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, Caitlin Pendleton, 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: Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi echoed the Supreme Leader’s call for a comprehensive review of the nuclear deal, while senior nuclear negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad reiterated that Iran is not beholden to UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231’s ballistic missile restrictions.

Ayatollah Yazdi explicitly directed Iranian officials to scrutinize the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement to ensure it complies with the Supreme Leader’s redlines. The Assembly of Experts Chairman stressed that Iran’s security and defense secrets “must be preserved.” Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda, moreover, warned about the ramifications of pursuing “any relationship with America and Europe.” The Assembly of Experts member claimed that the JCPOA “violates” the Supreme Leader’s redlines.

The Foreign Ministry’s Director for Political and International Affairs Hamid Baeidinejad, meanwhile, stated that UNSC Resolution 2231’s statements on “arms sanctioning is not absolute.” 

The Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute has created several pages on 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

Official Statements

  • Baeidinejad: UNSCR 2231’s clauses on arms sanctioning “are not absolute.” Foreign Ministry’s Director for Political and International Affairs Hamid Baeidinejad discussed arms sanctioning under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, bilateral U.S.-Iran talks leading up to the nuclear negotiations, and challenges within the negotiations themselves. 
    • On arms sanctioning under UNSCR 2231: “Within the new [UN Security Council] Resolution [2231], it is provided that the arms sanctioning is not absolute, meaning that if in some cases Iran deems it necessary what it wants to use to buy or sell of its weapons, it can be provided for in these mechanisms… Therefore, these sanctions are not absolute as before.”
    • On U.S.-Iran talks “in Oman and in the pre [presidential] elections period in [2013]”: When asked “Why were separate negotiations with America [alone]…on the agenda?” Baeidinejad stated, “…the driving force of the sanctions was the hostile and uncompromising position of America…” Baeidinejad stressed that previous negotiations with European countries had not ended well due to pressure from the U.S. He stated, “Because Iran was pursuing the lifting of sanctions and a resolution to the nuclear issue through agency by the countries of the region taking place, [Iran] declared its readiness for political negotiations, and the grounds were provided for the negotiations to be defined in a new framework.”
    • On American foreign policy regarding Iran: “When Obama began his quest for a second term as president, he knew that an important era in America’s foreign policy had begun…In the first round of his presidency, Obama turned to the politics of pressure and sanctions against Iran, to avoid the military approach…Obama created a consensus in the UN Security Council and major and Western countries of the world… But after implementing this policy, America ultimately failed to force Iran to withdraw from its own principles…”  
    • On challenges in the nuke negotiations: When asked, “What was the most important challenge of the negotiations which became a serious challenge between the two sides,” Baeidinejad responded, “The acceptance of Iran’s right to enrich…and the actual implementation of the enrichment program, not on a symbolic level.” (YJC)
  • President Rouhani accepts invitation to travel to Italy. President Hassan Rouhani met with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi in Tehran. President Rouhani accepted Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s invitation to travel to Italy, and discussed expanding relations between the two countries, saying “Now the opportunities for increasing foreign investment exist, especially in the areas of energy, insurance, industry, transportation, and public health…we will be able to exploit the period after the agreement for the benefit of the EU.” Rouhani added, “Terrorism and instability are a contagious disease that does not just belong to one area of the world; in order to prevent its spread one must combat extremism and violence...and for the establishment of peace in the region…it is necessary to remove terrorism with the cooperation of the community.” (
  • Velayati: America is “reactionary” in the region. During a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Da?i?, Ali Akbar Velayati stated that he wished to "restore relations between the two countries." The Supreme Leader's Senior Foreign Policy Advisor added that he seeks future cooperation with Belgrade in the “industry and economic fields.” The Head of the Center for Strategic Research commented on regional issues, stating:
    • On the U.S and Saudi Arabia: Velayati suggested that the recent regional developments stem from America being "reactionary," while other countries "such as Saudi Arabia" are trying to "increase interference in the region."
    • On Western-trained rebels: Velayati stated that the American-trained fighters are "mercenary criminals" that are only killing the oppressed people in Syria and Yemen.
    • On the nuclear deal: Velayati said that the nuclear deal will be reviewed by Iran’s legal institutions and subjected to the approval of "the country" in order for it to be a legal agreement. (
  • Larijani criticizes Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused Saudi Arabia of violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by “waging war” in Yemen. During a conference marking Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity Day, he said that through its airstrikes, Saudi Arabia has violated Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which asserts the “right to life, liberty, and security of person.” (Mehr News) (E)


Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

  • Assembly of Experts member: JCPOA “violates redlines.” Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda discussed the details of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, and the Supreme Leader’s redlines. The Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader also warned that the West is plotting to exploit measures in the deal to expose Iran’s defense secrets. The Assembly of Experts member referred to measures concerning IAEA access and the Joint Commission.
    • “In any relationship with America and Europe we [Iran] must [block the West’s] path to influence the country… The [nuclear] agreement explicitly created this path for the enemy.”
    • Alam ol Hoda reiterated that the West will seek to exploit the nuclear deal to harm Iran’s national interests, adding: “The Supreme Leader’s redlines have been set precisely with regard to this strategy.”
    • “The Supreme Leader’s redlines were not a personal opinion, they were commands… One of his redlines [stated], ‘Absolutely, under no circumstances will they [international inspectors], under the pretext of monitoring be allowed to penetrate the country’s defense and security…”
    • “What has occurred in this agreement violates the redlines; we are not concerned with international law, what is important is the Supreme Leader’s redlines.” (Raja News)
  • Yazdi: The Supreme Leader’s redlines “must be considered.” Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi discussed the nuclear deal during a meeting with Parliamentarian Fatemeh Rabhar. Yazdi reportedly stated that “the various dimensions of the JCPOA must be submitted to expert scrutiny and the red lines of Iran that were outlined by the Supreme Leader must be considered; the national security of the country must be preserved.” (Tabnak)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Shamkhani meets with Syrian Foreign Minister. Ali Shamkhani reiterated Iranian support for Syria during a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. The Supreme National Security Council Secretary stated that Iran will continue “financial, military and intelligence” support for Syria and pledged that all involved in the killing of innocents will “answer for their actions.” He also stated:
    • “The way to a solution in Syria is redoubled efforts to liberate regions under the control of terrorists” and “conversations for the achievement of [a] national consensus.”
    • On foreign involvement in Syria: “Military intervention by outside governments demoralizes the government and [reduces] popular support and will cause the deepening of the crisis and the spread of terrorism and security.”
    • “Changing views related to Syria and admission of the necessity of political options has proved that Syria and their allies have the upper hand.”
    • On regional diplomacy: “The route Iran has taken with regards to the nuclear file shows it can use logic and conversations as an alternative to threats and violence.”
    • Shamkhani added that cooperation with regional countries is “imperative” because “the spread of terrorism benefits the Zionist regime the most.”(IRIB News)
  • Abdollahian: Syrian peace plan to be sent to the UN. Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated that Iran’s four-part plan to resolve the crisis in Syria has been updated to reflect “the realities on the ground" and will be submitted to the UN. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs acknowledged that Iran's four-part plan was welcomed by the UN last year; Abdollahian described the initiative as "one of the most effective and serious plans on the agenda of the United Nations and international players." (IRNA) (E)
  • Arani: UK may open embassy in Iran before end of year. Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani stated that the probability of the UK opening an embassy in Iran has increased, but depends on interactions between the two countries and their foreign ministers. The Chairman of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group claimed that a UK embassy would lead to increased exports, tourism and cooperation on science and technology. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Committee member added that while the UK left a “negative” impact in the past, opening an embassy would allow Iran to “look towards the future.” (Mashregh News)
  • Grand Ayatollah Sistani meets with Iranian official in Iraq. Iran’s Endowment and Charity Affairs Organization Head Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Mohammadi met with Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Najaf to discuss regional issues. (Rasa News)
  • Basij Organization writes open letter on Palestinian child that was killed. The Basij Organization wrote an open letter condemning the death of the Palestinian child who was burned to death in a West Bank arson attack on July 31. The Basij Organization requests that Iran “pursue the crime on an international level.” (Basij)
  • Syrian foreign minister travels to Iran. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem met with his Iranian and Russian counterparts as well as Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Tehran. They discussed bilateral relations, anti-terrorism efforts, and regional developments. Muallem said their views are “identical.” (Entekhab)
  • Reports stating that the Saudi Defense Minister will visit Iran are “not credible.” In recent days, Iranian Twitter accounts have stated that Saudi Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef are to visit Iran "soon." An official at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran reported that the rumors are "not credible." (ISNA)



  • Italy eyes long-term cooperation with Iran. Federica Guidi met with Chamber of Commerce President Mohsen Jalalpour to discuss “mutual and long-term cooperation” between the two countries in the post-sanctions era. The Italian Minister of Economic Development said that Italy’s top priority is to help prepare relevant financial and banking infrastructure for joint work. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
  • German and Italian port operators agree to resume trade with Iranian port company. Contship Italia, an Italian company specializing in container terminal logistics, and Eurogate, a leading German container terminal operator, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sina Port and Maritime Company to resume trade after sanctions are lifted. The memorandum includes plans to develop Iranian ports as well as exchange experience and technical expertise. The sanctioned Sina Port and Maritime Company operates major ports in Bandar Abbas and Bushehr. (Press TV) (E)


Military and Security

  • Kowsari says that the military will hold exercises. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari stated, “The American officials chanting slogans about attacking Iran show their fears of the Iran’s military; otherwise there would be no reason for their bragging.” The NSFP Parliamentary Commission member added, “The Armed Forces will hold military exercises according to their own timetable and they will show their strength to the West, particularly America.” (Mashregh News)
  • Alavi: Islamic Republic enjoys exemplary security. Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Head Hojjat ol Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated that while widespread terror impacts the region, the intelligence forces have effectively taken away any opportunity for enemies to strike within Iran’s borders. (Press TV) (E)
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