Iran News Round Up
The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for the development of Iran’s “offensive and defensive capabilities.”
Khamenei called the improvement of “offensive and defensive” capabilities a “duty” and an “inalienable and clear right” for Iran during a meeting with Defense Ministry officials. Khamenei stressed that the development of nuclear weapons is prohibited, however. Iran has historically characterized many of its weapon systems, including its ballistic missiles, as strictly “defensive.”
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi criticized Turkey’s recent military operations inside Syria. He stated that Turkey is conducting the operations “without the coordination of the central government” of Syria and argued that counterterrorism operations “should not be an excuse for violating territorial integrity.” Turkish Armed Forces entered Syria on August 24 to seize the ISIS-held border town of Jarablus alongside Turkish and American-backed Syrian opposition groups.
Retired IRGC Brigadier General Ahmad Gholami was reportedly killed in Aleppo, Syria, on August 30. He was an Iran-Iraq War veteran and former deputy commander of the Seyyed al Shohada Division. An official with the Seyyed al Shohada Division later denied his death, claiming that he is in a coma.
Casualties in Iraq & Syria
- Retired IRGC brigadier general reported killed near Aleppo. IRGC Brig. Gen. Ahmad Gholami was reportedly a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War, where he served as the deputy commander for the Seyyed al Shohada Division. An official with the Seyyed al Shohada Division later denied his death, claiming that he is in a coma. (Dolate Bahar) (Yalasarat)
Former senior nuclear negotiator criticizes espionage charges against member of negotiating team.
Hamid Baeidinejad, the Foreign Ministry’s director-general for political and international affairs, denied rumors that nuclear negotiator Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani is a spy who infiltrated Iran’s nuclear negotiating team. Esfahani was reportedly arrested and subsequently released on bail despite the espionage charges. Baeidinejad called accusations that Esfahani is a spy “an insult to Iran’s intelligence and security apparatuses,” which would have identified Esfahani as a spy sometime during his “twenty years” of work in “sensitive international affairs.” He added that “according to reliable sources,” Esfahani does not have dual nationality. Previous reporting from Iranian websites described Esfahani as also having citizenship with either Canada or Britain.
Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, the spokesman for Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Commission, claimed that “the individual who was arrested on charges of being a spy during the nuclear negotiations has dual nationalities,” however. Naghavi Hosseini also announced that the heads of the IRGC Intelligence Organization have warned about the possibility of hostile foreign governments employing dual nationals to facilitate the “foreign infiltration” of Iran. He noted that the NSFP Parliamentary Commission and the IRGC are continuing to review and confront foreign governments’ “infiltration project” after holding meetings on August 30 and 31. (Fararu) (Fars News Agency)
Tehran City Council member calls for investigation into Tehran city government finances
Tehran City Council member Rahmatollah Hafezi called for Parliament to investigate the issuance of excessively low-interest loans to Tehran City Council members and “senior officials” within Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf’s office in addition to the previously disclosed sales of government-owned property to Tehran City Council members. (ILNA)
Ghalibaf wrote an open letter to Iran’s attorney general about the report from the Judiciary-linked General Inspection Office (GIO) that revealed his office’s involvement in the sales. Ghalibaf called the report “distorted” and claimed that even the GIO head considers it “initial and imperfect.” He stated that there is “no red line in the fight against crime and corruption,” however, and noted that the Judiciary must investigate “any possible crimes.” He added that those who made the accusations against his office must be “decisively confronted” for damaging public trust in the political system if no crime is proven. An IRGC-affiliated news outlet claimed that the accusations against Ghalibaf are part of an effort by reformists to damage his reputation ahead of the 2017 presidential elections. (Mehr News Agency)
Citations & Links
Citations & Links
Foreign Ministry voices concern over Turkish military operations in Syria.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi criticized Turkey’s recent cross-border military operations in Syria. He stated that the move “complicates the regional situation.” Ghassemi noted that counter-terrorism efforts are important but “should not be an excuse for violating territorial integrity and conducting military operations in another country without the coordination of the central government.” (Mashregh News)
Citations & Links
IRGC confirms arrest of Iranian-American.
IRGC Public Relations confirmed that IRGC Intelligence officials arrested an Iranian-American dual citizen in July in Gorgan, Golestan province, on charges of “collaborating with enemy states, acting against national security, and communicating with anti-revolutionary elements and media.” IRGC Public Relations did not specify the name of the arrested individual but was likely referring to San Diego resident Robin Shahini, who was reportedly arrested in Gorgan in July. Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei had confirmed the arrest of an Iranian-American in Gorgan previously but did not provide a name. (Tasnim News Agency)
Citations & Links
The Strategic Impact of the S-300 in Iran
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."