Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway: Khamenei’s recent call for government unity is unlikely to derail hardliners’ attacks against the Rouhani administration.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for government unity and cooperation, while simultaneously chastising the President Hassan Rouhani administration for its economic mismanagement during a meeting with Rouhani and his presidential cabinet on August 29. The meeting came one day after Parliament questioned Rouhani over Iran’s economic issues and expressed its dissatisfaction with Rouhani’s responses. Parliamentarians subsequently signed motions to interpellate two additional cabinet members. Khamenei may continue to allow hardliner efforts to remove more senior Rouhani administration officials from office such as First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, or even Rouhani himself.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from August 25 - 31.

AEI Must Reads
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August 31, 2018

Can We Pursue a Victory Strategy Against Iran?

Frederick W. Kagan discusses the application of a U.S. victory strategy against Iran in “Can We Pursue a Victory Strategy Against Iran?

August 31, 2018

Iran’s hardliners are going after the entire Rouhani Administration.

Mike Saidi discusses how hardliners are attacking President Hassan Rouhani in “Iran’s hardliners are going after the entire Rouhani Administration.

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Domestic Politics
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August 31, 2018

Khamenei expresses concern over Rouhani’s economic policies.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with President Hassan Rouhani and many of his cabinet members on August 29, one day after Parliament questioned Rouhani over economic issues on August 28. Khamenei cited the Rouhani Administration’s “inattention” to solving many of Iran’s economic issues and failing to implement the Resistance Economy doctrine. Khamenei subsequently praised both Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani for their participation in Parliament’s questioning of Rouhani on August 28 and noted that the event showcased the strength of the Islamic Republic. Larijani made a similar comment during a plenary session of Parliament on August 29 when he stated that the “subject of [Rouhani’s questioning] shows the depth of democratic thinking in the regime that [even] the highest executive officials [consider] themselves accountable.” Khamenei also discussed ongoing negotiations with Europe over the future of Iran’s participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stating that he has no “objection to communication and to the continuation of negotiations with Europe.” Khamenei expressed skepticism that Europe will be able to provide Iran economic guarantees. (Khamenei.ir) (Defa Press)

August 31, 2018

Parliament questions Rouhani and expresses discontentment with his answers.

Parliament questioned President Hassan Rouhani during a parliamentary hearing over grievances related to Iran’s high unemployment rates and the ongoing currency crisis, among other economic issues, on August 28. Parliamentarians expressed their dissatisfaction with Rouhani’s responses and called for Rouhani’s case to be elevated to the Judiciary. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated during plenary session on August 29 that due to parliamentarians’ lack of citing explicit “breaches of the law,” the Judiciary will not review his case. Hardline parliamentarian Alireza Salimi criticized Larijani’s decision and called on Larijani to order parliamentary research centers to draft and present a report on the legality of Rouhani’s policies. (President.ir) (IRNA) (Reuters) (E)

August 31, 2018

Parliament impeaches finance minister.

One hundred thirty-seven parliamentarians voted to impeach Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Massoud Karbasian in a close ballot on August 26. Parliament summoned Karbasian to an interpellation hearing over grievances related to Iran’s ongoing currency crisis and other economic issues. President Hassan Rouhani appointed Rahmatollah Akrami to serve as the interim economic affairs and finance minister on August 27. Akrami previously served as the deputy minister for financial supervision and treasury affairs for the Economic Affairs and Finance Ministry. Parliament’s impeachment of Karbasian follows an August 7 impeachment of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabiei and marks the second impeachment of a Rouhani administration minister in less than one month. (ISNA) (President.ir)

  • Parliament moves to interpellate Bathaei and Shariatmadari. Reformist Parliament Leadership Board spokesperson Behrouz Nemati announced that Parliament will interpellate Education Minister Mohammad Bathaei on September 13. Parliament previously signed a motion to interpellate Industry, Mines, and Trade Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari on August 28. (ICANA) (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. Khamenei.ir
http://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=40355

2. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/306226/%D8%AA%D9%81%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%85%D9%88%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AC%D9%85%D9%87%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AE%DA%AF%D9%88-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/105840

2. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/83015983

3. Reuters
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-economy-rouhani/rouhani-vows-to-defeat-anti-iranian-officials-in-the-white-house-idUKKCN1LD0AC

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/97060401587/%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%88%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AA

2. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/105832

3. ICANA
http://www.icana.ir/Fa/News/401002/%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%88%D8%B2%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%A2%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B2%D8%B4-%D9%88-%D9%BE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%B4-%D8%B3%D9%87-%D8%B4%D9%86%D8%A8%D9%87-13-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%AF

4. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/306407/

Military and Security
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August 31, 2018

Hatami discusses defense cooperation and Syrian reconstruction during visit to Damascus.

Defense Minister Artesh Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami discussed defense cooperation and Iranian participation in Syrian reconstruction efforts with Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Syrian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Ali Ayyoub during an official visit to Damascus, Syria on August 26. Hatami and Ayyoub signed a defense cooperation agreement during their meeting. Iranian Military Attache to Syria IRGC Brig. Gen. Abol Ghassem Ali Nejad stated that the agreement involved the “continued presence of Iranian [military] advisers in Syria.” Hatami stated that Iran can “help Syria in expanding its military equipment” during his visit. Ayyoub also previously discussed the conflict in Syria during an August 9 phone call with Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Chief IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri. (Defa News) (Defa News) (Defa News) (Tabnak)

Citations & Links

1. Defa News
http://defanews.ir/news/%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B6%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B3%D9%86%D8%AF-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82%D8%AA%E2%80%8C%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D9%87%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D9%81%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%DA%AF%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B4-%D8%AA%D8%B5%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C

2. Defa News
http://defanews.ir/news/%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%82%D9%81-%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%87%E2%80%8C-%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A8%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C%E2%80%8C-%D8%B5%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%AF%DB%8C%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%85%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AF-%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%81%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AB%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1

3. Defa News
http://defanews.ir/news/%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D9%85-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1-%E2%80%8C%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%AF%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85%E2%80%8C%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%AE%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B5%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%E2%80%8C%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C

4. Tabnak
http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/828977/%D8%AD%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%AF

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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August 31, 2018

Zarif meets with Erdogan ahead of Iran-Turkey-Russia summit on Syria.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during an official visit to Ankara, Turkey on August 29. The Turkish senior officials and Zarif discussed regional affairs and the ongoing Syrian Civil War in a closed-door meeting. Zarif’s meeting with Erdogan and Cavusoglu comes before a scheduled meeting between President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Erdogan in Tehran on September 7. The Tehran summit will be the third installment in the Russian-Iranian-Turkish talks over the future of the Syrian Civil War.  The three presidents previously convened in Ankara from April 3 - 4. (IRNA) (Twitter) (E) (Reuters) (E)

  • Zarif discusses mutual ties in official visit to Islamabad. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid an official visit to Islamabad, Pakistan after his visit to Ankara, Turkey on August 29. Zarif discussed the expansion of bilateral ties between Iran and Pakistan as well as counterterrorism issues with senior Pakistani officials, including National Assembly Speaker Assad Qaiser, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. Zarif and Khan discussed continued cooperation between Iran and Pakistan and for an “expansion of efforts to establish peace and stability in all regional countries and to seriously counter terrorism and extremism.” Zarif’s visit comes before U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford’s upcoming visit to Islamabad to meet with Khan next week. (Defa Press) (IRNA) (IRNA) (E) (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/83017076

2. Twitter
https://twitter.com/JZarif/status/1034878990241153025

3. Reuters
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-turkey-usa/iran-accuses-washington-of-bullying-even-u-s-allies-idUKKCN1LE25C

4. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/306608/%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D9%BE%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%B4%D9%86%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%E2%80%8C%D8%A2%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AF

5. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/83017668

6. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/83017663

7. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/06/09/1816833/%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%86%D8%AE%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%88%D8%B2%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF

TIMELINE
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Sep '18
Aug '18