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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton with contributors Shayan Enferadi and Ali Javaheri. 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 warned government officials not to trust the U.S. after alleged shortcomings in the nuclear deal’s implementation.
Khamenei criticized America’s “misconduct” in implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) during a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet on August 24. Khamenei warned, “This experience teaches us that one cannot trust the promises of any administration in America.” As in his past criticisms of the nuclear deal, Khamenei fell short of calling for Iran to abandon the accord, however.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, denied that Russia is using any Iranian base other than Shahid Nojeh Air Base during an interview on August 24. Russia used Shahid Nojeh Air Base to launch airstrikes in Syria from August 16 to 18. When asked if Iran has also allowed Russia to use a base in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan province, Boroujerdi responded, “No. Nojeh was chosen because it is in the direction of Russia’s flights towards Iraq and Syria.”
Iranian media announced the funerals for at least four fighters in the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade. They were each reported killed in Syria and buried in cities across Iran.
- Marie Donovan analyzes how Russia’s use of an Iranian air base could improve Iran’s deterrence capabilities against the U.S. in “Russian Basing in Iran is about More than ISIS.”
- Christopher Harmer explains why international attention must turn to Moscow’s delivery of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran in “The Strategic Impact of the S-300 in Iran."
Supreme Leader: The nuclear deal proved we cannot trust any U.S. administration.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei outlined several priorities for President Hassan Rouhani’s administration during a meeting with Rouhani and his cabinet on August 24. Khamenei claimed that the U.S. has shown “misconduct” in its implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He stated, “This experience teaches us that one cannot trust the promises of any administration in America.” Khamenei also called upon the Rouhani administration to focus on how to “serve the nation” rather than preparing for the May 2017 presidential elections. Electoral laws forbid presidential candidates from campaigning more than a week ahead of election day. (Mehr News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency)
- IRGC warns, detains 450 social media administrators. The IRGC warned, detained, or summoned 450 administrators of social media applications, according to a report from Gerdab, a website affiliated with the IRGC’s cyber wing. The report claimed that the administrators were “active in areas of immorality, modeling, and insulting religious beliefs.” It also identified them as users of Telegram, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Iranian security forces previously arrestedseveral models in mid-May for posting photos without headscarves on Instagram, several days after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called cyberspace a “battlefield.” (Gerdab)
Regional Developments & Diplomacy
Boroujerdi: Russia does not have permission to use any base other than Shahid Nojeh.Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, discussed Russia’s use of Iranian military bases in an interview on August 24. Boroujerdi denied that Russia is using a base other than Shahid Nojeh Air Base, which Russiaused to launch airstrikes in Syria from August 16 to 18. When asked if Iran has allowed Russia to use a base in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan province, Boroujerdi responded, “No. Nojeh was chosen because it is in the direction of Russia’s flights towards Iraq and Syria.” Boroujerdi also reiterated his previous remarks that Iran’s permission for Russia to use the base falls within the framework of a “four-way decision” made among Iran, Russia, Syria, and Iraq last year to facilitate military cooperation. (IRNA) (E) (Tasnim News Agency)
Russian ambassador to Iran: Moscow will continue using Iranian air base “if necessary.”Levan Dzhagaryan discussed Russia’s use of Shahid Nojeh Air Base in an interview with conservative Iranian news outlet Tasnim News Agency on August 24. Tasnim reported that the Russian ambassador to Tehran “made it clear that such cooperation between Tehran and Moscow ‘may repeat in the future’ if necessary, with the approval of the two sides’ high-ranking officials.” Dzhagaryan also “stressed that Russia fully respects the Iranian Constitution,” whichforbids the establishment of foreign military bases in the country. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- Former deputy foreign minister: Iran and Turkey have made “huge” progress in reaching agreement on Assad. Former Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed “optimism” that Turkey is beginning to change its foreign policy in Syria after the July 15 coup attempt. He stated that Iran and Turkey have made “huge” progress in reaching an agreement on the future of Syrian President Bashar al Assad but acknowledged that Iran “need[s] time” to assess whether Ankara has fundamentally altered its foreign policy. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- Former oil minister criticizes IPC. Rostam Ghasemi, who served as oil minister under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 2011 to 2013, stated that the new terms of the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) may put Iranian interests “in danger” if it does not undergo additional revisions. Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri told Iran’s oil and finance ministries to begin using the new IPC on August 22, a day after Parliament held a closed session to review the contract model. Hardliners have accused the IPC, which regulates Iran’s oil industry investment contracts, for being too favorable to foreigners and failing to ensure sufficient technology transfer to Iranian companies. (Tasnim News Agency) (Mehr News Agency) (Kayhan) (E)
Casualties in Iraq & Syria
Fatimiyoun Brigade fighters buried. Iranian media announced the funerals for at least four fighters in the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade who were killed in Syria.
- Mohammad Ali Mohammadi was buried in Aran and Bidgol County, Isfahan province on August 24. He was reported as the first Fatimiyoun casualty from Aran and Bidgol. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Ahmad Soltani and Mohammad Bani Mohammadi will be buried in Shiraz, Fars province on August 25. (ISNA)
- Zia Hosseini was buried in Baghestan, Tehran province on August 22. (Ghatreh)