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 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: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the threat of “snapback” sanctions, while senior negotiator Abbas Araghchi asserted that the majority of Iranians support the nuclear deal.

Foreign Minister Zarif praised the P5+1 nuclear deal in a meeting at the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations, which is headed by former Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi. Zarif declared the collapse of the regime of international sanctions and reassured his audience that the U.S. will not be able to simply “snapback” sanctions. He stressed that Washington cannot re-impose sanctions in a short period of time, claiming that the process would take several years. Abbas Araghchi, meanwhile, discussed details of the nuclear agreement with university researchers from across the country. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs ensured Iranians that the government will be transparent and inform the public about the facts surrounding the nuclear deal prior to its approval.

According to an unnamed Kurdish official IRGC Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, who oversees Iran’s operational efforts in Iraq met with leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Soleimani reportedly urged the senior officials to maintain unity in Kurdistan and to focus their efforts on ISIS.

The Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute has created several pages 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 explains how recent meetings between Hamas and Saudi leaders could put a new wrinkle in Iran’s growing contest with Saudi Arabia for power and influence in his most recent

Nuclear Deal

  • Zarif: The structure of UN sanctions has “fallen apart.” Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed a meeting held by the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations to discuss the nuclear agreement. The Foreign Minister praised the nuclear deal as an historic achievement and stated that “the structure of sanctions that America established in the UN has fallen apart.” Zarif also dismissed claims that the U.S. could quickly “snapback” sanctions. Head of the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations Kamal Kharrazi stated that after the Ahmadinejad administration, “with the technological achievements and success of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region, we were able to enter negotiations and arrive at this document. From the perspective of history, this process is very important.” (MFA)
  • Araghchi: “Majority” of Iranians support the nuclear deal. Abbas Araghchi met with academic researchers and media analysts to discuss the details of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs stated that there are many "future prospects and opportunities" within the deal including better management of the political and economic interests in the country. He added that there will continue to be meetings with various “managers, media organizations, and public university circles” to "provide transparency” before the deal is approved. Araghchi also asserted that the “majority” of the people in the country support the deal. (Tabnak)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Rouhani meets with a senior Azerbaijani official. President Hassan Rouhani met with Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev on August 4 in Tehran. Rouhani called for enhanced Tehran-Baku relations in various fields. Rouhani highlighted the investment opportunities in Iran in a post-nuclear deal environment and said that Iran’s “neighbors, including Azerbaijan, have priority in this regard.” He underlined the importance of North-South Transport Corridor and stated:
    • “Azerbaijan can be the gateway to connect Iran to the Caucasus region; Azerbaijan can also connect with the world through the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea; therefore it is necessary to use this capacity to strengthen our cooperation.” (
  • Abdollahian meets with Russian counterpart to discuss the Syrian crisis. Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Russian President Vladimir Putin's Special Representative in the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov in Tehran. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs stated that the meeting focused on the situation in Syria, where both countries support "a common vision." In addition, Abdollahian discussed Iran’s four-point plan to solve the crisis in Syria, which was previously introduced by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Abdollahian stated, “I would like to clearly state that the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to strongly support its allies along the path to a democratic solution to the crises in the region.” (ISNA)
  • Soleimani meets with senior officials in Iraqi Kurdistan. According to Kurdish media outletRudaw, IRGC Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani recently met with Kurdish officials in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The report claims that an informed source at the political office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party said that the IRGC Qods Force Commander met directly with Hêro Ahmed, the spouse of the Leader of the PUK, Kusrat Rasoul, Barham Salih and other PUK leaders, as well as Head of the Movement for Change Nawshirwan Mustafa. During the meetings Soleimani expressed Iran’s interest in Iraq’s stability and advised Kurdish officials to refrain from stirring up internal conflicts. Soleimani stressed that all efforts should be focused on the fight against ISIS. (Fars News Agency)
  • Velayati: Iran-Hamas relations are “cordial.” Ali Akbar Velayati downplayed a recent visit by Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal to Saudi Arabia. The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor said that Meshaal’s July 15 trip to Riyadh did not create a rift between Iran and Hamas, adding that their relations are “cordial and based on mutual friendship.”  Velayati stressed, “Iran would not interfere in Hamas’ internal affairs… Hamas is one of the most powerful organizations in the array of Palestinian resistance organizations; I have personal cordial relations with Mr. Meshaal.” (Mashregh News)
  • Shirazi writes letter to Grand Imam of al Azhar. Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi criticized comments made by Sunni Grand Imam of Egypt’s al Azhar University Ahmed al Tayeb during a television program for Ramadan. In a letter addressed to al Tayeb, Shirazi stated that “some points that you raise about Shia beliefs are controversial and contradictory…although I have great respect for you, I believe that this subject matter increases differences between Sunni and Shia, which will be helpful for the goals of the enemies of Islam.” Shirazi proposed establishing a conference for high-ranking Sunni and Shia leaders in order to promote interreligious understanding. (ABNA)
  • Iran and Afghanistan plan to establish bilateral committees for border and security issues. Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Zolfaqari announced on August 4 that Iran and Afghanistan are planning to establish bilateral committees for border and security issues. The announcement follows a February meeting in which Iranian and Afghan border guards signed “a security agreement to expand their cooperation and coordination in administering border-related issues.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Ali Larijani meets with Serbian FM. During a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Da?i? on August 3, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani “drew a comparison between the crisis in the Balkans in the early [90’s] and the current developments in the Middle East, saying both cases were the results of ‘intervention by outside elements’ that do not want to have peace return to the region.” Da?i? stated that Iran and Serbia will engage in economic cooperation in the “near future.” (Mehr News) (E
    • Iranian and Serbian FMs discuss ways to improve bilateral ties. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Serbian counterpart Ivica Da?i? met in Tehran to discuss strengthening economic, political, and scientific cooperation. Zarif welcomed Da?i?’s proposal to hold an Iran-Serbia Joint Economic Commission and said an economic delegation from Iran’s government and private sectors will go to Belgrade in the future. (Tasnim News Agency) (E
  • Iraqi PM meets with Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance official. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi met with Endowment and Charity Affairs Organization Head Ali Mohammadi in Baghdad on August 4. Al Abadi stated, “Iran and Iraq have strategic cooperation and interactions,” and highlighted the need for increased cooperation between the neighboring countries. (Fars News Agency) (E


  • Economic and Finance Minister: Reducing the inflation rate is a priority for the government. Ali Tayyeb Nia stressed that the government is committed to protecting the value of Iran’s currency. The Economic and Finance Minister added that “the resources which will be produced as the result of the agreement can be used for improving the economy.” Ali Tayyeb Nia added that “if sanctions are removed, all legal and business procedures will be normalized...we do not intend to repeat past mistakes; instead we intend to use our resources in order to expand the private sector and increase investment in the field of exports.” (IRIB)
  • Jalalpour: Iran-U.S. Chamber of Commerce could be established within two months.Chamber of Commerce President Mohsen Jalalpour told local media that the United States has begun establishing a U.S.-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce. He said Tehran will reciprocate the move after the chamber is launched in Washington. Jalalpour added that opening the chamber does not require the Iranian government’s authorization because they did not initiate the proceedings. (Press TV) (E)
  • Italian delegation arrives in Tehran. An Italian "political, economic and industrial delegation" led by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi arrived in Tehran.  (ISNA) (E
    • Iran and Italy sign MOU on maritime expansion. The Sina Port and Marine Company (SPMCO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Italy's largest container terminal operation, Contship Italia, to develop "bilateral ties in the fields of maritime trade and ports as a prelude to further expansion of trade volume between the two countries." (Tasnim News Agency) (E
  • Eleven shipping firms launch offices in a key southern port. Mohammad Saeed Nejad said that the companies, from countries including South Korea and China, have established their offices in the Shahid Rajaee Port in the southern city of Bandar Abbas. The President of the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) also said that an unnamed European shipping company will open an office in the same port within a month. The Shahid Rajaee Port is the largest of Iran’s 11 commercial ports and is located by the Strait of Hormuz. (Press TV) (E)

Military and Security

  • Fadavi: Imam Khamenei Naval University will open by end of year. IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi stated that the Imam Khamenei Naval University for the IRGC Navy will open by the end of the year at a ceremony memorializing 175 divers killed during the Iran-Iraq War. The IRGC Navy Commander claimed that the university represents a “new theory” of naval warfare that will challenge ordinary theories of naval power. Fadavi added that the theory was designed over a period of time to counter U.S. naval power (Sepah News)
Arrow down red
Sep '15
Aug '15
Jul '15