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 officials continued to laud Iran’s regional influence, while echoing the Supreme Leader’s assertion that the US and its allies use terrorist groups to exacerbate regional crises. Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 kicked off in Geneva. 

President Rouhani praised Syria for fighting “foreign conspiracies,” during his meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi. Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, the AFGS Headquarters Chief, moreover, pointed to Saudi Arabia’s increased oil production, implying that the goal is to place Iran under financial stress in its fight against ISIL, while financing Riyadh’s material support for terrorist groups. These statements reaffirm the regime’s unified rhetorical stance behind Khamenei’s assertion that ISIL is a tool used by the US and its allies, and remains a staple of Iranian discourse regarding regional crises. 

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani censured the US-led coalition against ISIL and said that Americans only pay lip service in the war on terror, claiming its efforts are insincere and ineffective. Judiciary Head Sadegh Amoli Larijani, meanwhile, called on the US to act in accordance with international law, citing the Senate’s report on CIA torture methods. Larijani also referenced the recent police killings of unarmed civilians Michael Brown and Eric Garner, as well as the high incarceration rates of African Americans. Ali Larijani’s criticism reinforces Tehran’s opposition to collaborating with the West, while Sadegh Larijani’s remarks seem indicative of a ploy to highlight the dichotomy between US human rights rhetoric and its actions, in order to give traction to a UN investigation of US war crimes.

Official Statements

  • Rouhani: “Stability of Syria proves line of resistance cannot be defeated.” President Hassan Rouhani met with Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi and Rouhani praised Syria for its fight against terrorism and “foreign conspiracies.” Rouhani stated that the resistance and stability in Syria against terrorism teaches the “Zionists” and those who are against Syrian independence and freedom that it cannot be defeated through financial and military assistance. (Fars News Agency)
  • Iran calls on the US to observe international law. Judiciary Head Sadegh Amoli Larijani said the recent Senate report on CIA torture proved the “lies” behind US rhetoric on human rights. Larijani said the “inhumane” actions and the killing of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan, carried out by the Bush administration is obvious to everyone; America “violates the rights of people around the world.” Larijani pointed to the recent grand jury trials in Ferguson and New York and said “American officials and law enforcement police are using people as a tool to attain their goals and exoneration of guilty police officers is just one of the scandals testifying to this fact." (IRNA)
  • Administration Spokesman says government did not take development funds. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, the Head of Management and Planning Organization, denied so-called false allegations made by an unnamed news site accusing the government of withdrawing $4.1 billion from the national development fund, saying that the amount was not from the development fund but rather the income from oil and gas condensate sales. (Mehr News)  
  • Saidi: America won’t be able to use the nuclear issue to prevent Iran’s influence in the Middle East. Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi said America was attempting to use the nuclear issue to contain Iran’s power in the region. Saidi added that Iran’s nuclear negotiating team had acted according to principle, but America’s unfailing arrogance was the true problem. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Ali Shamkhani on ISIL militants getting medical treatment by Israelis. Ali Shamkhani stated: “The treatment of ISIL and al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria and Lebanon) militants in Zionist hospitals is proof linking terrorism with Israel and is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.” The Supreme National Security Council Secretary pointed to the failure of the coalition forces in the fight against terrorism in a meeting with Salim al-Jabouri, Iraqi parliament speaker, and said: “The solution to the regional and global security problem is goodwill and distancing from sectarian and political objectives.” Salim al-Jabouri said, “Iran plays an important role in supporting the democratic process in Iraq and establishing security and stability in the region.” (Mehr News)
  • Rezaei: Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base has helped bring the country through hard times. Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council Mohsen Rezaei said the IRGC Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base has played a key role in Iran’s resistance economy against Western sanctions. (Defa Press)
  • Jazayeri: The enemy is trying to weaken the system from within. Massoud Jazayeri said Iran and Shi’as had become so powerful that the enemy can no longer destroy them through hard power, but rather must try to sap their spirituality from within. The Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Basij Affairs and IRGC Defense Culture Deputy pointed to the Persian-language broadcasts of Voice of America and the BBC as examples of this approach. (Sepah News)
  • Firouzabadi: Saudi oil money founded the Islamic State. Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, AFGS Headquarters Chief, said Saudi Arabia has spent its windfall oil profits to create and promote Wahhabi terrorist groups such as ISIL. According to Firouzabadi, Saudi Arabia’s increasing oil production is also intended to place those countries fighting ISIL under financial stress by lowering the price of oil. Firouzabadi added that America had launched a coalition against ISIL, while continuing its financial and military support to this group. (Sepah News)
  • Velayati: Iran is prominent in nuclear and defense fields. Ali Akbar Velayati said, “Iran has come to a position of prominence in the nuclear and defense fields.” The Head of the Strategic Research Center stated, “If in some areas we are not at the same point as the Europeans, such as in the field of economic development, we have made good progress in the political, security, and defense fields.” He also touted Iran’s development in other areas of research, including the medical field. (Fars News Agency)

Military and Security

  • Artesh and IRGC cooperate to alter enemy tactics. Brig. Gen. Amir Reza Sabahi Fard announced that joint efforts between the Artesh and IRGC are underway in “…various projects to change the behavior of the enemy in the region.” The Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Deputy Commander pointed to the capture of former Jundullah (Sunni terrorist group based in Sistan va Baluchistan Province) leader Abdolmalek Rigi and the landing of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) contracted airliner, as two examples of successful Artesh-IRGC cooperation. (Defa Press)
  • Soleimani attends senior-level conference in Tehran. IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani attended the 11th Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Conference, along with other senior officials. (Defa Press)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Jafari condoles with Pakistan over terrorist attack. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari extended his condolences to Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif over the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. Jafri’s letter also underscored the need for cooperation combatting terrorism: “fighting terrorism… needs an all-out and serious will to effectively condemn and confront the creators of terror and terrorism as well as the governments that support inhumane crimes, which is now also a top priority and inevitable need of the international bodies and circles." (Sepah News)
  • Meeting between Parliament speakers of Iran and Iraq. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with his Iraqi counterpart Salim al-Jabouri and discussed parliamentary cooperation and consultation of special committees between the two countries. Larijani stated that they discussed terrorism in Iraq and added that the “fictitious” US-led coalition against ISIL has yet to act on its rote sloganeering. Larijani added that Iran will cooperate with Iraq in defeating the terrorist threat. (Fars News Agency)
    • Ali Larijani also met with Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi and stated that Iran will make every effort to strengthen Syria’s peace and stability and added that Western countries are unable to overthrow the Syrian regime. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Assad calls for closer Iran-Syria relations. Syrian President Bashar al Assad wrote a letter to President Rouhani urging enhanced bilateral cooperation to thwart American and Israeli plots. (Tasnim News Agency)


Nuclear Talks

  • Negotiations between Iran and P5+1 begin in Geneva. Iran and the P5+1 began talks in Geneva today. Bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations will continue to be held throughout the day.. (Mehr News)
  • Zarif: Negotiations with America are a part of the P5+1 talks. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said U.S.-Iran negotiations held on the sidelines of the P5+1 talks are no different from other bilateral meetings held with P5+1 states like China and Russia. Zarif added that all countries, including members of the P5+1, have realized that negotiations and not sanctions are the only way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. (ISNA)
  • Iran talks have come long way since one year ago. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that the nuclear negotiations have come a long year since one year ago, but there are still issues to be discussed. Kamalvandi mentioned that Iran has agreed to extend the previous agreement for another seven months, including delaying setting up new centrifuges, allowing inspections, and not enriching uranium above 20 percent. (Fars News Agency)


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