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, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Pendleton. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Key takeaway: Senior Parliamentarian Vahid Ahmadi dismissed U.S. claims that Iran has violated UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231. 

Ahmadi claimed that any missile tests conducted by Iran—specifically the Emad launch—did not violate UNSCR 2231, or any other UN resolution. The Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission’s Foreign Relations Committee reinforced the Supreme Leader’s red line, stressing that Iran’s defense doctrine and missiles are non-negotiable. Ahmadi, however, did not appear to explicitly address reports claiming that Iran launched the Ghadr 110 missile last month. The U.S., meanwhile, is conducting a “serious review” of the alleged test-fire.

Matthew McInnis and Jordan Olmstead analyze domestic criticism of President Hassan Rouhani’s economic policies in their latest blog, “Is Rouhani’s image as economic savior crumbling?

Military and Security

  • Parliamentarian: The Emad missile test did not violate any UNSC resolutions. Vahid Ahmadi responded to “statements by U.S. officials about Iranian missile tests conflicting with recent UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.” The Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission’s Foreign Relations Committee stated, “All Iranian missile tests, including the missile Emad, are not in any way contrary to the UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2231.” Ahmadi continued, “The Emad missile is within the framework of conventional weapons; as in the past, we have carried out this work for the purpose of strengthening the country’s defense.” Ahmadi did not appear to explicitly address the alleged November 21 launch of the Gadr-110 missile near Chabahar, a city on Iran’s border with Pakistan. (ICANA)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Abdollahian: ISIS-connected terrorist groups are meeting in Riyadh. Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized the ongoing meetings of Syrian opposition groups in Riyadh, claiming that “some terrorist groups associated with ISIS” are participating in them. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs added that the meetings in Riyadh are “contrary to the Vienna II talks.” (IRIB)
    • Abdollahian criticizes Saudi involvement in Yemen. Abdollahian condemned Saudi Arabia’s “military approach” in Yemen during a conversation with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on December 10. Abdollahian stressed that Iran “will always continue to push for real and effective Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue” to resolve the political conflict. (Tabnak)
  • Iran denies reports of Zarif meeting with Saudi counterpart. The Foreign Ministry denied reports from a Lebanese newspaper that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Saudi counterpart to discuss preferred candidates in the Lebanese presidential elections on the sidelines of the Vienna II talks. An unnamed Foreign Ministry official added that Iran “has not interfered and will not interfere whatsoever” in the elections, which he deemed a purely “Lebanese issue.” (ILNA)
  • Zarif meets with Pakistani prime minister. Mohammad Javad Zarif called for greater Iranian-Pakistani financial cooperation during a discussion with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad. (MFA(E)
  • Deputy Foreign Minister: The JCPOA exemplifies Iran’s “engagement diplomacy.” Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahim Pour stressed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a “clear example” of Iran’s “engagement diplomacy” and reflects the Islamic Republic’s “commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes.” (Tasnim News Agency)


Domestic Politics

  • Hassan Khomeini to run in the Assembly of Experts election. The grandson of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Khomeini, stated that his brother, Hojjat ol Eslam Hassan Khomeini, will run in the Assembly of Experts elections in February 2016. (ISNA)
  • Rouhani visits Imam Reza’s shrine in Mashhad. President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi province on December 10. Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda, an Assembly of Experts member and vociferous critic of the administration, greeted Rouhani upon his arrival.  Rouhani is scheduled to meet with provincial authorities to be briefed on economic and cultural plans. (



  • Naghdi reassures Iranians that the Basij Organization can help improve the economy. IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi highlighted the IRGC’s role in improving local economies, citing growth in manufacturing jobs in Kermanshah province. The Basij Organization Commander urged government officials to utilize IRGC and Basij capabilities in the economic field. Naghdi also declared that the Basij Organization is prepared to enter the “economic war front” to help the Iranian nation. (Entekhab)
  • Air France and KLM will resume flights to Iran after seven-year ban. Air France and the Dutch airline KLM announced that direct flights to Tehran will resume in April 2016. (Press TV(E)


Casualties in Iraq and Syria

  • IRGC 2nd Imam Hassan Mojtaba Brigade member killed in Syria. Ahmad Ghasem Karani was a member of the 20th “commando” Company of the IRGC 2nd Imam Hassan Mojtaba Brigade, which is based in Khuzestan province. Fars News Agency reported that Karani was “dispatched” to Syria on October 12. IRGC First Lieutenant Mojtaba Zakavi and Reza Molaie, who were also recently reported to have been killed, were members of this brigade as well. (Fars News Agency) (Tabnak)
  • Three IRGC members killed in Syria. 
    • IRGC First Lieutenant Yahya Barati was from Esfahan province. No unit affiliation was provided.
    • IRGC Major Sajjad Moradi was a member of the 108th Battalion of the IRGC 14th Imam Hossein Division based in Esfahan province.
    • IRGC Captain Morteza Zare was also a member of the 108th Battalion of the IRGC 14thImam Hossein Division based in Esfahan province. He was reportedly from Borkhar, Esfahan province. (Dorcheh News) (Tnews) (Saheb News) (Photo) (Photo)
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