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 Takeaways: Iran continues to undermine security efforts and foment unrest in Bahrain.

Bahraini officials sentenced six Shia men to death on December 25 for allegedly forming a terrorist cell and plotting to assassinate a senior Bahraini military official. Bahraini security forces charged 12 other individuals who were involved in the plot, eight of whom were tried in absentia. Reports indicated that the terrorist cell has extensions in Iran and that some of the convicted had fled to Iran. Bahraini security officials convicted 29 Bahrainis with links to Iran on charges of espionage in late October 2017 and discovered an IRGC-linked bomb-making factory in September 2015. Iran and the IRGC seek to garner influence amongst Bahrain’s economically marginalized Shia in order to instigate instability and to challenge Bahraini and Saudi interests.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from December 24 - 27.

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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December 28, 2017

Bahrain convicts six Shias on Iran-linked terror charges.

The Kingdom of Bahrain charged six Shia men to death for forming a terrorist cell and plotting to assassinate a senior Bahraini military official. Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported that that the terrorist cell has “extensions and funding and inflammatory arms deployed in some neighboring countries, including Iran.” Reports also noted that other men were convicted for the terror plot and have have fled to Iraq and Iran. Bahrain recently convicted 29 Bahrainis with ties to Iran in late October 2017 on similar charges. Bahraini authorities discovered an IRGC-linked bomb-making factory in Manama, Bahrain on September 30, 2015. (Washington Post) (E) (BNA) (E) (Reuters) (E)

December 28, 2017

Bashmagh border crossing with Iraqi Kurdistan reopened.

The Iranian Consulate in Erbil announced that the Bashmagh border crossing in Kurdistan Province is open for traffic and business on December 25. The Bashmagh border crossing as well as two other major border crossings between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan were closed following Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) launched a combined offensive to seize a military base and an oilfield from Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk, Iraqi Kurdistan on October 15. (Mehr News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Washington Post

2. BNA

3. Reuters

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency

Domestic Politics
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December 28, 2017

Khamenei weighs in on Ahmadinejad situation.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commented on the recent quarrel between Judiciary head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting of the Islamic Propaganda Coordination Council on December 27. Khamenei said that “those who previously or [currently] held power in [Iran] have no right to play an opposing role, they need to be accountable.” Khamenei likened Ahmadinejad’s recent actions to that of a child. Ahmadinejad called for Larijani’s resignation after Larijani accused Ahmadinejad of “deviance” and “fomenting [unrest].” Ahmadinejad published a list of 29 structural and behavioral flaws of the Judiciary on December 25. (IRINN) (Mehr News Agency)

Citations & Links


2. Mehr News Agency

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