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.
- In a meeting with Mazandaran province MPs, President Hassan Rouhani stated that “Resolving the country’s issues is only possible with the cooperation and interaction of the Parliament and the administration.”
Ali Reza Razm Hosseini and Abdolmohammad Zahedi were appointed governors of the provinces of Kerman and Kurdistan, respectively, on Sunday during a cabinet meeting called by President Rouhani. Rouhani praised the appointments and noted them as important given the difficult circumstances in each province.
- Razm Hosseini is a native of Kerman, and worked closely there with Qods Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani during the early days of the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War.
- Zahedi is a Lor from Boroujerd in Lorestan Province and will be governing the Kurdish province. His resume includes working in political offices of the provinces of Kermanshah, Sistan va Baluchestan, Markazi, and Ilam.
- Cooperation, Work and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabi’i urged the head of Social Security Organization (SSO) Board of Trustees Ahmad Meydari to investigate payment to SSO executives, noting “the difference in level of salary between senior executives in the funds and other similar occupations.” Prior to this, Rabi’i cancelled a bonus payment of approximately $1.8 million to executives that was approved in the final days of the Ahmadinejad administration.
- Head of the Article Ninety Parliamentary Commission Mohammad Ali Pourmokhtar pledged to investigate “whether the [allegation] of $150 billion difference of balance in the Ahmadinejad administration is valid.”
- Judiciary Spokesman Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s policy of filtering Facebook.
- Hezbollah commander Wasam Sharafeddin, AKA “Seyyed Nasrallah,” was reportedly “martyred in Ghoutah in the vicinity of Damascus” last Friday. The nephew of Lebanon Agriculture Minister Hossein al-Haj Hassan was also reportedly killed in the Ghalamoun area.
- A funeral was held this past weekend in Lebanon for Sharafeddin. Seyyed Nasrallah’s coffin was draped with Hezbollah’s flag as it was carried through the streets.
- Strategic Defense Sciences Senior Analyst and former Iranian Ambassador to Mexico Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri Ebyaneh criticized Turkey in a recent interview and said, “Turkey pursued incorrect policies in the past, this is while the Westerners were able to make this country greedy and convince it that regional transformation was an opportunity to revive part of the Ottoman Empire.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Kuwait yesterday to participate in the second meeting of the Iranian and Kuwaiti Joint Economic Commission. Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamd al-Sabah welcomed Zarif to the country, during which Zarif spoke on expanding economic cooperation and signed documents of cooperation. While in Kuwait, Zarif will also meet with the Emir and Foreign Minister of Kuwait to talk about bilateral relations and regional developments.
- Iran’s Foreign Ministry also announced that it had released Kuwaiti citizen Adel al-Hawal, who had been detained for a month, as a show of good will during Zarif’s visit to the country. Al-Hawal claimed that he had been visiting only as a tourist, but that he had not been abused during the period of his arrest.
- Zarif also commented on Iran’s position in regards to a dispute with the UAE over islands in the Persian Gulf: “I have stated the usual stance of the country, which is that we are prepared to talk with the UAE to remove the misunderstandings about Abu Mousa Island.”
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham elaborated on Zarif’s position, saying that “The Emirati Foreign Minister’s travel to Tehran is a good start to bilateral relations. It is natural that there are some differences in viewpoints between the two countries. However, during this visit, the two countries talked about these important issues and we are continuing to discuss removing misunderstandings that exist between the two countries, including Abu Mousa.”
Zarif traveled to Qatar to meet his counterpart Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyeh today to talk about political and economic affairs, trade between the countries, establishing contact and councils, and regional issues such as developments in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon. The two agreed to work together to solve issues, and Zarif extended al-Attiyeh an invitation to pay a return visit to Iran, which he accepted.
- Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani officially welcomed Zarif to his palace, where the two also discussed regional issues and bilateral relations.
- A Parliamentary delegation, led by National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member and former Quds Force officer MP Mansour Haghighat Pour, met with Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah this past Saturday and discussed “the important Lebanese and regional transformations.”
- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maleki is scheduled to visit Tehran next week to discuss increasing bilateral relations and regional issues.
Military and Security
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari commented on the Geneva accord and reiterated the IRGC’s threat to attack Israel in the event of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities:
- “If officials observe any sort of infringement, disloyalty, or violation of our country’s incontrovertible nuclear rights, or misuse of the accord and its interpretation of its acceptance by the West and America, the agreement should be treated with full authority as null and void.”
- “[The US and Israel] know well that they have been unable to take any miltiary action against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and if they make any foolish move of this sort, there are many options on the table for Iran and deadly responses will be received, one example being the elimination of the Zionist regime.”
- “All must help the negotiations team of our country and the foreign policy apparatus in order to create consensus and public unity at the current time in order to help them demand the fundamental rights of the nation of Iran in the nuclear field and stand against Arrogant blackmail and greed during negotiations and meetings.”
- “The people expect the officials to demand the complete nuclear rights of the nation of Iran, including the whole nuclear fuel cycle, complete and official recognition of the right to enrich, and the elimination of all unjust sanctions.”
- “The indications of fear by American officials and some Western officials following the agreement shows the importance of watching and being aware” [of America’s malicious intents.]
- Today, Americans and Westerners have understood that pressure on Iran not only does not lead to the achievement of their desires, but also has the opposite effect. Iran has progressed day by day. As an example, the US Secretary of State has also recognized that eight years ago Iran had 164 centrifuges in use, while today, despite the many pressures and unjust sanctions by America and its allies, this number has reached 19,000 centrifuges.”
- “If America and its rabid dog in the region [Israel] had any power to initiate military action against Iran, America and its allies would not be sitting at the negotiations table with Iran.”
Jafari also gave a speech to regional commanders in which he praised the Basij for “reinforcing the revolutionary spirit of the people”:
- He stated, “Preserving and defending the Revolution is the task of the Basij and IRGC. These forces must focus on the fundamental subjects and avoid routine in their strategic thinking…. Today, more than 80% of the people accept the Revolutionary slogans, which the IRGC and Basij look to in order to preserve and deepen this number.”
- “The enemy makes an effort to get to the level of the people because they know that the Revolution does not have meaning without the people. The nuclear subject is an excuse. They are looking to take our religion. It is wishful thinking if we think that America will remove its pressure from Iran.”
- "We have to prepare for difficulties. The further we go the more difficulties there will be in identifying right from wrong.... Identifying friends and enemies will also not be easy."
- IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami also commented on negotiations:
- "Fighting sanctions was its own form of economic epic.... And if we see today all of the world's powers seated at a table with Iran, it's because of the resistance of the Muslim Iranian nation."
- "We see that [the West's] previous pride and arrogance has transformed into requests and supplication."
Armed Forces General Staff Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy Massoud Jazayeri claimed that America had failed in its three wars against Iran:
- “Of course this [failure] does not mean the [US] regime’s retreat from its oppressive and proud approach, so we must always observe the government of this country, which is a clear example of Arrogance, with open eyes.”
- Jazayeri claimed that “America’s intention in launching the Imposed War [Iran-Iraq War] against Iran was to overthrow the nascent republic” and that it “imposed a soft war on Iran with greater scope and intensity for over two decades.” The third war “by the enemy, the political and economic war, has also faced failure, which is clear in the ineffectiveness of the sanctions and other pressures against Iran. Perhaps it is because none of these succeeded that they tried another way during the Geneva nuclear negotiations.”
- “Despite its repeated failures against Iran and the Revolution, America has used media fanfare to declare itself the victor in this field. Of course, no type of propaganda can change the truth.”
IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi praised the accomplishments of its force for growing the regime’s power and preserving its security against all enemies:
- “Wherever necessary during its lifetime, the IRGC Navy has given the final word in the sea.”
- “Today, with the same funding and in light of the tactical and strategic defense we have given, we have achieved a greater and more significant level of preparedness for carrying out the necessary, difficult missions. With the same investments towards achieving the intents of the Supreme Leader and the policies of the regime in the security and defense fields, we have taken steps.”
- “A look at the recognitions of foreign military officials shows that they are awed by the courage, honor, and desire for martyrdom of the IRGC Navy’s warriors which has put fear in the hearts of the enemies and removed their imagining of any type of confrontation with our holy country.”
- Head of the Foundation for the Preservation and Publication of Sacred Defense Works and Values Brig. Gen. Bahman Kargar said, “Today Syria has employed Basiji thought to resolve its issues and has entered popular forces to the scene, and with this approach has achieved great victories.”
- Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated, “The clergy has raised the flag of martyrdom and so long as the flag of martyrdom is raised in society, the dirt of abjection will not fall on society’s face.”
- Law Enforcement Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam criticized the presence of some officials on Facebook and urged them to “observe” the law as it applies to citizens.
- Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami, Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander Ebadollah Abdollahi, and Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf attended the opening of “the most complex and largest civil project of the country, the Shahid Sadr Highway.” The project was an 11km highway that had the first leveled bridge in Iran and was undertaken over the course of 26 months by the Shahid Rejaei affiliate of the Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base. All praised the effort taken to build the bridge, even during the difficult circumstances, and noted that it would play an important role in mitigating traffic.
- Deputy Roads and Urban Development Minister for Regional Affairs Ahmad Majidi said that the two sections of a freeway project from Tehran to the north under the control of the Khatam ol-Anbia base “are currently canceled until a contractor is found.” However, “One section of this freeway is currently being executed by a Chinese company, which will make it operational a year or two into the future.” Due to the large cost of the project, Majidi said “To execute these two sections, it is necessary to finance or sell shares of government companies and find a private-sector contractor.”
Deputy Foreign Minister International and Legal Affairs and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi held a press conference on the Geneva accords, during which he discussed the implication of the accord on UN Security Council resolutions and ending 20% uranium enrichment:
- “In [the beginning paragraph of the accord] it is announced that the goal from these negotiations is to reach a point that concerns about Iran’s nuclear program are alleviated, Iran reaches its rights and its right implemented, enrichment exists and sanctions to be lifted.”
- “Our goal is to have the nuclear program and for nothing to be reduced from this program and enrichment program to continue as well. We will reach this goal without going to the bomb and on this basis the opposing side has not lost anything but we have achieved our goal.”
- “We set aside matters that Iran’s file is closed, is non-negotiable, etc. and accepted that the opposing side has concerns and some of these concerns are justified. Of course we do not say it is right. One can understand why these concerns exist; therefore, by answering these concerns we are attempting to alleviate them.”
- “There is a concern in this matter, that when we handed over 20% [enrichment] we lost all tools in our hands and had nothing for future negotiations. This analysis is completely incorrect and in a sense is underrating the capabilities and achievements of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
- “We stopped 20% [enrichment] due to a lack of need and have explained other matters with attention to our needed and cooperate with them in negotiations.”
- “We have no problem with the spirit of inspection but have problem with its mechanism and abuse.”
- “In Natanz, Fordo and Arak it is planned to remain in the situation we are [in currently] and do not go farther than this from a small aspect.”
- “If centrifuges work and production is conducted, it will continue its work and if a centrifuge works and gas is not injected to it, it will continue in this form and gas will not be injected to it.”
- “[I] hope that the Parliament pays attention to this point that the final step, in reality, suspension in a way depends on the Parliament’s opinion. If the Parliament determines that the country’s situation is not expedient for this step to go ahead, it can prevent its implementation with lack of ratification.”
- “I do not accept the first part at all, that sanctions compelled Iran to negotiate. What prepared us for negotiations was the recent political epic and capacity that these elections, the new administration and the people’s presence in the scene created and the will that has been demonstrated.”
- "In the Geneva negotiations, we absolutely did not enter other matters whether human rights, Syria, Bahrain, etc. any matters other than nuclear. There was only the nuclear discussion.”
- Parliamentary Energy Commission member MP Jalil Jafari announced negotiations between Iran and Russia to construct two nuclear plants but criticized President Rouhani’s “transience” during his recent trip to Bushehr province.
- Economy and Monetary Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia officially denied reports of an “empty treasury,” asserting that the Rouhani Administration began its term with a 1280 billion tomans [approximately $500 million] treasury and has kept it steady at that level.
- Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission member MP Jafar Ghaderi announced the expectation of the Parliament from the Rouhani Administration present its solutions to the present economic problem within the framework of the 2013-2014 reformed budget.
Photo of the Day
- Unveiling of statue of poet Qeysar Aminpour in Tehran.