Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway: The Rouhani administration’s proposed 2018-2019 budget recommends moderate increases in the IRGC and Artesh budgets.

President Hassan Rouhani administration presented a budget proposal for the upcoming Iranian calendar year on December 10. Rouhani’s proposal advocates for significant increases from last year’s proposal for Artesh and IRGC budgets, approximately 25 percent and 15 percent respectively. Parliament will review Rouhani’s proposal and approve a final budget before Spring 2018.

Parliament increased the Artesh and IRGC budgets beyond Rouhani’s proposal last year. Parliament’s likely move to increase the budgets once again would signal continued regime consensus to maintain and possibly expand Iran’s conventional and asymmetric capabilities post-ISIS.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from December 9 - 14.

Domestic Politics
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December 15, 2017

Proposed budget seeks to increase IRGC and Artesh budgets.

President Hassan Rouhani presented the Parliament with a budget proposal for the upcoming year (beginning in mid-March 2018) advocating for an increase in Artesh and IRGC budgets. The Rouhani administration noted that the proposed budget will work toward achieving full employment, eliminating poverty and creating social justice. The proposed budget allocates approx. $500m to the Ministry of Defense (approx. 30 percent increase from the previous year’s proposed budget), $7.5b to the IRGC (approx. 15 percent increase), approx. $2.7b to the Artesh (approx. 25 percent increase), and approx. $330m to the Basij Organization (approx. 2 percent increase). The government also allocated approx. $72m to the Khatam ol Anbia Central Operations Base in a separate budgetary line. This is the first time that the government will allocate a separate line of the budget to the Khatam ol Anbia Central Operations Base. The proposed budget will now be assessed by the Parliament’s relevant committees where parliamentarians can offer suggestions and revisions to Rouhani’s proposed budget. (Telegram) (Tasnim News Agency) (Telegram) (Radio Farda) (E) (Reuters) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Telegram
https://t.me/Military_Press/1612

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/09/19/1596793/%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%B4-%D8%B9%D8%AC%DB%8C%D8%A8-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF%D8%AC%D9%87-%DA%86%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%B7%D8%B1%D8%AD-%DA%A9%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84-%D9%88-%D8%AC%D8%B2%D8%A6%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA

3. Telegram
https://t.me/Military_Press/1613

4. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-rouhani-budget-cuts/28909364.html

5. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-budget/irans-rouhani-submits-conservative-2018-budget-as-u-s-tensions-overshadow-economy-idUSKBN1E40I3

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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December 15, 2017

UK foreign minister meets with senior Iranian officials in Tehran.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson met with President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi during his visit to Tehran on December 9-10. Johnson highlighted the importance of the continued implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as well as the expansion of economic and banking relations between Iran and the UK during his meetings. Johnson also discussed the case of jailed Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. (Reuters) (E) (ILNA) (ILNA) (ILNA) (IRNA)

 

 

December 15, 2017

Haley presents evidence of Iranian involvement in al Houthi missile strikes.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented evidence on December 14 of Iranian involvement in Yemen, including a ballistic missile fired toward Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by al Houthi militants on November 4. Haley unveiled components of an Iranian-made Qiam-1 ballistic missile, anti-tank guided (ATG) Toophan missile, Qasef-1 kamikaze drone, and guidance equipment from a Shark-33 unmanned boat. Defense Department spokesperson Laura Seal stated “all four include parts made by [the] Iranian government-run defense industry, and all could have only come from Iran.” Haley’s presentation indicates that the U.S. is ramping up pressure on the international community to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing regional behavior. (NBC News) (E) (Twitter) (E)  (Defense.gov) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-iran-johnson/uks-johnson-meets-iran-president-as-he-lobbies-for-jailed-aid-worker-idUSKBN1E40F8

2. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/568842-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AE-%D8%B8%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3-%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%D9%BE%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%BA%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D9%81%DA%A9%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7-%D9%88%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF

3. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/568231-%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%B3-%D9%BE%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AC%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%87%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D9%85-%D8%AC%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%85

4. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/568633-%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%A2%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA

5. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82759422

Citations & Links

1. NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/haley-will-display-missile-other-evidence-iran-supplying-yemen-rebels-n828921

2. Twitter
https://twitter.com/NabilAbiSaab/status/941358229736579073

3. Defense.gov
https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1396769/dod-shows-iranian-weapons-as-proof-of-tehrans-duplicitous-ambitions/#.WjKqCWDKz8I.twitter

Nuclear Deal Developments
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December 15, 2017

Congress declines to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran.

Congress chose not to reimpose sanctions lifted under the JCPOA. President Donald Trump announced on October 13 that continuing U.S. sanctions relief as mandated by the JCPOA does not support U.S. national security interests. His decision initiated a 60-day review period during which Congress was required to decide whether continued sanctions relief supports U.S. national security interests. The review period ended this week. President Donald Trump must certify whether continuing nuclear sanctions relief meets U.S. national security interests again in mid-January. Decertification would prompt another 60-day congressional review period. (Reuters) (E) (ABC News) (E)

  • Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi commented on Congress’s December 13 decision to not reimpose sanctions and said that the “most important thing for Iran is that the U.S. adheres to its JCPOA commitments.” Ghassemi reiterated senior officials’ statements that Iran is prepared for any scenario and is prepared to respond accordingly to any U.S. violation of the JCPOA. (IRIB)

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-congress/u-s-congress-to-let-iran-deadline-pass-leave-decision-to-trump-idUSKBN1E62HP

2. ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/congress-lets-iran-deadline-pass-leaves-decision-trump/story?id=51752104

3. IRIB
http://www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/1943018/%D8%AA%D8%AF%D9%88%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%B3%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%88%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%84%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%87%D8%AF%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7

Military and Security
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December 15, 2017

IRGC and Artesh Ground Forces special forces meet.

Leaders from the IRGC Saberin Special Forces Unit and the Artesh 65th NOHED (Airborne Special Forces) Brigade held a joint session on December 11. Saberin Commander Col. Ramazan Ebrahimi Atani met with 65th Airborne Commander Col. Cyrus Amanollahi during the session. The Artesh 65th Brigade and IRGC Saberin commanders emphasized the importance of joint exercises to promote unity between the IRGC and the Artesh. The Artesh 65th Airborne and the IRGC Saberin are expected to conduct joint exercises on an unspecified date.  (Defa Press) (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press
http://www.defapress.ir/fa/news/269978/%D8%AA%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%88-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%AF

2. Defa Press
http://www.defapress.ir/fa/news/270003/%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%B1%DA%A9-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%AA%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D9%88-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87

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