Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

Key takeaway: Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s death and the fracturing of the al Houthi-Saleh alliance will likely allow Iran to increase its influence in Yemen.

Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati said that former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh “got what he deserved” after Iranian-backed al Houthi rebels killed Saleh on December 4. IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari commended al Houthi forces and the Yemeni people in “neutralizing” the “Saudi-led plot” of overthrowing the rightful Yemeni government.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from December 3 - 6.

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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December 07, 2017

Iranian officials: Saleh’s death is a win for the Yemeni people

Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati said that recently-killed former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh participated in a failed Emirati and Saudi Arabian-led plot to stab the Yemeni people in the back. Velayati stressed that the “Yemeni people decide their own future” and that “Saleh got what he deserved.” Velayati indicated Yemeni resistance forces will be successful like other resistance forces such as Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and the pro-Assad Syrian Arab Army. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghassemi invited all Yemeni forces to remain calm and to exert self-control. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari suggested that the Yemeni people “neutralized” the “Saudi-led plot” to overthrow the Yemeni government. Jafari likened recent events in Yemen to the failed efforts of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraqi Kurdistan following the September 25 Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum. Iranian-supported al Houthi forces killed Saleh on December 4 in Sanaa, Yemen following clashes between Houthi and pro-Saleh forces. (IRIB) (Tasnim News Agency) (Defa Press)

December 07, 2017

Iranian officials condemn Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the official Israeli capital a sign of weakness and a failure. President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran will not tolerate the violation of sacred Islamic sites and urged the global Islamic community to take serious countermeasures against Trump’s decision. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani warned that the U.S. will be responsible for the destabilizing effects of its unwise decision. Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6. Trump instructed the State Department to formulate plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Reuters) (E) (Fars News Agency) (IRIB)

  • President Hassan Rouhani condemned regional countries for “revealing” their ties to Israel in a statement delivered on December 5. Rouhani emphasized that the Muslims of the world will not allow these plans to come to fruition. Rouhani’s statement follows Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s November 19 remarks that Israel maintains covert contacts with “many Muslim and Arab countries” to address concerns regarding Iran. (
December 07, 2017

IRGC official commends alleged Houthi missile strike on Abu Dhabi

IRGC Political Deputy Brig. Gen. Rasoul Sanaei Rad said that the alleged Houthi targeting of an Emirati nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE indicates Houthi forces’ advanced defensive capabilities. Houthi rebels claimed that they targeted and successfully destroyed the Barakah nuclear reactor with a cruise missile on December 2. The UAE denied the Houthis’ claim. Several reports noted that the cruise missile shown in a video published by the pro-Houthi outlet Al Masirah bears a striking resemblance to the Iranian-made Soumar long-range cruise missile. (Donya-e Eqtesad)

  • Hardline Iranian newspaper Kayhan published the front-page headline “Abu Dhabi startled! Riyadh in terror of next strike!” on December 3 following the alleged Houthi missile strike on a nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi. Kayhan also republished their controversial November 5 front-page editorial of “Houthi missile strike targeting Riyadh, next [target] Dubai.” (Kayhan)

Citations & Links


2. Tasnim News Agency

3. Defa Press

Citations & Links

1. Reuters

2. Fars News Agency



Citations & Links

1. Donya-e Eqtesad

2. Kayhan

Military and Security
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December 07, 2017

Jafari appoints new IRGC Ground Forces Deputy Commander

IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari appointed Brig. Gen. Ruhollah Nouri as new IRGC Ground Forces Deputy Commander on December 4, replacing IRGC Brig. Gen. Abdollah Eraghi. Nouri previously commanded the IRGC Ground Forces Madineh Operational Base and the IRGC Sarallah (Kerman Province) Unit. It is unclear who will assume Nouri’s previous post at the IRGC Ground Forces Madineh Operational Base. Iranian media did not specify Eraghi’s new post. (Defa Press) (ILNA)

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press

2. ILNA`

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