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: President Hassan Rouhani continued to sell the P5+1 nuclear deal to his domestic audiences, while Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi urged Iranian officials to exercise prudence as the deal goes through legal review. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif censured U.S. foreign policy in response to President Obama’s speech on Wednesday.
President Rouhani pursued his aggressive campaign to build public support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in an effort to counter opposition from regime hardliners. Rouhani addressed a large gathering in Tehran to promote the economic benefits of the JCPOA. He also reiterated his pledge to reduce inflationary pressure from economic sanctions. Rouhani’s statements underscore the administration’s deliberate policy prioritization and his commitment to economic performance-based legitimacy. Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Yazdi, meanwhile, warned against institutional divide over the deal and stated that Parliament and the Supreme National Security Council must review the JCPOA.
Foreign Minister Zarif responded to President Obama’s remarks on the JCPOA by highlighting U.S. foreign policy failures in the Middle East and calling on Washington to accept responsibility for creating regional crises. Zarif indicated that such events as CIA orchestrated coup in 1953 and America’s support for Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War “are all alive in the historical memory of the Iranian people.” Zarif added, “If the U.S. government wants to change the opinions and slogans of the Iranian people,” it should consider a different approach to its relationship with Iran.
The Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute has created several pages on www.irantracker.org 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 analyzes statements from Iran’s senior leadership addressing the ballistic missile provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 in his most recent blog, “Iran has no qualms about exploiting the nuclear deal’s weaknesses.”
Rouhani sells the nuclear deal as a win for Iran and a loss for Israel. President Hassan Rouhani called for a concerted effort to maximize domestic capabilities and production in a speech on August 6 in Tehran. Rouhani touted the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with the P5+1 as a defeat for Israel and stated, “The entire region and all are happy about the Vienna [nuclear] deal except the Zionists [Israeli government] and warmongers in America.” Rouhani attributed the government’s success in the P5+1 nuclear talks to the Iranian people and referred to UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 and said:
- “With the wisdom of our [Iran’s] diplomats, [UN] resolutions that erroneously… [denied] Iran the right to access nuclear technology has been canceled; within the framework of Resolution 2231, Iran’s nuclear rights—thanks to the heroic efforts of this nation’s [negotiators]—are recognized by the same UN and Security Council.”
- On unemployment and the economy: “As the elected president of the Iranian people, I cannot accept that a young educated [Iranian] with our knowledge and an engineering degree, is still unemployed after three years.”
- “The Iranian people, both men and women…are not different from each other…they all have Iranian talent and art.”
- “We should be engaged with the world so that…the goals, intended by the great Iranian nation, in line with the declared economic resistance policies of the Supreme Leader, are met.” (President.ir) (IRNA) (E) http://president.ir/fa/88636 http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81710317/
Zarif responds to Obama’s speech. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to a recent speech by U.S. President Barack Obama:
- On a nuclear weapon: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has not and will never pursue a nuclear weapon. Therefore, this claim that Iran’s various routes to the nuclear weapon have been closed in the [nuclear] deal reached in Vienna is, in reality…a statement made in order to satisfy domestic critics and the Zionists.”
- On recent regional developments: “The policies and reckless actions of the United States and some of their allies in the region, especially the Zionist regime, have not had any results except destruction and war for the people of this region and the world. American authorities today have acknowledged this to themselves many times, but they still try to escape from historical facts… The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to support its friends and regional allies in the face of common threats... It will cooperate with other neighbors based on mutual respect regarding these shared challenges and regional and world stability.”
- On U.S. foreign policy: “The U.S. is in need of reformed policies, including its support for the crimes of the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people, the latest example of this brutality being the burning of the young Palestinian child. The disgust of the Iranian people and the Islamic world at these policies is natural and is not limited to this region. It should not be dismissed with baseless charges of anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism. If the U.S. government wants to change the opinions and slogans of the Iranian people and the world, it is better for it to think about changing its policies and approach.”
- On historical memory: “The memory of U.S. support for the coup d’état, the Imposed War [the Iran-Iraq War], Saddam [Hussein]’s use of chemical weapons, American officials’ insults to the Iranian nation, the baseless charges, the blind and inhumane sanctions against these people, and the continuation of this useless debate are all alive in the historical memory of the Iranian people. Otherwise, these people do not have a problem with the American nation.”
On regaining trust: “Past U.S. administrations wasted important opportunities with mistaken beliefs and fanciful wishes. It is good that they are now using this historic opportunity to gain back the valuable trust of the Iranian people that had been destroyed after decades of errant and hostile policies.” (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=90364
Velayati: Iran’s Islamic “discourse” affects world events. On the evening before the “Requirements for the Islamic Republic’s Conversion into an International Power” Conference, Ali Akbar Velayati stated, “Today, we are seeing numerous happenings affected by the Islamic Republic’s discourse, which is derived from pure Islam of Mohammad, being formed in the region and the world; this itself suggests that today, the Islamic Republic is creating a role in the international arena with a different and specific discourse.” The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor continued, “In addition, there is a revival of Islamic civilization based on another order of things, which is the pattern and model of the movement of the Islamic Republic of Iran…” Pointing out that “the strengthening and amassing of forces is one of the inherent goals of the formation of the Basij,” Velayati stated: “In order to fulfill the country’s scientific and technological plan, once again we must [utilize] the same capacity; the Basij [Organization]’s capacity is a traditional and indigenous capacity, and has been the solution to problems in many cases.” (Basij.ir) http://basij.ir/news/68700-%D8%A8%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AC-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%AA%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%84-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%85%DB%8C-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%87%D9%86%DA%AF%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%DA%AF%D8%B1%D9%87-%DA%AF%D8%B4%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA.html?t=%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%AF%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B4-%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%A8%D9%87
- Shariatmadari: The enemy is trying to obstruct the revolution. Hossein Shariatmadari commented on the role of Western media during a conference with other senior media officials. The Managing Editor of the conservative newspaper Kayhan stated, “The enemy does not have [a] message, and therefore they resort to deception; with their media they try to create controversy so the real message of Islam and the Islamic Revolution do not reach people in the world.” Shariatmadari also claimed that the U.S. established the Taliban, and that the “international media introduced the Taliban as being Islamic.” (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/449781/%D8%A7%D8%B8%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B4%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%84-%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87%E2%80%8C%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%BA%D8%B1%D8%A8-%D9%88-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C
Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal
Salehi and Araghchi to attend Parliamentary review of JCPOA and UNSCR 2231. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head Ali Akbar Salehi and Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Abbas Araghchi will attend the Energy Parliamentary Commission’s review of the JCPOA and UNSC Resolution 2231 next week. The Development Parliamentary Commission will also review the “request for the impeachment” of Minister of Transportation and Housing Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi next week. (Fars News Agency) http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13940515000330
Iran dismisses allegations of cleaning the Parchin site. Iran's Permanent Mission to the UN released a statement regarding recent America media reports detailing Iran’s moving of heavy machinery to clean the Parchin installation before an IAEA inspection. The Permanent Mission’s statement described the allegations as ludicrous and said it was similar to previous "worn out claims." The statement also added that heavy machinery is not unusual in the area, and that some of the equipment was used recently to repair a damaged road. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/821908
Yazdi says that examining the nuclear deal is the "right" of both Parliament and the SNSC. Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi discussed the nuclear deal during a meeting of the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts Chairman stated, “The Parliament ought to review the nuclear deal as a sign of understanding and commitment. Of course, this is not [the] signing [of the nuclear deal] but…the Parliament does have this right and must review the nuclear deal.” Yazdi said that the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) must also review the nuclear deal. (Tasnim News Agency) http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/821166
First Vice President: Only “four percent” of Iranians oppose the nuclear deal. Eshagh Jahangiri said that an overwhelming majority in Iran support the outcome of the P5+1 nuclear talks, claiming that the JCPOA is opposed by only “four percent” of the population. The First Vice President added, “Based on polls conducted by credible organizations in the country…up to 88 percent of the [Iranian] people are happy about the result and only four percent are against it.” (Entekhab) http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/219000
23 parliamentarians join the growing support against UNSCR 2231. 23 Parliament members recently joined in support of Qom clerics, teachers, and numerous "student organizations" who are protesting against UNSC Resolution 2231 and its demands and verifications on limiting Iran's ballistic missiles. Recently a student organization wrote to Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi about maintaining Iran’s missile capability. (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/449858/%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%DB%B2%DB%B3-%D9%86%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D9%84%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C%DA%A9
Rafsanjani announces candidacy for Assembly of Experts. Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani officially announced that he will run for re-election to the Assembly of Experts in an interview with Iranian new sources Tolueh Sobh and Entekhab. The Expediency Discernment Council Chairman, who is also a current Assembly of Experts member, stressed the importance of the Parliament and Assembly of Experts elections, which are scheduled to be held in February. He stated that “these two elections are very important and the most important of our elections. Anyone who is committed to Islam and the nation, must prepare themselves to participate in the elections…it is not that one group will lose or another group will win; the positive or negative result will affect everyone.” Rafsanjani was a candidate in internal elections for the chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts in March but lost to Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi. (Entekhab) http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/218622/%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A2%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%B4%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%AF%D9%81%D8%AA-%D9%88-%DA%AF%D9%88-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%88-%D8%B7%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B9-%D8%B5%D8%A8%D8%AD-%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C-%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%88-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8%DB%8C-%D9%BE%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B5%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%82-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%B6%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D9%88%D9%86%D8%AF
- Fazli: The 2009 election protests were the “greatest insurrection against the Islamic Republic.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fazli discussed the history of domestic opposition in Iran during a speech at a military base. The Basij Organization Deputy Commander called the 2009 election protests “the greatest insurrection against the Islamic Republic” and praised those individuals who “protect and guard the Islamic Republic.” (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/218965
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Shamkhani meets with Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council in Tehran. Ali Shamkhani met with Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Yevgeny Lukanov and Security Deputy of the National Security Council of Afghanistan Wakil Mohammad Ibrahim Qasimi in Tehran on August 5. The SNSC Secretary stated that coordinated endeavors by regional countries “are the only means to effectively counter terrorism and establish security and stability in the region.” Shamkhani also indicated that foreign powers had “introduced” terrorism to the region, with the goal of damaging regional countries’ economic abilities. Earlier on August 5, SNSC Deputy Secretary Saeed Iranvani met with Lukanov and Qasimi to discuss the security situation in the region, “the consolidation of trilateral cooperation and to draw up a roadmap for the campaign against terrorism.” (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/06/423486/Iran-SNSC-Shamkhani-terrorism-Afghanistan-Russia-terror-terrorist-
Abdollahian meets with Russian counterpart. 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 discussed the latest developments in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. Abdollahian also highlighted the opportunity “to remove obstacles” in Iran’s relationships with its neighbors. Abdollahian touched upon America and its dangerous influence in the region while noting that some countries will also attempt to solve issues simply by relying on their militaries. Bogdanov added that an increase in regional cooperation is needed and specifically stated that Iran and Saudi Arabia should continue consulting over the nuclear issue. (YJC) http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5283802/%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B2%D9%86%DB%8C%E2%80%8E%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AE%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B5-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D9%88-%DB%8C%D9%85%D9%86
IRGC Advisor: President Obama has "hallucinations." IRGC Brig. Gen 2C Mohammad Ali Asavadi responded to President Obama's August 5 speech on the nuclear deal. The Adviser to the Supreme Leader’s Representative to the IRGC Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Saidi, stated that Obama should "open his ears" to the "millions" of chants screaming “Death to America.” Asavadi stated that Obama’s naïve viewpoint on the Iranian people makes "it seem he has hallucinations." (Tabnak) http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/522522/%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A2%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%AF%DB%8C-%
- Rouhani and Erdogan discuss joint anti-terrorism efforts. President Hassan Rouhani called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss expanding joint cooperation against terrorism, especially against ISIS. Rouhani called extremism and terrorism the region’s “gravest problem.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/821325
Military and Security
- Kowsari: “Iran will never attack another country.” Mohammad Esmail Kowsari claimed that “Iran will never attack another country” except in conditions “like during the Sacred Defense [the Iran-Iraq War].” The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member added that Iran “will protect its territory with a firm and fearful defense.” (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/50821
Iran plans to attract $29 billion of investments in its mineral sector. Mehdi Karbasian said that Iran is planning development projects for its mineral sector and plans to attract $29 billion in investments after sanctions are lifted. The Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade added that Iran has had “extensive negotiations” recently with delegations from Germany, France, and the Netherlands on investing in its steel and mining industries. (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/08/05/423384/iran-mineral-sector-deputy-minister-of-industry-mine-and-trade-Mehdi-Karbasian-investment-
- Iran plans to produce 10 tons of gold annually. Behrouz Borna reported the discovery of 1,200 areas with rich gold deposits in the province of Isfahan. The Deputy Head of Iranian Geology and Mineral Explorations Organization said Iran is currently producing 3 tons of gold per year and will increase production to 10 tons once the gold reserves are explored. (ISNA) (E) http://isna.ir/en/news/94051408296/Iran-plans-to-produce-10-tons-gold-annually