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 the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. 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.
- [E] Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of Artesh Air Force commanders to discuss the value of independence and enduring US hostility. He also urged critics of the Rouhani administration to be "fair":
- "Independence does not mean breaking off one's relations with other countries. Rather, it means building a dam against the influence of other countries so that they cannot overshadow the interests of our country and our people by their own interests. This is the meaning of independence and this is the most important goal for any country."
- "Imam [Khomeini] openly adopted a position against the Zionist regime which is a fake and usurping regime and which wants to rule over the oppressed people of Palestine. He did not show any consideration and he did not draw a veil over any of these. Notice that these are the principles and the foundations. Imam did not conceal the fact that we are opposed to arrogance. Arrogance means the international system which is reliant on dividing the world into the oppressed and the oppressor. Imam decisively rejected this."
- "This arrogant system is completely manifested and represented by the current regime and government of the United States of America. Imam openly adopted a position against America. Our position against America is not based on the people of America or on racist outlooks. The issue is not this. The issue is that the behavior, nature and conduct of the government of the United States of America is based on interference and imperialism."
- "From the first day it emerged, the Islamic Revolution has preserved and moved towards its goals, it has made astonishing achievements in different areas and it is changing [Iran] from being an abandoned and ineffectual country in the world to becoming a great and influential regional power in international policies. It is showing this to the entire world."
- "By God's favor, the Islamic Republic has become more enlightened and the people of Iran have become more dignified on a daily basis. And this will continue in the future. The secret to the survival of the Islamic Republic on the rail of the Revolution and the guidelines of our magnanimous Imam has been this outspokenness."
- "Who are the enemies of our Revolution today? The enemies of the Revolution are a few corrupt powers which are notorious in the world. These powers are the enemies of the people of Iran. And the friends of the people of Iran are those nations who have heard the message of the Revolution and the Islamic Republic."
- "One of the things which American politicians say in their speeches to our officials is that they do not intend to change the regime of Iran. First, they are lying. If they could, they would not hesitate even for a moment to destroy the foundation of the Islamic Republic. Second, they cannot. Arrogant regimes can only topple those governments which are not reliant on the masses of the people."
- "Unfortunately, today the enemies make certain statements at different stages. This is a lesson for our people. The people of Iran should follow up the negotiations which are conducted in these days. They should listen to and follow up the rude statements of American politicians and they should know these politicians."
- "Some individuals want to change the people's opinion about the enmity of the enemy. The people should not listen to these individuals and they should see the enmity and hypocritical behavior of the enemy. In private meetings with the officials of the country, the American officials say certain things, but as soon as they leave, they say certain other things. The people of Iran should see and pay attention to the hypocritical behavior of our enemy and his evil and malevolent motives. They should realize that a country should always preserve its domestic power."
- "A number of people may like to make criticisms. Well, they can make criticisms, but their criticisms should be fair. Considering the fact that it is only a few months the administration has taken charge of the country, we should give executive officials time so that, by God's favor, they can move things forward in a firm and powerful way. Critics should pay attention to this point and they should behave towards the administration with equanimity and executive officials should do the same. Everyone should respect one another and everyone should behave in a polite way towards one another."
- "We have certain enemies and these enemies have certain agents inside the country. This should not be ignored. We should not allow the enemies' agents inside the country to take advantage of weak points and to create disorder."
- President Hassan Rouhani discussed the state of Iran’s economy: “We must rely on national and domestic investments and we must also persuade foreign investments so they gravitate toward the country, with attention to activating and bringing to the field the capitals of the people and Iranians outside of the country. For example, the country needs massive investments in areas such as the oil and gas industries that must be secured through various paths.”
- President Rouhani appointed the following individuals to the Foundation for Martyrs and Self-Sacrifice Affairs Board of Trustees: Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan; former senior IRGC commander, former Defense Minister, and current Foundation for the Oppressed and Disabled Head Mohammad Forouzandeh; and Vice President for Executive Affairs Mohammad Shariatmadari.
- Head of the Imam Khomeini Teaching and Research Institute Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi promoted greater dialogue with Sunnis: “Many Sunnis love the religion and the ahl-e bayt [Family and descendents of the Prophet that Shi’as claim are the divine and rightful leaders of the Islamic world], but ultimately they have committed a diagnostic error in our opinion and have chosen a mistaken path, which we must confront them with rational discussion. The behavior of Shi’as [towards Sunni] must be in a way that they understand we do not have any prejudices against them and seek their well being.”
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- President Rouhani met with the newly appointed Mexican Ambassador to Iran Olisus Canchola Guitierrez and announced that relations with Mexico and Latin American countries should expand.
- President Rouhani met with ambassadors and political representatives of foreign governments stationed in Tehran, declaring “We are prepared to have better relations within the framework of mutual respect and joint agreement with all countries from Asia to Africa, Europe and America.”
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated President Rouhani’s message to diplomats, saying “I assure all the representatives of friendly countries in the Islamic Republic of Iran that we are prepared for constructive relations based on mutual interests to the benefit of our country’s people, peace and stability in this sensitive region and the world.”
- Iran filed an official complaint to Pakistan following the kidnapping of five Iranian border guards on Friday in Iran “by the so-called Jaish al-Adl terrorist group.”
- Iraqi Shi’a militant group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq buried members Hamid Ghassem Ali Mohammad al-Ansari and Rahman Jabbar Hatam al-Absawi , who were killed in Syria “defending the Seyyeda Zeinab shrine.”
Military and Security
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari claimed hostility with US is inseparable from the message of the Islamic Revolution:
- "Individuals who pursue dialogue with America may doubt its hostility that if it is so they have ignored the Imam's words. Until the time the Revolution is on its path this hostility with America will remain."
- "The slogan of the revolution was nothing other than 'God is great' and this means that same thing as down with America. But what can we do when not everyone understands this."
- "There are various views regarding the Revolution but our criterion for judgment and action has and is the views of the Imam [Khomeini] and the Supreme Leader."
- "It must be asked why some are willing to easily sell Iran's dignity and strength at the cost of removing hostilities with America."
- "That they state the ridiculous and repeated 'options are on the table' is for the happiness of their own nation and these options on the table no longer give results."
- "When we first entered the security arena and were young, we accepted everything the Imam said because we had faith in him. Today after the passing of more than thirty years of experience, I say that America's military and security threat is not considered a major threat anymore with attention to the lesson they learned from the Iranian nation in the [post-2009-election] sedition.”
- "That we cannot extend a hand of friendship to America is because of their hostilities."
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan announced the unveiling of the Bina missile system: "The new generation of surface-to-surface cluster long range ballistic missile has been designed to destroy the enemy's military equipment. Escaping the enemy's anti-missile systems, ability to destroy widespread targets and ability to destroy several separated targets are the other specialties of this missile."
IRGC Navy Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi touted Iranian naval capabilities in deterring the US:
- “The Americans are in a position of passivity today. IRGC small boats have their targets within their sight and that is just a part of our capabilities.”
- “The Americans know well the capabilities that make them uneasy. They will understand its true scale when they dare implement the foolish slogan of ‘options on the table.’”
- “America has officially changed its naval strategy with awareness of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s deterrence capability. It announced that it will not enter a ground war within the next twenty years and future American wars will take shape in the cyber and naval dimensions.”
- “In case they commit idiocy they may be able to hide themselves in bases that are in Islamic countries but they cannot hide themselves in the sea.”
- “The entire regions of the Middle East, Western Europe, Persian Gulf, Oman Sea and the Strait of Hormuz place the Americans within our sight and there are no points that they can hide within.”
IRGC Aerospace Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Haji Zadeh warned against improving relations with the US citing Libya and Iraq as examples. He also discussed the IRGC’s way of war, claiming “two Basijis” can defeat a US aircraft:
- “We have never had a case in which the Americans acted upon an agreement in the matter of differences with a country. An example of this is Libya; the differences between America and Libya were less than ours.”
- “Whenever we took a step towards America they increased their hostility with us. During the past seven months we were militarily threatened seven times. This demonstrates that whenever we have sought to gain concessions from others, they attacked us.”
- “They mistakenly thought that sanctions and problems would weaken us.”
- “The reality is not so. Our military strength and our nation are continuously at work in defending the revolution. How can we not support this revolution that is the result of the blood of hundreds of thousands of martyrs?”
- During the [Iran-Iraq] War our IRGC did not possess anything and we armed ourselves with captured Iraqi equipment and supplies. While today we are witnessing that advanced equipment are being produced domestically.”
- “Today the world’s advanced countries have come to Iran so they can purchase drones with attention to lack of capability in constructing these drones.”
- “In the matter of the economy the work is much simpler. Because our country has been enriched and we do not need to import energy, workforce and experts. It is clear that for those who imagined that they could resolve the country’s issues with the aid of the West do not believe in our [endowments].”
- “Iran has a strong spiritual backing and will not step down from its rights. It is best to review the fate of others and our experience and know that nothing will be achieved for us from America.”
- “This [Ayoub] drone penetrated the Zionist regime for more than 400 kilometers and they were unable to identify it. After surpassing this path, it was accidentally spotted by a camera and they struck it.”
- “The negotiations team must place the recommendations of the Supreme Leader in private meetings in their agenda. In the military field we have and are giving this confidence to them that they must not fear even the slightest in this field and enter negotiations with strength. We possess the complete capability to defend Iran.”
- “Negotiating is not giving in to America’s desires. No one considers negotiations to be bad but we must bear in mind behind the negotiations table that the opposing side is the enemy and we should not commit an error soon.”
- “Alongside this movement we must continue internal work. My conversation is of course noting that internal work must not cease rather it must be accelerated.”
- “In the military arenas the necessary ground work for the presence of universities, research centers and industries related to the defense sector has been created by students. Many of them are present in jihad centers and in many places the universities have become industrial poles.”
- “Most of what we have achieved is owed to the universities.”
- “In the commercial aircrafts sector there are projects underway in Defense Ministry aviation industries and in conjunction with the administration. God willing, we will be self-sufficient in this field as well.”
- “To use nuclear bombs or not is a complicated matter. Perhaps these bombs could be used at a time as deterrence, but this capacity no longer exists in this regard. It is not so that they would like to think and take measures by using these weapons but their massive costs and damages engulf all. Also, our way of fighting is not so for us to want to fight them with methods and ways.”
- “Our way of war is the Ashuraei way. It is not a war that can be evaluated on a scale only with equipment that how much capability we have in comparison to them.”
- “Sometimes we do simple work with certain equipment that causes their advanced equipment to confront problems causing their various operations to face defeat.”
- “We should not necessarily take two destroyers when they bring a carrier with 5,000 forces and a large number of aircrafts. Two basijis are sufficient to defeat this destroyer.”
- “Reminding that we have important equipment and do not have a bad situation and have good equipment at hand, but our reliance and hope is not on equipment.”
- IRGC Aerospace Forces held its first fighter aircraft and helicopter military show in Isfahan today. Participating aircrafts included “prominent global training aircrafts” Mushshak and Tucano and also Iranian-made Shahed 278 and Shahed 285 fighter aircrafts.
- Head of the Passive Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali announced, “The 22nd of Bahman [February 11 anniversary of Islamic Revolution] will disrupt the enemy’s equation and will leave them unsuccessful in reaching their ominous goals.”
Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Abdollah Haji Sadeghi discussed spirituality and warned the US:
- “Humans without religion are the worse creatures on earth. On this basis the blessing of religion must be named as one of the greatest divine blessings.”
- “The spirit of anti-Arrogance [anti-Western] and commitment to Islamic and ethical values are fundamental components of the revolution.”
- “Today, Western countries and especially America have reached the conclusion that they must begin from the people to inflict harm on the revolution and Islam.”
- “America must know that this nation has continuously supported the revolution and no force has the power to defeat these people, the revolution, let alone the Islamic system.”
- IRGC Ground Forces Operations Directorate Deputy Brig. Gen. 2C Morteza Mirian praised the Islamic Revolution, “Prior to the revolution, Iran’s important political decisions took place by foreigners, but with the victory of the Islamic Revolution national pride returned to Iranians once again.”
- Basij Organization Deputy Brig. Gen. Ali Fazli announced the management transfer of the Travelers of the Light and Valfajr 8 cultural program from Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters to IRGC Navy Forces. The two aim to promote “the continuation of martyrs’ path” and take participants to Iran-Iraq War era battlefields. Fazli also announced, “It took years of combat and sacrifice for this revolution to yield results. Rest assured that if the foundation of this revolution were not divine, it could not celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary with the volumes of conspiracy, sedition and attacks.”
Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a joint statement detailing seven terms of agreement following negotiations on February 8-9. The terms are part of the “Framework for Cooperation” agreed upon between the parties in November 2013. Iran is to implement these measures by May 15, 2014:
- “Provide information agreed upon by the two sides and managed access related to the Yazd Saqand mine.”
- “Provide information agreed upon by the two sides and managed access related to the Ardakan concentration plant.”
- “Submit an updated design information questionnaire (DIQ) for the IR-40 reactor (Arak).”
- “Take steps to agree with the Agency on the conclusion of a safeguards approach for the IR-40 reactor.)
- “Provide mutually agreed relevant information and arrange for a technical visit to Lashkar Abad Laser Center.”
- “Provide information on source material, which has not reached the composition and purity suitable for fuel fabrication for being isotopically enriched, including imports of such material and extracting uranium for phosphates by Iran.”
- “Provide information and explanations for the Agency to assess Iran’s stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators.”
Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Eraghchi discussed the recent agreements with the IAEA and the P5+1 and warned against potential US sanctions and linking Iranian ballistic missiles to the nuclear talks:
- “As far related to the implementation of the agreement’s first step, everything is proceeding according to plan.”
- “[February 18] is when our negotiations begin that is difficult negotiations, but based on the Geneva Accord it must not take more than a year. I think that if the sides have good will and the necessary incentives to set aside their excess desires, we can reach an agreement to a comprehensive solution for the Iranian nuclear matter that is the total lifting of sanctions against Iran.”
- “New York is acceptable for us as a UN office city, but the political situation did not allow for the negotiations to take place in New York. We preferred Geneva and Vienna.”
- “The paths of our negotiations with the P5+1 are different than the Agency’s. We have cooperation with the Agency based on the NPT and Safeguards agreements. There are questions for the Agency that is beyond the NPT and Safeguards agreement and we answer them due to good will.”
- “ The P5+1 path is another path that these two paths can have positive or negative effects on each other and progress in each causes progress in the other.”
- “There is a bitter reality that the introduced matters between Iran and the Agency have a political nature and their resolution needs political will, even though they are technical.”
- “In relation to the matters related to the first step with the Agency, this step advanced with progress and we entered the second step due to the positive environment as a result of negotiations with the P5+1.”
- “I must clarify a point first that sometimes misunderstandings emerge. The goal of the Geneva agreement is not the normalization of relations between Iran and the US and the West and reaching a friendship pact.”
- “We have not entered normalizing relations at all. The Geneva Accord strives to manage one of the matters between Iran and America. We have problems with America in tens of matter. The matters of Palestine, Syria, Middle East, human rights and America’s bullying and excess wanting are matters of contention between Iran and America that are still remaining.”
- “We do not expect them to set aside their hostility with the Geneva Accord. The two countries have not become friends and that same relation continues that indicates our lack of accepting dominance and dominance-seeking from America and opposition to America’s arrogant policies. We are managing one of the matters of differences and tension to the extent that our desires including the nuclear program be preserved and the Americans’ concern that claims Iran is seeking nuclear weapons be alleviated.”
- “They must explain to public opinion and their friends in the region and the rest why they had given concessions to Iran. When Mr. Obama states that ‘if I could I would not allow the screws of the Iranian nuclear program to remain’ is an evidence of pride for the Iranian people.”
- “Just as the Supreme Leader stated, they have desires and wishes even for regime change that they have and will not reach them. They must explain why enrichment must remain for Iran because they have satisfaction about this agreement but have issued six resolutions against Iran.”
- “Members in Congress pressured Ms. Sherman that the agreement has opened Iran’s hand, and she is forced to make statements from a position of weakness that of course is impudent and unacceptable.”
- “This matter has another dimension, which we are on the verge of the final negotiations steps and they are bragging. I must say to Mr. Kerry, Ms. Sherman and other American officials to not talk like that and to not repeat their incorrect lessons. They also experienced in previous negotiations that we do not negotiate under pressure.”
- “Ms. Sherman and America must know that they are only a P5+1 member and the American government has no right to determine orders of negotiations for us. We certainly will not allow them to determine orders. We do not permit Ms. Sherman to determine our needs. Regarding the statements that she introduced about Fordo and Arak, we do not allow her or anyone else to determine for the Iranian people what they need. We will not exchange independence for anything.”
- “There is no reason for us to pay ransom in negotiations. This will certainly not occur.”
- “If they continuously say that the sanctions continue our answer is that our enrichment will also continue. If they have suspended some parts of sanction we have also suspended part of enrichment that is 20% and our needs have been secured in this area.”
- “They claim that they can punish a company by placing it in the sanctions list if previous sanctions that continue from the perspective of the agreement are violated by a company. This is not contrary to the agreement but is contrary to the understood spirit that is necessary for cooperation and it is stated in the agreement term that measures must be conducted with good will.”
- “It is possible for this measure to be an answer to the pressures of Congress who have insisted that new sanctions be issued against Iran. The American administration has reserved the right to veto, but from our perspective it is certainly against cooperation and understanding.”
- “Our negotiations with the P5+1 are only nuclear and we will not enter another matter whatsoever. We clarified this matter in previous negotiations and it is also clear for future negotiations that we will not enter another matter at all.”
- “I clarify that we will not allow a non-nuclear matter, especially defense to be entered [into discussion]. Just as we did not allow it in previous negotiations for them to enter another matter, we will not allow it in future negotiations either. Defense matters are non-negotiable and are one of our red lines.”
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran head Ali Akbar Salehi discussed research and enrichment. He then added that while Iran will voluntarily suspend 20% uranium enrichment, it will not forego the right to producing it:
- “If we need any level of enrichment in the future and they refrain from giving it to us we will build it ourselves."
- "If for peaceful purposes we have a need one day like uranium with 60% enrichment, we have the capability to produce it. Not any plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons and meanwhile we do not have reprocessing plant and activities."
- "There are methods for concerns to be alleviated in this regard."
- "The Arak heavy water reactor will remain and preserve all its activities, but we can execute technical changes that it will produce a lower amount of plutonium.”
- “We will do what we consider to be expedient. The lines of the Iranian nuclear program have been set by the Supreme Leader and he has total nobleness towards the nuclear matter and has determined the red lines as well.”
- "We conducted research on reprocessing years ago but then closed it down and set it aside and have announced to the agency we no longer have this activity."
- "In the Geneva Accord some sections such as research and expansion phrases have been clearly stated. Our negotiators were aware and the phrases were written such that we do not see any constraints it. To the extent that when we wanted to unveil a new centrifuge and announced it to the Agency, they were surprised and asked what this is? But we announced that this measure of ours is not against the accord and they accepted it."
- "They are concerned that we will do what we did in Natanz in a small place suddenly and they do not want this."
- "The Atomic Energy Organization has reached this success to domestically construct these systems [centrifuges to separate blood plasma] and place it at the hands of health and teaching centers."
- "The part that can be criticized is the nuclear discussion. They say they have officially recognized enrichment and confessed to Iranian enrichment. That we are enriching at 5% is a type of confession to this but we must reach a single and joint result on the level and domain of enrichment and this has ambiguity. What will be do if they never wanted to reach a result about it?"
- MP Mehrdad Bezerpash announced, “The Parliament increased the administration’s budget by 1.2%, which shows that the Parliament has trust in the administration.”
Photo of the Day
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan unveils laser guided, surface-to-surface cluster, surface-to-air and surface-to-surface Bina ballistic missile.