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 and Marie Donovan, with contributors Farzin Farzad, and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
Key takeaway: The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati echoed Khamenei’s support for a “good nuclear deal,” while Tehran announces plans to install advanced centrifuges.
Ali Akbar Velayati dismissed claims that Iran is desperate for a nuclear deal with the P5+1; “As the Supreme Leader said Iran’s hands are not tied in the negotiations. Instead it is the [U.S.] that has its hands tied and Iran’s hands are fully open.” The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor’s statement was in reference to Khamenei’s February 8 speech, in which he explicitly stated that Iran will not accept a deal that is beneath its dignity. Ali Akbar Salehi, meanwhile, announced that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will roll out its next generation of centrifuges that operate at a rate of over 80,000 cycles per minute (cpm), within the next six months. The AEOI Head added that future generations will have speeds up to 100,000 cpm, suggesting that Tehran will continue to advance its nuclear program if it does not reach a deal with the P5+1.
Artesh Command and Staff College Commander Brigadier General 2nd Class Hossein Valivand said that the Artesh “is ready to train Iraqi officers” after the topic came up during Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al Obeidi’s recent visit to Iran. Valivand’s statement may reflect renewed confidence in the regime’s growing investment in the Artesh, which has historically received less of the regime’s focus than the IRGC.
Velayati: Iran’s hands are open at the negotiation table. Ali Akbar Velayati reiterated that Tehran will continue to negotiate with the P5+1 and stated, “As the Supreme Leader said, Iran’s hands are not tied in the negotiations. Instead it is the [U.S.] that has its hands tied and Iran’s hands are fully open.” The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor added:
- "The West cannot impose its demands which are aimed at preventing the country's progress in scientific and technological fields."
- “If the West wants to stop Iran’s peaceful development, it will not succeed.” (Fars News Agency)
Amoli Larijani censures the West for using human rights as a political tool. Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani criticized Western-led efforts to impose its political agenda on non-secular states. Larijani said that the West is hypocritical in its critique of human rights in other countries , citing U.S. ally Saudi Arabia: “…in some countries women are not even allowed to drive.” (Fars News Agency)
Ali Larijani criticizes Israel’s regional behavior. The Parliament Speaker criticized the Israeli regime, calling it a regional “predator” and reiterated Iran’s support for Palestine. Larijani said that Iran stands against oppression and arrogance and has no issue with “divine religions,” and warned Tel Aviv to take Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s ultimatum seriously. Larijani also said that despite the nuclear talks being “useful,” the West “confuses the negotiations with a vegetable bazaar.” Larijani also criticized the Gulf States for allowing the West to undermine its independence: “In our region there are countries that have a lot of oil, but with one phone call, a lot of their decisions are canceled because they have no independence.” (Mehr News)
- Rouhani encourages turnout for anniversary of 1979 revolution. President Hassan Rouhani encouraged Iranian citizens to attend the 36th anniversary celebrations of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. He stated, “Bahman 22 [February 11] is the date when the nation of Iran was able to leave despotism and colonialism behind forever, and form a national and Islamic rule on the basis of religious democracy.” (President.ir)
Iran to unveil advanced centrifuges in six months. Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will operationalize the next generation of centrifuges with a speed of over 80,000 cycles per minute within six months. The AEOI Head added: “The spinning speed of our centrifuges today are 60,000 cycles per minute and the speed of the new centrifuges put into operation Tuesday will be 70,000 cpm, but the future generation of the Iranian centrifuges will have speeds of around 80,000 to 100,000 [cpm].” Salehi also stressed that the new generation centrifuges are incomparable with previous models. (Tasnim News Agency)
Rafsanjani: If West wants more than our nuclear rights, we will say goodbye. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani affirmed Iran’s nuclear options and claimed that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons in an interview on the 36th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution commemoration of 22 Bahman. The Chairman of the Expediency Council stressed the importance of public support for the Supreme Leader and claimed that if demands are in excess of Iran’s legal rights, then “we will say goodbye” to negotiations. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Salami: we are succeeding in “nuclear diplomacy.” IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated, “Today we are on a path of great resistance in the field of nuclear diplomacy.” Salami also noted that “with the understanding we have of our nation, we are confident that, God willing, February 11 [anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution] will be more glorious than all the previous years.” Salami also stated “we have been able to design and draw a path of development of a strong defensive power, using clear messages and teachings of Imam Khomeini…” (Sepah News Agency)
Military and Security
Mehdi Farahi highlights Iran’s advanced defense capabilities. The Head of the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) Aerospace Industries Organization touted Iran’s advanced aviation despite economic sanctions. Brig. Gen. Mehdi Farahi added: "Iran has made eye-catching developments in building drones, helicopters, fighter jets, passenger planes cruise and ballistic missiles, and generally in various areas of aerospace technologies." (Defa Press)
- Artesh Navy docks in Sri Lanka. Artesh Navy 33rd Fleet Commander Captain Mohammad Reza Ahmadi Kermanshahi stated that the 33rd Fleet docked in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as part of an “exchange of intelligence and mutual visits between the two countries.” (Fars News Agency)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Artesh: we are ready to train Iraqi officers. Artesh Command and Staff College (DAFOS) Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Hossein Valivand said that the topic of the Artesh training Iraqi officers came up during the Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al Obeidi’s visit to Iran, and therefore the Artesh is “ready to train Iraqi officers.” (IRNA)
Rouhani meets with Indian National Security Advisor. President Hassan Rouhani met with Indian Prime Minister Narendara Modi’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Rouhani stated that “Tehran and New Delhi can help development in the country and the whole region through cooperation and collaboration.” He “expressed hope that” Doval’s visit would “lead to the deepening of positive relations between the two and the acceleration of cooperation in the economic, political, and cultural fields.” (President.ir)
- Shamkhani: Western support for terrorism has led to the proliferation of takfiris. During a meeting with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Ali Shamkhani claimed that the “West’s insistence on ignoring law and the will of the people by trying to change the sovereignty of nations led to the proliferation of takrifis and the expansion of the current crisis in the region.” The Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council also discussed the importance of the Non-Aligned Movement in promoting peace. . Doval also praised Iran for its role in fighting terrorism and called for greater bilateral relations between the two countries. (Mehr News)