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 Analyst Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
(E) = Article in English
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member Brig. Gen. Esmail Kowsari discussed recent Syrian events:
- “The West’s claim regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons was to prevent the continuation of the successful measures of this country’s army and popular forces.”
- “With recent successes, Syria does not need to use chemical weapons and ammunition, and this claim from the West is merely psychological warfare and is a trick that was introduced together with the United Nations.”
- “America does not [have the courage] nor the capability to attack Syria. Although, perhaps, it may be able to begin a war in a limited fashion, and this possibility is also unlikely, it will certainly not be the decision-maker of the war’s end.”
- “Any measures based on attacking Syria will bring the occupying Zionist regime and Western-supported Arab countries to their deaths more quickly, so they do not commit such acts easily.”
- Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “It is impossible for the Americans to prepare themselves in a span of a few days for military operations in Syria. They began their work several months ago and this measure was designed earlier, just like the 33-day War [2006 Israel-Hezbollah War].”
- Presidential Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said, “Economic resistance has been the way of confronting the enemy’s economic sanctions, and I, myself, am a small soldier for confronting the enemy’s economic invasion.” He added that the administration will not increase fuel prices, contrary to the budget law that mandated a 38% increase.
- Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari threatened American and Israeli forces in case of a strike on Syria:
- “If a war begins in Syria, this country will turn into a graveyard for America and Israeli forces.”
- “America seeks war to preserve the Zionist regime, but before any action it [should] know that in case of invading Syria, Tel Aviv and the Zionist regime [are finished].”
- Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi discussed expectations from the President as well as developments in Syria:
- “The expectation from the President, who wears the Prophet’s symbol on his head and wears the cloth of religion, is for him to be different than others who held this office, and to place service to the people on his agenda within the framework of holy religious law and the velayat-e faghih.”
- “Today, the Americans are intent on attacking Syria over the excuse of the existence of chemical weapons. Of course, everyone remembers that they marched to Afghanistan for a vague excuse and attacked Iraq for the same excuse of chemical weapons.”
- “Today, the American government and officials have become so abject that they are trapped in Israel’s rotten rope, whose entrance is in their hands but exiting it is not in their authority.”
- “If an attack takes place, the Syrians will tolerate it and will ultimately rub America’s nose to the ground.”
- Shiraz Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Asadollah Imani said, “The result of an attack by America and its allies on Syria will be the breaking and destruction of their glass castle that is the usurper Israel…. The West may begin the war, but without a doubt it will not affect its end and will not understand it.”
- Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda discussed the penetration of “treacherous currents” in the administration and developments in Syria:
- “Preventing the penetration of current elements in the administration is the most important matter, and officials must have higher sensitivity towards this.”
- “Just as the Late Imam [Khomeini] said: Our relation with America is a wolf and lamb relation and cannot be improved under any circumstances.”
- “They themselves provide chemical weapons to terrorists and then use this as a claim for attacking innocent people.”
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi stated, “Attacking Syria and other Islamic societies will end costly for America.”
- Ansar-e Hezbollah Central Council member Sadegh Ashk Talkh discussed the 2009 post-election protests and said, “Since the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran system has been and is the best model for Islamic nations, the dominant system and Global Arrogance concentrated all of its efforts in the  sedition adventure…. If this induction is consolidated, Islamic countries will be without a model and this will cause the defeat of the Islamic nations’ Islamic Awakening movement. It is here that one cannot pass the  sedition easily. It is here that the country is taken to the edge of the cliff.”
- Senior cleric Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpayegani stated, “Currently, the Salafists have turned to killing Muslims, but they must know that victory in the end is with Muslims, and they will not reach their goals by insulting the graves of the Prophet’s companions.”
- Followers of the Line of the Imam and Supreme Leader vice-chairman Mohsen Kouhkan discussed the implication of the 2013 Presidential elections. Kouhkan said, “I do not believe that the Principlists were defeated in these elections and that the Reformists have been victorious. In reality, the immense weight of Principlism won in the elections but some claimants of Principlism did not win the election.” He then dismissed Reformism and stated, “Before him [former President Mohammad Khatami] a thought known as Reformism did not have an external existence. Therefore, it is important that in political analyses it will be affirmed that Khatami is not the product of the Reformist movement, rather the reason for the formation of [the Reformsit movement] was Khatami. In this current, the country’s left body rode a wave calling themselves Reformists.”
- Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA) reported that Jubhat al-Nushrah Leader Abu Mohammad al-Joulani met with two CIA officers and Saudi Defense Minister Salman Ibn Soltan at the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman, Jordan. A military-monetary contract was reportedly signed to “confront Syrian security and military developments, especially in the south of this country.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah Representative in the Cabinet Hossein al-Haj Hassan announced, “Lebanese Hezbollah leaders will answer any invasions against Syria.”
Defense Minister BG Hossein Dehghan spoke with his Syrian counterpart on the telephone and reaffirmed Iranian support:
- “The Islamic Republic of Iran views the regional developments and the current crisis in the friendly and brotherly Syrian country with attention and sensitivity.”
- “The main loser of any war will be the instigator.”
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that recent diplomatic efforts have concentrated on preventing a war in Syria, because “the world cannot tolerate that one or several countries are the judge, jury and executioner and act based on their interests and not on reality. The result of this matter will also be dangerous for themselves.”
- Iran and Oman signed a $60 billion natural gas agreement, in which Iran will export a billion cubic feet per day via sea to Oman over twenty-five years.
- Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Rokn Abadi stated, “The possibility of war against Syria has slightly reduced, but still the possibility of a military attack exists.”
Military and Security
- Head of the Armed Forces General Staff MG Hassan Firouzabadi said that the United States fights in al-Qaeda’s favor in Syria and vaguely threatened regional countries supporting a Syrian strike:
- “America, who after September 11 militarily invaded regional countries with the big lie of ‘fighting al-Qaeda,’ fights in favor of al-Qaeda in Syria.”
- “As the main instigator of such operations, the Zionists face revenge attacks. With an American attack on Syria, Russia will lose the back of the Caucasus’ defense front and Moscow must defend itself in the near future.”
- “Regional countries that support this oppressive war will face serious losses.”
- “The American people will notice that the excuse of the White House warmongering in the name of al-Qaeda is a ‘big lie’ from the rulers of the United States to the American people.”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader in Gilan Province Ayatollah Zeinel Abedin Ghorbani threatened an attack against Israel following a Syrian strike:
- “The Islamic Republic possesses very high deterrence ability in the region and the world.”
- “With American and Western military instigation in the region, we will witness Israel’s erasure and [its] strategic points will be eliminated.”
“With a war against Syria, the Middle East will be in flames.”
- “If America moves to attack Syria, Haifa and Tel Aviv will be wiped out.
- “Jihad is not only in the path of fighting external enemies, rather it should be the Islamic government’s agenda in the path of combating social issues, the smuggling of goods and society’s instigators.”
- ISNA reports that Law Enforcement Forces have intensified their crackdown on clothing morality law offenders in Tehran over the past few days.
- Resalat Newspaper Editor in Chief stated, “Media are free in speech, unless they disrupt the Islamic system.”
- Fars News Agency Managing Director Nezamoddin Mousavi stated, “The media’s role in our society is amr-e be maroof va nahy az monkar [Islamic duty; Commanding good and forbidding evil].”
Representative of the Supreme Leader in the Martyr and Self-Sacrificers Affairs Foundation Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Rahimian reaffirmed Syria’s position in Iranian regional strategy:
- “In Syria, they are seeking to eliminate the Axis of Resistance, but resistance against Israel will never end and Syria is an inseparable member of this axis.”
- “According to the narrative of the Infallibles [12 Shi’a Imams], the world’s future belongs to Islam and this Islam is neither the American nor the Salafist Islam, rather it is the pure Mohammadean Islam that will be dominant in the world.”
- “While the terrorists were defeated in confronting the Syrian Army, [now] their supporters seek to directly intervene and this demonstrates the obstacle for terrorists who commit crimes in the name of Islam.”
- “In the course of history, the Iranian people have supported global freedom movements, and Syria is one of Iran’s friends and a member of the Axis of Resistance supported by the revolutionary and free Islamic Iran people.”
- Artesh Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Commander BG Amir Farzad Esmaili announced that the “base is always 100% ready” in case of a war in Syria.
- Iranian and International Atomic Energy Agency representatives have reportedly agreed to renew negotiations on September 27. The main topic will be activities in Iran’s Parchin military facility.
- The operationalizing of Arak 40 megawatt reactor, due in the first 2014 quarter, has been delayed to the fourth quarter of 2014.
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced a reform in the “new generation of oil contracts” to attract foreign investment:
- “Completion and coordination between the exploration chain, expansion and operationalization, increasing incentives for domestic and foreign investors and even the possibility of competition between Iranian and foreign contractors, in order to export technical and engineering services, will be the most important characteristics of Iranian oil contracts.”
- Zanganeh acknowledged that these new contract conditions are not attractive for contractors in the current oil market, and that “we will use the capacities of a new generation of contracts to increase capital absorption of large global oil and gas companies and the domestic private sector.”
- Chief of Staff to the President Mohammad Nahavandian announced that strengthening the private sector is one of the administration’s priorities and added, “If each economic institution creates an occupation opportunity in the second half of the year, a major spike in job creation will occur.”
- Former Pars Oil and Gas Company Managing Director Mousa Souri considered the politicization of Southern Pars gas fields phase 11, lack of Chinese contractor CNPC technical capability, Chinese outlook toward sanctions, weakness of management in the Oil Minister and issues in monetary resources as causes for the delay of expansion in this phase.
- Tax Affairs Agency Direct Taxes Deputy Hossein Vakili announced that production institutions will be tax exempt until 2017, in order to increase capital and spur growth.
Photo of the Day
- Chief of Staff to the President Mohammad Nahavandian addresses Tehran Friday Prayers.