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.
- President Hassan Rouhani met with veterans and several families who lost members to the Iran-Iraq War and said, “We feel small against the great spirit of veterans and self-sacrificers and, God willing, will succeed in the path of servicing the people with the prayers of these dear ones.”
- The Guardian Council affirmed that the 2013-2014 budget reform law passed in Parliament is compatible with Islamic Republic law.
An op-ed in Eteemad by Head of the Tehran Trade Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mining and Agriculture Mohsen Bahrami Araz Aghdas discussed Iran’s current status:
- “Months are needed to identify manipulated statistics and indicators, such as 10% economic growth in the past decade, and then the administration can prioritize in the path of resolving future issues and provide a strategy for them.”
- Some of the proposed methods to economic recovery include:
- “The correct identification of mismanagements and incorrect decisions of former officials from the effects of 'foreign sanctions'”
- “Maximum utilization of the country's diplomatic capacities”
- “Stopping new sanctions, lifting some bilateral sanctions and introducing Iran as a country that is constructive to interact with, peace-seeking and rational”
- “Stopping the growth of the inflation rate and reducing the point-by-point [rate] from 46% to 30% by the end of the year” [Persian new year is in March]
- “Guiding wandering popular investors from the coin-exchange market to the capital market that has caused reduction in scarcity of liquidity of production units”
- “Reducing government intervention in pricing and executive meddling in the economy”
- “Reformation of cultural, security, and enforcement organs’ behavior towards the people”
- “Opening cultural space in the arenas of cinema, publication, theater and music”
- “Promising consistent publications of real statistics”
- National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi spoke about the future of Iran’s nuclear facilities: “The Americans know that none of Iran’s nuclear facilities will be destroyed in the future. These facilities will not only not decrease, but will also be increased on a needs basis.” Boroujerdi continued, “Parliament, as it has in the past regarding this national issue, will protect the great nation of Iran and its nuclear achievements, which are a product of the efforts of scientists and experts.”
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maleki to talk about the importance of reinforced political and economic relations between Iran and Iraq:
- “The field of cooperation is increasing in many different areas. There is no barrier to the advancement of relations with Iraq and the development of regional cooperation.”
- “The scientific growth of Iran in recent years has been very prominent. The transfer of scientific experiences to Iraq can be one of the important fields of cooperation between the two countries.”
- Khamenei evaluated the operations of the Iraqi government positively: “The movement that you are undertaking for your country today is a valuable movement. Of course, the needs of the country of Iraq are much greater than this.”
- The Supreme Leader also expressed his good wishes for his “good and dear friend” Iraqi President Jalal Talebani.
President Hassan Rouhani also met with PM Maleki in an attempt to develop cooperation between the countries, and the two leaders signed an agreement to quickly clean and dredge the Arvand Rud, a river that marks the border near the Persian Gulf:
- “We consider relations with Iraq to be strategic. We are trying to develop long-term relations between the two countries in all fields, especially the economic and infrastructure fields, including providing for greater activity in the private sector.”
- “The Geneva 2 meetings must reach a conclusion emphasizing the complete removal of terrorists from [Syria] and creating the necessary conditions for holding completely free elections without preconditions. Our joint task is defending the values and wishes of the nation of Syria in all international meetings, especially Geneva 2.”
- Iranian Ambassador to the UAE Mohammad Reza Fayaz stated, “Senior Iranian and Emirati delegations will have interactions until the end of the year.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif met with a group of Iranians in Dubai in order to call for the unity of Iranians across the globe:
- “Given the conditions provided, we must be of one voice and one heart to promote the name of Iran. Iranians must move together in order to achieve their goals and put political factionalism and personal benefits to the side in order to achieve national interests and global respect.”
- “We are making an effort to achieve rights, acquire interests, lessen pressures, and increase respect for Iran and Iranians in the world.”
- “If Netanyahu fears Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon, then why is he worried about the cooperation between Iran and the P5+1 which resulted in proving to the world that Iran is not seeking a nuclear weapon.
Military and Security
- Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Ebadollah Abdollahi and former commander of the base and current Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf praised the base’s recent highway construction project. Abdollahi proclaimed, “The Sadr project was a unique project from an engineering, design, and execution perspective…. The completion of the Shahid Sadr leveled highway would necessitate six years under normal circumstances, but the warriors of the construction front completed it in about two years. If we are ambitious, strong-willed, and trust in God, it is possible to complete more projects in the country with more speed and quality and in less time.”
- According to Solh News, the Rouhani Administration has been removing the IRGC from key civil projects. An unnamed senior Khatam ol-Anbia official stated, “After the Oil Ministry removal of the IRGC from Oslaviyeh oil and gas projects began, the Roads and Urban Development Ministry also failed to renew Khatam ol-Anbia projects and removed it from the Tehran-North freeway. It is said that the Energy Ministry is also seeking to eliminate the IRGC from dam-building, water transfer, and power plant projects.” The official added that the IRGC “has requested the president to confront this phenomenon.”
IRGC Hazrat-e Abbas (Ardebil) 37th Brigade member Mehdi Moradi died, reportedly in the Northwest border region while “establishing security in the region and preventing anti-Revolutionary movements and armed groups from operating in the sensitive border region.”
- Moradi’s funderal was held today in Ardebil, where he was buried in the Behesht-e Fatimeh cemetery.
- Jund Ansar Allah [a Gaza-based Islamic militant organization] Commander Abdel Latif Moussa, also known as “Abou Noor al-Maqdisi,” announced the deployment of his members to Syria to fight against Assad’s forces. Hamas has vehemently opposed Jund Ansar Allah since the two sides engaged in a deadly confrontation in 2009 that drove Jund Ansar Allah underground. A source close to the group said, “The majority of the members that were in the Mosque during the Hamas siege were able to flee Gaza and enter Syria…. Abu Karam and Abu Muslim, two of the most prominent members of Jund Ansar Allah, entered Syria in the past week.”
- Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi tried to assuage worries over the Geneva nuclear deal, saying “The media’s review must be fair and in the direction of correcting affairs. This was a good agreement, during which no [nuclear] activities will be stopped. When the issue is reopened and there is a final agreement, we will talk about it.”
- Salehi also emphasized the resilience and durability of the Bushehr power plant, which can withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake: “The power plant’s dome is of a type formed by two domes, meaning it has two skins. One skin is zinc and the other skin is steel, calculated in such a way that if a 747 airplane collides with it, the power plant will not be endangered.”
- Following the report on corruption in Social Security Organization transfer of government owned entities to the private sector, the Central Bank announced new a regulation aimed “towards transparency and removing ambiguity in dispensing assets to holding and investment companies and optimal allocation of bank resources to essential sections of the economy.... Dispensing assets to financial investment institutions is only possible towards the goal of production projects and also investment companies whose primary activities are production and commercial activities.” Per the new regulations, dispensing government assets to holding companies whose primary function is management of companies is prohibited.
Cooperation, Work and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabi'i announced a proposal to create 200 thousand jobs by March, the beginning of worker salary negotiations next week, and the expansion of NGOs and civil rights in addition to reporting on current labor indicators:
- “Despite the approximately 4.5 million university students in the country, approximately 50% of the work force lacks the necessary skills...”
- “The administration of moderation and hope is headed towards jobs planning and believes that jobs require strategy.”
- Competition Council member Issa Emami stated, “Errors have been introduced regarding the method of transferring [government owned] petrochemical and communication companies. This matter is also placed in the agenda of the Competition Council, and the results will be announced after review.”
Photo of the Day
- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maleki. First Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Supreme Leader Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, and Senior Adviser to the Supreme Leader for Foreign Affairs and newly appointed head of the Expediency Council’s Strategic Research Center Ali Akbar Velayati are also seen attending.