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: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reiterated Judiciary Head Sadegh Amoli Larijani’s dismissal of the reformist-led push for “national reconciliation” in Iran.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that there is no need for “national reconciliation” because “there is no estrangement” among the Iranian people. Former President Mohammad Khatami and other reformists have called for “national reconciliation” in light of the uncertainties and dangers facing Iran during the Trump presidency and in the wake of the death of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.

Khamenei also warned that statements from President Donald Trump’s administration that military action is a possible U.S. response to recent Iranian activity is part of a larger plot to divert Iran’s attention from the “real war, that is, the economic war.”

Domestic Politics
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February 16, 2017

Supreme Leader discusses “national reconciliation” and the Trump administration.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the reformist-led initiative for “national reconciliation,” President Donald Trump’s administration’s comments on Iran, and other issues during a speech in East Azerbaijan Province on February 15.

  • On “national reconciliation”: Khamenei stated that there is no need for reconciliation because “There is no estrangement [among the Iranian people]... Of course, any two persons may have different opinions with regard to a given political issue, but this is not something important.” Khamenei censured those who “estranged” themselves from the rest of the Iranian people by participating in the 2009 Green Movement. He also criticized Iranian newspapers for “clamoring” over the initiative.
  • On the Trump administration: “By repeating the ploy of threats and a military war, America wants to divert the attention of [Iranian] officials from the theater of the real war, that is, the economic war…. So that, the country’s officials would not focus on the issue of economic progress and not pay attention to the cultural war of Western countries against the Iranian nation.”
  • Khamenei also praised the turnout of rallies on February 10 marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution at length. He also touched upon the Resistance Economy doctrine, stating “the real meaning of growth is the growth of production and the internal strength of the economy… not merely selling more oil.” ( (E) (Mehr News Agency)

Citations & Links


2. Mehr News Agency

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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February 16, 2017

Senior officials meet with head of opposition party in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with Saleheddin Bahaeddin, the head of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, which maintains close ties with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Larijani stated, “The Kurds’ role in the new Iraq is very bright; in this space, differences must be reduced and consensus reached. Through unity, the territorial integrity of Iraq can be defended.” Larijani stated that “reduction of the differences within the Kurdistan region and cooperation with the central [Iraqi] government” can help achieve stability and security in Iraq. He continued, “People must not be allowed to create distance between the Kurds and the Iraqi government.” Larijani also censured the “Islamic movements which have stood under the banner of Islam, but have signed a treaty of friendship with the Americans and Zionists… We see that Jabhat al Nusra is supported by Israel.” (IRNA)

  • Ali Akbar Velayati, the Supreme Leader’s senior foreign policy adviser, similarly the partition of Iraq as contrary to “Baghdad’s policies” during a meeting with Bahaeddin on February 15. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

February 16, 2017

Rouhani travels to Oman and Kuwait.

President Hassan Rouhani met with Omani Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said in Muscat on February 15. Rouhani praised Iran and Oman as “the historic guardians of the Strait of Hormuz” and stated that “the political will of the two countries is for further strengthening friendly relations.” Rouhani also reiterated that Iran’s military is for defensive purposes. Rouhani traveled to Kuwait later in the day. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (ISNA)

Citations & Links


2. Tasnim News Agency

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency


Military and Security
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February 16, 2017

Basij forces start exercises in southeastern Iran.

The Basij Organization kicked off exercises in Sistan and Baluchistan Province on February 15. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Marani stated that 76 brigades will participate in the drills, which run until February 24. (Press TV)

February 16, 2017

Iranian media circulates Western media reports of Soleimani’s trip to Moscow.

Fars News Agency cited a Fox News article which stated that IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani traveled to Moscow. Soleimani’s visit violates multiple UN resolutions forbidding him to leave Iran. Fars News Agency reported that “no Iranian officials” have confirmed the trip. (Fars News Agency)

February 16, 2017

Sayyari: Iran’s military is for defensive purposes.

Artesh Navy Commander RADM Habibollah Sayyari stated that “the Artesh’s strategy is enhancement of defense power based on deterrence. We do not and will not contemplate aggression against others,” during a meeting with Artesh Navy commanders on February 16. Sayyari warned that any country contemplating “invasion and aggression” against Iran will receive a crushing response, however. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency) (E) (Hamshahri)  

Citations & Links

1. Press TV

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency

2. Fars News Agency

3. Hamshahri

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