attacks the PKK or does not take military action against them, in either case, this is to our benefit. Turkey wanted to become a regional power against us: however, its influence does not extend more than ten kilometers into Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood is also finished.”(Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/51517
Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal
Parliament elects members of committee on nuclear deal. Parliament held an open session to elect members of a special committee to review the JCPOA. Parliament elected 15 lawmakers to the committee; the most notable members are Deputy Parliament Speaker Hojjat ol Eslam Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi Fard, National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi, along with NSFP Commission members Mohammad Esmail Kowsari and Hossein Naghavi Hosseini. (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=91450
Boroujerdi: The JCPOA has its weaknesses and strengths. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that the JCPOA will be carefully scrutinized by the 15-member special committee. The NSFP Commission Chairman claimed that a significant number of lawmakers believe that the nuclear deal should be approved in Parliament. Boroujerdi indicated that there are weaknesses and strengths to the JCPOA, and stressed that the deal should be submitted to Parliament as a bill. He added that lawmakers should express their views concerning the deal to the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC). (Alef) http://alef.ir/vdchiwniz23n66d.tft2.html?289821
202 parliamentarians issue statement on confronting U.S. Two hundred and two members of Parliament issued a statement on August 19 echoing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for Iran to block any American influence in the country. The statement also called America the epitome of arrogance and reiterated Iran’s commitment to confronting “arrogance and hegemony.” (Mehr News) (E) http://en.mehrnews.com/news/109355/202-MPs-insist-on-confrontation-with-US
Khatami: Assembly of Experts will not be involved with “the issue of reviewing the JCPOA.” Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami stated that the Assembly of Experts will offer “information” on the deal, but will not be involved in the process of reviewing the JCPOA. The Assembly of Experts member stated that the next session of the Assembly of Experts will be "held soon." (Tabnak) http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/525440/%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%AF
Araghchi: The JCPOA blocked Western bullying. Abbas Araghchi stated that the nuclear negotiations sought to end the bullying of Western nations that want to deprive Iran of its “nuclear rights.” The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs added that the talks also aimed to prevent Western “infiltration” of Iran, and that these goals “will continue unchanged.” (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/19/425378/Iranian-deputy-foreign-minister-Abbas-Araqchi-nuclear-agreement-
University students write open letter to Shariatmadari. A group of university students said that the Supreme Leader’s red lines for the nuclear talks had been violated in an open letter to Hossein Shariatmadari. They called for the managing editor of the conservative news outlet Kayhan to help preserve the red lines “in these seditious times.” (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/220011
Mohsen Rezaei reportedly maintained involvement in political party after rejoining IRGC. Islamic Resistance Front of Iran Executive Deputy Mahmoud Eftekhari stated, “The end of Mohsen Rezaei’s collaboration with the Resistance Front coincided with [his] presence in the IRGC.” According to the news outlet Young Journalist Club, the Islamic Resistance Front of Iran is a party founded in late 2010-early 2011 “at the proposal of Mohsen Rezaei.” (YJC) http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5296061/%D9%BE%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%87%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B3%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%B6%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AC%D8%A8%D9%87%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D9%87%D9%85%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%88%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/4010351/%D8%AC%D8%A8%D9%87%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%D9%8A-%DA%86%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%88-%DA%86%DA%AF%D9%88%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%AA%D8%B4%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%B4%D8%AF
- Salehi attends breaking ground ceremony for second “nuclear high school.” Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head Ali Akbar Salehi attended the breaking ground ceremony for the new “atomic energy school” in the city of Mashhad. It “is the second atomic energy school in the country” after the Atomic Energy High School of Iran in Tehran. (ISNA) http://www.isna.ir/fa/news/94052715728/%DA%A9%D9%84%D9%86%DA%AF-%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B1%DA%98%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D8%B1%D9%82-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Zarif and Iraqi official discuss mutual support against ISIS. Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) Ammar al Hakim in Tehran. The Foreign Minister stated that the development of relations with Baghdad has "always been a priority for Tehran." He added that Iran "supports the Iraqi government's campaign against ISIS which aims to undermine Iraq's security and unity." Hakim stated that the nuclear agreement has "opened a new page" in the region as a result of Iran's leadership. (ABNA) http://fa.abna24.com/service/iran/archive/2015/08/19/691736/story.html
Rafsanjani discusses the growing violence in Turkey. Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with Turkish Ambassador to Iran Riza Hakan Tekin to discuss regional developments amid the growing violence in Turkey. In response to the recent attacks on "trucks and gas lines," the Expediency Discernment Council Chairman stated that "it is evident that hands are at work to undermine the bilateral relations [with Turkey].” Rafsanjani stated that the "extreme media" is arousing emotions, but noted that holding official dialogue is the correct way to handle the violent acts as both countries share "old and deep-rooted relations." In addition, Rafsanjani added that the roles of Iran and Turkey in providing "regional stability and continuity is very effective," and both countries can have a positive impact in "Palestine, Iraq and Syria..." In response to Tekin's position of working closer with Saudi Arabia, Rafsanjani stated that Iran “repeatedly said it wanted to expand relations" with Muslim and neighboring countries. (Tasnim News Agency) http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/833776
Larijani meets with Syrian official. Ali Larijani met with Syrian Minister of Health Nizar Yazigi in Tehran on August 19. The Parliament Speaker stated that “Iran considers it a duty to help its brothers and sisters in Syria…in the current moment the condition in Syria is unique and I hope that soon we can witness a victory of the government and people of Syria against the terrorist groups.” Larijani added, “Iran has always supported the nation and government of Syria during the length of this current crisis and in the future we will not hesitate [to support Syria.]” (ILNA) http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/298614-%D8%AA%D8%A7%DA%A9%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%85-%DA%A9%D9%85%DA%A9-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%82
- Tehran denies Palestinian President’s request to visit Iran. Hossein Sheikh ol Eslam dismissed reports claiming that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will take a trip to Iran in the coming months. The Parliament Speaker’s Advisor for International Affairs stated that Tehran denied the Palestinian President’s request to visit Iran more than once. Sheikh ol Eslam reiterated Iran’s support for Palestinian resistance groups and stated, “no one can destroy the friendship and strategic relations between Iran and Hamas.” (Entekhab) http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/221529
Military and Security
- Armed Forces General Staff issues message for “Defense Industry Day.” The Armed Forces General Staff praised Iran’s domestic defense industry in a statement issued for “Defense Industry Day.” The message claimed that Iran’s defense industry is “the source of the honor and power of the nation and supports the strength of the armed forces.” The statement added that “the great achievements and capabilities of the defense industry in the sea, land, and air have placed Iran as the undisputed supreme power in the regional power balance.” (Sepah News) http://sepahnews.com/shownews.Aspx?ID=1a87bf9e-68bb-4ef8-a19a-3a459ebfd2d5