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 Analyst Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors John Lesnewich and Mehrdad Moarefian. 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.


  • Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani praised the nuclear negotiations team:
    • “With faith and efforts, our scientists obtained atomic knowledge without the least help from foreigners and were able to do so domestically.”
    • “Every day, the oppressed of the world become more aware and their hatred of Arrogance increases. So, we also tell the nuclear negotiations team to continue its work with perseverance and faith and speak of the rights of the nation of Iran. If they do not accept, we will again not be afraid, but continue on our path because nuclear energy is the right of a Muslim nation.”
    • “According to the Quran, Zionists are counted as nothing but the enemies of Islam. The triangle of kufr [disbelief], discord, and Zionism are in reality the true enemies of the people of Islam.” 
  • Chairman of the Agricultural Parliamentary Commission Abbas Rejaei said he believed there would need to be changes to the proposed budget, but that he did not support the resignation of MPs following the bill’s announcement:
    • “The government believes that because of the reduction of credits it will not be possible to act on all of the current projects in the country and that projects with great importance must be completed earlier. However, in this case some regions will not see parity and fairness.”
    • “Following the announcement of next year’s budget, a number of MPs resigned, which the heads of Parliament opposed. I believe that the budget discussion needs serious consultation and I think that the country’s issues must be solved with planning. Resignations and threats to the work of the country will not progress [anything].”


Regional Events 

  • According to Iran’s Ahlul Bayt News Agency, Bahraini Royal Guard Commander and Member of the ruling family Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa spoke on the sidelines of the Manama Security Conference, and said that Bahrain’s “arms are open for an embrace with Iran.” However, he also called for Gulf states’ participation in the nuclear negotiations, saying the Arab states “hoped to be present at Geneva. This issue is important for all of us and that is why we hope that the countries of the Persian Gulf region will participate in coming negotiations.” 


Military and Security

  • IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari connected Iran’s military strength to the nuclear negotiations during a speech before the Martyrs of Scientific Jihad Congress:
    • “What caused the enemy to sit at the negotiations table was the nation of Iran’s defense capabilities, which we hope to guard.”
    • “Today, the topics of Iran’s missile and peaceful nuclear capabilities are in line with the nation of Iran’s power.”
    •  “Without a doubt it can be said today that one of the components of resistance against the enemy is our various defense abilities, especially our missile capabilities.”
    • “[The enemy] may know some of our missile storage locations, but missile locations have been hidden. The ways to fire these missiles all across the country are widespread. With thousands of bombs the enemy could not prevent the firing of our missiles.”
    • Jafari also spoke of new armed drones: “Our recent accomplishments in the drone field are such that flight time is 30 hours and the high speed motors provide great range.”
    • “Reverse engineering the [downed US] RQ-170 is in the final stages of research and we hope to make it operational in the near future.”
  • MG Jafari also called on President Rouhani and the negotiations team to “guard the blood of the martyrs”:
    • “We recommend to the president, politicians, and the negotiations team that they guard the blood of the martyrs.”
    • “It is true that today, on the basis of heroic flexibility presented by the Supreme Leader, permission to negotiate was granted. Until now, principles have not been deviated from, but when it is decided that negotiations have reached a result, they must preserve the honor of the Iranian people.”
    • “In continuing the negotiations, one thing must be a concern, which is stability in the line of Resistance and preserving the blood of the martyrs.
    • “We must know that the honor and strength of the dear Revolution had two components: jihad in the way of god and patience and perseverance in the way of truth.”
  • Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi spoke at a  memorial for Tahereh Hashemil, a young girl shot and killed during clashes between “anti-revolutionaries” and Basij forces in 1981:
    • “At that time, many people who considered the slogan of down with America to be a lie were recognized and it was emphasized that a compromise not take shape.”
    • “Today, many do not know the difference between flexibility and compromise and do not remember when the enemy occupied our ground, the greatness of our fight, an us proving our legitimacy to the world.”
    • Naghdi said there was still distrust of America: “The slogan of down with America continues. It will only go away with the changing of America’s nature.”
    • “For a few years America has contacted us for negotiations and sent letters to solve issues, but we are informed of its wishes and nature and were unable to trust America. This lack of confidence remains today.” 
  • Armed Forces General Staff Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy Massoud Jazayeri commented on the proposed budget and noted that in the past and present there had been good interaction between the armed forces and government, while also harshly criticizing President Obama:
    • “Given the set of parameters and coordination between the armed forces and the government, we hope that in the future there are opportunities advanced and possibilities provided to improve the budget from whatever it is today.”
    • “Americans are speaking a great deal out of desperation, especially the times that they have laughably announced that the military option is on the table. If America enjoyed the necessary capabilities, it would have been able to successfully end the wars it has launched in the region in recent years.”
    • “America has had great failures in all five wars. The American President has become a Zionist mockery. In respect to the threat against our country, there is none.”


Nuclear Issue

  • Deputy Foreign Minister and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi spoke about building trust through the negotiations process:
    • “We are 100% distrusting of the West. If we are confident that we cannot negotiate then why do you have negotiations between two sides that do not trust one another. By way of negotiations they want to build trust with each other.”
    • Eraghchi spoke about the effects of the experts negotiations in Vienna: “These effects and consequences are in the area of building trust, as well as lifting sanctions. We hope that after the experts’ decisions in Vienna, we will see the effects and outcomes of this agreement.”
    • “The specifications for the final stage are clearly mentioned in the Geneva agreement. In the final stage, all of the sanctions will be removed, Iran’s enrichment program will continue with limits that the two sides establish, and the duties and rights of both sides will be respected to make actions transparent and build trust.” 
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda without reporters present, but spoke with them afterward, criticizing US threats of sanctions and military options:
    • “Military threats, including having the option on the table, are not beneficial and are illegal. What does America think it will benefit from by using the military option.”
    • “The people of Iran respond with resistance against this type of threat, and this resistance has today been successful.”
    • “These statements [by US interest groups] are harmful, but are actions that are proof for us…. Of course we have no confidence in America or the West, but the actions are proof for us.” 
  • Ayatollah Abbas Vaez Tabbasi also met with Foreign Minister Zarif to discuss negotiations: “In all cases, the important thing for us is the satisfaction of the Supreme Leader. Praise be to God that you and the representatives of our country have viewed the negotiations as going well.” He also warned Zarif, “Your face has become known in Europe and America, but ultimately the enemy is the enemy. It will use every opportunity to strike the Islamic System. You must stay very vigilant and use your great political wisdom, watching so that the enemy does not abuse the complexities of the negotiations.” 



  • Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that he had “presented a proposal to OPEC that would allow Iran to increase its oil exports, which received positive feedback.” Zanganeh added that Saudi Arabia also supported the proposal.
    • The minister was asked about potential sanctions increases, and he deferred, “If sanctions are strengthened, our statesman will announce the official views of the state.”
    • Zanganeh noted that gas exports would continue to Turkey, while adding, “We are interested in exporting to Pakistan, and we have just begun negotiations with India, but we must see where that ends up.” 


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