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: IRGC commanders and parliamentarian respond to Foreign Minister’s comments on Iranian security.
Reaction against Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s remarks on how negotiations with the P5+1 have made Iran more secure continued as Parliamentarian Seyyed Mehdi Mousavi Nejad stated that Iran’s security is owed to the “blood of the martyrs and warriors,” echoing IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari’s December 3 response to Zarif that Iran’s security is beholden to the revolutionary values of Supreme Leaders Khomeini and Khamenei. IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami, moreover, said that a strong defense strengthens the regime’s position in diplomacy, reflecting the IRGC’s concern that normalization of diplomatic relations with the West could erode indoctrinated revolutionary values in Iranian society.
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with his Pakistani counterpart Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and signed a memorandum of understanding in Islamabad. An Iranian delegation is due in Islamabad next month amidst attempts to improve Iran-Pakistan relations following several border clashes in October which killed four Iranian guards.
- Negotiations have nothing to do with national security. Seyyed Mehdi Mousavi Nejad stressed that the negotiating team should be careful with untruthful statements so as not to taint the achievements of the Revolution. Mousavi Nejad responded to Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif’s statement that Iran has become more secure by pursuing negotiations saying that the security of the country is owed to the “blood of martyrs and warriors.” (Fars News Agency)
- Jazayeri: “We are using all our efforts to remove the terrorists from Iraq.” Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Basij Affairs and IRGC Defense Culture Deputy Masoud Jazayeri said that America’s military presence and the so-called coalition against ISIL is very “vain and deceptive.” (Tasnim News Agency)
Head of Cultural Parliamentary Commission says sedition against clerics is underway. Hojjat al-Eslam Ahmad Salek Kashani described the future sedition against Iranian clergy and its link to the 1999 and 2009 ‘seditions’ [1999 Student Protests and 2009 Green Movement].
- “A strong connection between the people and the clergy is a significant characteristic of an Islamic government.”
- “Destroying the clergy in society is the first goal of the enemy and the arrogant powers.”
- “The great sedition that will occur in the future will maintain its Islamic appearance while promoting the separation of religion and politics.”
- “The supporters of the 1999 and 2009 seditions and the sedition of the future are in unison, and their main talk is of striking the clergy and ultimately overthrowing the Islamic government.” (Fars News Agency)
- Makarem Shirazi: The negotiations’ results have no effect on the people’s determination. Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said Iran can still reach self-sufficiency even if the enemy does not accept a nuclear agreement. He stated that Iran must see its youth as “an investment and the future builders of society of Islam” and the defense against influence of foreign media. (Fars News Agency)
Military and Security
- Quds Force Deputy Commander: there are great plans in place to counter ISIL in Iraq. IRGC Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghani addressed reporters following a joint meeting between Iranian and Iraqi officials and said: “Iraq’s security has been provided to celebrate Arba’een [Shi’a observance 40 days after Ashura commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet]. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Defensive power provides the most potential for diplomacy. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated that Iran’s missile power is among the most powerful in the world and having a strong defense provides the best potential to engage in diplomacy. The IRGC Deputy Commander added that, today there is no power that can threaten Iran, and pointed to the formation of resistance groups in Afghanistan, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Basij in Iraq and Syria, and Ansar Allah in Yemen. (Defa Press)
- Iran has achieved very good deterrence power. IRGC Brig. Gen. Abdollah Araghi spoke at a change of command ceremony for the 38th Armored Brigade and stated that Iran has achieved significant deterrence capabilities, but warned that constant vigilance will always be needed. The IRGC Ground Forces Deputy Commander added that tactics change based on types of threats. (Tasnim News Agency)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Zarif calls Yemeni counterpart to discuss the attack on Iran’s diplomatic residence. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Sanaa to fulfill its legal duty to protect diplomats during a telephone conversation with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdullah Mohamed al-Sayadi. Zarif pointed to yesterday’s attack as one of several acts of terror against Iranian diplomats in the past year and voiced his concern over the prolonged effort to release kidnapped Iranian diplomat Nour Ahmad Nikbakht. (IRNA)
- Iran and Pakistan sign bilateral cooperation agreement. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with his Pakistani counterpart Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and signed a memorandum of understanding in Islamabad. The agreement has 13 articles and is aimed at enhancing inter-parliamentary relations between Tehran and Islamabad. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Iranian delegation to meet next month with Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad. Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary, and Expatriate Affairs Hassan Gashghavi added, “In this conference we hope to discuss consular problems including Pakistani pilgrims’ visit to shrine cities in Iran.” (Tasnim News Agency)
Rafsanjani addresses nuclear negotiations. In a meeting with the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and for the benefit of society.
- “During Iraq’s 8-year war against Iran, we showed that we despise the use of weapons of mass destruction according to our religious beliefs.”
- “Iran has been sanctioned for all of the past 35 years, but the world saw how we resisted in war and rebuilt the ruins.” (Mehr News )