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 Mehrdad Moarefian, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Marie Donovan, Warren Marshall, and Dianna Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
Key takeaway: Senior Iranian officials continued to echo earlier condemnation concerning the US Senate report on CIA torture. An Economics Committee parliamentarian called for more transparency amidst rampant reports of internal corruption.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, made the CIA report the focal-point of his sermon; he denounced US violations of international law, citing its “medieval” torture tactics. Hojjat al-Eslam Said Reza Akrami, meanwhile, called the report a “show” that is being used for political gain on the Hill. The Head of the Presidential Cultural Council added that Washington would not act on the Senate’s charges, and that it has failed to reform Wall Street and close Guantanamo. Tehran will continue to make a concerted push to highlight human rights abuses by the US; regime rhetoric will coalesce around this report in an effort to garner support for a UN-led investigation.
Parliamentarian Ezatollah Yousefian-Molla attributed the approximate loss of 44 million dollars to corruption among five banks. The Economics Committee member urged the government to adopt concrete measures to reinforce transparency and confidentiality. The growing political fallout from the regime’s internal scandals suggests that the Supreme Leader will support President Rouhani’s pledge to crackdown on financial fraud in order to restore confidence in the system.
- Shamkhani: partnership with the Iraqi people will defeat ISIL. Ali Shamkhani stated that partnership with the Kurds, Shi’as, and Sunnis in Iraq will bring lasting security to the region and counter anti-Islamism. The Supreme National Security Council Secretary also stated that Iran is “confident that the Iraqi tribes will push the ‘takfiri’ current far away from themselves to defend the national security of their country.” (IRNA)
Iran fully cooperating with IAEA. Reza Najafi, Iran’s permanent representative to the IAEA’s Board of Governors, denied allegations from the Canadian government that Iran is not cooperating with the IAEA and stated that Iran has fulfilled all of its obligations with the IAEA. (Fars News Agency)
Lack of information leads to corruption in banking system. Parliamentarian Ezatollah Yousefian-Molla, Economics Committee member, stated that corruption among five banks has led to the loss of 12 trillion tomans [around 44 million US dollars]. Yousefian-Molla called for more transparency in the system since confidentiality of information causes corruption in the system. (Fars News Agency)
- Akrami: Senate CIA report is just for show. Head of the Presidential Cultural Council Hojjat al-Eslam Said Reza Akrami said Republicans and Democrats would use the Senate’s report on CIA interrogations as a propaganda tool in their political fights rather than addressing the crisis in the CIA. Akrami said the importance of the CIA report will fade just as America has also failed to reform Wall Street or close Guantanamo. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Mirzadeh: We will not let the university become a political playground. Islamic Azad University President Hamid Mirzadeh said there was no place for extremist political factions at the university, adding that the calm of the university would not become a “security atmosphere.” (Mehr News )
- Khatami: We must create reconciliation among political interests. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami stressed the importance of reconciliation within the political system, saying that the country should be aware of those who enjoy division. Khatami also said the exoneration of American police for killing blacks and the country’s secret torture sites placed the U.S. at the forefront of human rights violators. (ISNA)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Iran to attend upcoming BRICS meeting. Ali Akbar Velayati met with Manoj Joshi, Director of India’s Observer Research Foundation, in Tehran to discuss shared interests between the two countries. Following their meeting, the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader announced that Iran will join the five BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), in their next meeting in new Delhi. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Turkish FM to visit Iran. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is scheduled to make his first official visit to Tehran on December 17, to discuss strengthening of Turkey-Iran relations. (ISNA)
Military and Security
Heightened security along Iran’s western border. Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Elhami said that air defense units are providing a “security umbrella” for Iranian pilgrims traveling to Iraq to commemorate the martyrdom of third Shi’a Imam Husayn ibn Ali. The Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Deputy Commander added that, “The airspace is being closely monitored even kilometers beyond the country’s boundaries in a bid to ensure security for pilgrims.” (Tasnim News Agency)
- Negotiations in Geneva on December 17. Abbas Araghchi, International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister, announced that two days before negotiations resume on December 17, bilateral talks will take place between Iran and the US. (Fars News Agency)