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.
- Former President Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Khatami attended the “Map for Peace” film premier, where he commented on the legacy of Nelson Mandela as a “revolutionary” who fought for the “rule of the people”:
- “Today, when anger, terror, intolerance and discrimination rule our word, more than any life we need the way of the Mandelas.”
- “Mandela showed that one can fight but be compassionate. He fought for compassion. He fought so that people could be freed from segregation, the ugliest oppression, and live a free life.”
- “Mandela spent nearly 30 years of his life in prison. He fought until there was no more fight. He fought until there was no more segregation. He fought so that people could determine their own fate. He was a revolutionary whose war & revolution led to rule of the people over their own fate.”
- Khatami was barred from leaving the country to attend Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa, reportedly due to “protocol issues” and the required security measures necessary for an ex-president to travel.
- President Hassan Rouhani addressed the 14th National Celebration of Premier Researchers Festival and praised nuclear technology as a “great honor” that is “inseparable from this nation.” Rouhani also stated, “The slogan of ‘we can’ that the Supreme Leader affirms is a rightful slogan that we must all move behind.”
- Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani called the Rouhani budget “slightly optimistic” but added, “The administration’s analysis of the country’s problems is correct, and the administration’s approach to resolve economic issues seems correct.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member MP Mohammad Hassan Asfari criticized the meeting between the European Parliamentary delegation in Iran and “activists of the  Sedition, Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi,” in Iran and said, “The gentlemen who invited these without the Parliament’s coordination must answer for this.”
- Followers of the Velayat Principlists Faction Vice-Chairman MP Esmail Jalili criticized new US proposed sanctions and said, “The interpretation of public opinion based on this new measure from the Americans is proof of Iran’s righteousness and will make it clear to everyone that the Americans are not bound to their agreements.”
- Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi announced a plan to increase internet speed from the current 70 gigabytes per second (g/s) to 700 g/s by 2015. Regarding internet filtering, he stated, “We agree instead of a system that filters everything, there should be a system that only filters inappropriate content.”
- Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danaeifar noted that Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Amir Abdollahian is visiting Iraq “and will meet with the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Speaker of Parliament.” Danaeifar said that the recent terrorist attacks in Iraq were the impetus for the visit.
Former Iraqi Transitional Government Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari visited Iran to meet with Iranian officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, with whom he discussed bilateral relations between the countries. Jafari strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Iraq and asked for Iran’s help as a “neighboring and influential regional country.... Today, no one can ignore Iran’s role as a powerful and active country in regional and global developments, as well as in the process of resolving issues and crises.”
- Zarif agreed that the terrorist attacks were a regional issue and said “There is a need for cooperation and consultation between the regional countries in order to confront the doubling of terrorism.”
Military and Security
- Head of the Kerman Province Representatives Society Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi provided further details of a purported MI6 operative arrested in Kerman on December 14, 2013, and said, “In the past this problem has existed. Traitors from Iran were captivated in the trap of foreign intelligence services.” Zahedi added that a judge will issue a verdict soon after “the confession of the defendant.”
- Head of the Passive Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali announced, “Threats in the cyber arena have expand and affect national security. From this aspect, we are witnessing the expansion of information technology according to the [national] fourth and fifth expansion plan. In a sense, it can be said that the country’s national resources have changed nature from a physical to a cyber nature over the past five years.”
- IRGC Mohammad Rasulollah Unit (Greater Tehran) Coordination Deputy Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Mohammad Reivandi announced the holding of Beit ol-Moghaddas and Kowsar battalions exercises in Tehran. He then provided details on the Imam Hossein and Imam Ali battalions that comprise the IRGC Tehran unit. The former is related to defense matter while the latter is an internal security unit whose specialty “is defending and securing the city's security.” Reivandi also added, “Of course if needed, the IRGC and Basij will enter and the Basij will help anywhere that is needed. Basij checkpoints are established and we do not plan to close them. If a special event occurs, our checkpoints will become active, but, other than this, a weekly regular plan will take place in neighborhoods.”
- Iranian Space Agency Astronaut Systems Research Academy President Mohammad Ibrahimi announced that the agency plans to send an astronaut to space within four to five years. http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/4671569/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%
- Senior nuclear negotiator and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Eraghchi announced that the Iranian negotiations team will meet with EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton in Brussels tomorrow. Eraghchi made the announcement today from Berlin while meeting with German diplomats.
- Ashton noted that “technical negotiations will start again” and added that “We have arranged most of the details, but we must think and work carefully on one or two implementation issues.”
- Eraghchi responded to the criticism facing the nuclear team by Iranian politicians, saying “I respect all of the opponents who criticize the Geneva deal because this criticism is necessary,” but urged that they also “observe fair lines in their criticism and not cross the lines that are a risk to the national interest because this … harms national unity.”
- Foreign Minister Zarif posted a short message to his Facebook in which he said the “US took inappropriate actions,” but that Iran “is seriously pursuing the Geneva negotiations and will show a suitable, targeted, and wise reaction to any unsuitable and unconstructive action (even if it is not a violation of the agreement).” Zarif noted that “negotiations have many ups and downs, but we expected this from day one.” He also attempted to ease worries about the relative silence surrounding the process, but noted that this “silence is for the national interest, and in due time, all uncertainties will be answered.”
- NSFP Parliamentary Commission Member Mohammad Hassan Asfari noted a disagreement between leadership over whether an MP should join the negotiations team in order to provide Parliament with more information during the negotiations process: “[FM] Zarif has announced his own agreement with the presence of an MP on the nuclear negotiations team, but it is established that President Hassan Rouhani, as head of the Supreme National Security Council, announced his opposition to the issue, but has not stated his reasons.”
- The Iranian capital market value surpassed 431,000 billion tomans [approximately $173.8 billion] earlier today.
- Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company Engineering and Securement Deputy Gholam Abbas Jokar announced the necessity of importing 28 rigs for Persian Gulf construction projects and added that the Southern Pars gas fields expansion projects will be completed within the next three years.
- CEO of the Petrochemical Commercial Company Moustafa Tehrani Sefa said that the rising number of petrochemical companies is creating a number of issues and that exports had decreased since last year, but said that some Arabs “want to invest their extra funds, and have presented a proposal of joint investments.” He added that the goods exchange needs to be reformed and “the Manufacturing Ministry’s pricing mechanism completely eliminated.”
- IRGC organ Sobh-e Sadegh Weekly examined some of the 2013-2014 budget’s characteristics including its planned decrease of the inflation rate, increase in workers’ wages, and need to sell more oil.
- “An interesting point is that the budget bill lacks mention of reforming the targeted subsidies laws. Targeted subsidies have been moved to be presented in another bill.”
Photo of the Day
- Winter in the Sahand peaks of East Azerbaijan.