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.
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Facebook page that he and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton will hold monthly meetings until June in order to address various issues in agenda setting. Negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran will intermittently continue at the expertise level predicated on the agenda set forth by the two senior officials.
- Foreign Minister Zarif addressed the press after the conclusion of the Vienna nuclear talks, giving details on the framework of the Iran and P5+1 final nuclear negotiation. Zarif announced that none of the Iranian nuclear sites will be closed and dismissed the inclusion of defense-related issues in the nuclear talks:
- “Based on the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), we agreed to continue these negotiations with the goal of continuing Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and creating confidence in its peaceful nature. The first step, which is a temporary step, is now being implemented and both sides are executing their commitments with methods predicted in the JPA and those in later agreements. On that basis, it was planned for us to enter the final plan from this meeting. Final dialogue can continue towards an agreement finalized and implemented based on the plan, negotiations can only continue for a maximum time of one year since the implementation of the first stage, which I think will be [January 21, 2015].”
- “Our intention is to reach a result in the shortest time possible, which based on the agreement, is the first six months that will end on [July 22].”
- “Views were exchanged and expressed in this regard. In some matters there is an understanding, but in others it is possible for different views to exist. But we agreed for the work to continue in the arenas where the most understanding exists. Our views are completely clear. Of course, the public view is that the only matter that must be discussed during these negotiations is the nuclear matter.”
- “No subject other than the nuclear matter will be discussed in these negotiations. We all have an agreement about it and the JPA has made clear the framework of discussion and we will have dialogue on this basis…
- Currently, we have agreed to clear the schedule in the final month so meetings can take place based on the amount of time needed. But we agreed to hold five to six meetings at the political and technical level until [June 21]. The first meeting will take place at the sideline of the upcoming [IAEA] Board of Governors Council in Vienna between our experts. We agreed to discuss some matters in those sessions and then the second meeting is at the political level, which will take place from [March 17-20] in Vienna.”
- “We emphasized in the preliminary dialogue and in the final dialogue that all sides must be careful in not taking measures and making statements that intensify the Iranian people’s lack of trust, and to use this historical and unprecedented opportunity that the Iranian people created in the elections and the 22nd of Bahman [35th anniversary of Islamic Revolution] to gravitate the trust of the Iranian people. [Also] to avoid statements introduced under the pressure of [interest] groups which are not constructive for negotiations.”
- “A point that we continuously emphasized is that we will not allow anyone to determine an imposition and write a prescription for us. It was clearly evident that this prerequisite must be observed by all sides in negotiations that have sat at the negotiations table with Iran. We hope that when the delegations return to their capitals they will continue that same method that they had at the negotiations table.”
- “Our framework is based on the Geneva Accord and they agreed on this point that matters related only to the Iranian nuclear program are negotiable in these dialogues. If we were going to reach an agreement on all details then the negotiations would end. It is certainly necessary to discuss details more.”
- “Our defensive matters are outside of these negotiations and scientific capabilities are also outside of these negotiations.”
- “In this meeting, such a discussion was not introduced, but we formally announce that our program will continue and we will not close any sites. We officially announced that no one must determine a path or write a prescription for the Iranian people.”
- “Our program is completely peaceful. But closing sites will not create confidence on the peaceful [nature] of our program. The world can have confidence in this program when its peacefulness is determined publically, transparently and based on international regulations.”
- “The closing of anything is not on the agenda.”
- “So far nothing has been codified, whether in paper or non-paper format. We neither have an unofficial nor an official text. But both sides introduced matters during the past two days of meetings and we agreed that the sides should not surprise each other in between by bringing up new matters.”
- “The measures that we witnessed during the past two months from America did not build trust and perhaps damaged confidence even more.”
- In this meeting, we had a tactical meeting in the arena of nuclear cooperation and we will discuss technical matters related to this matter and nuclear discussions, such as enrichment. We will discuss both sanctions and the nuclear matter in the subsequent formal meeting and will advance matters simultaneously and slowly. God willing, we will see whether the groundwork for reaching a comprehensive agreement can be created or not.”
- “We will review all matters related to the nuclear program simultaneously. When we reach the final stage, these matters will certainly have timeframes but will be within a complex.”
- “We emphasized that the Parliament must make a decision on the Additional Protocols, but it can be a matter of negotiation. The JPA mentioned the Additional Protocols, but it did not explicate that decision making is with the Parliament.”
- Strategic Deputy and Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi stated, “The West feels that it can manage our Revolution, and in this regard they use the diplomacy of making threats to make us compliant.” He spoke of “the duty” to propagate Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s fatwa on the prohibition of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and said, “Atomic bombs and nuclear weapons have lost their features to a great extent and no longer have a deterrence role…In religious thought, deterrence must begin from itself, we cannot prohibit others and then use this instrument.”
- International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Eraghchi announced that EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton will travel to Iran on March 18 and that the next round of the P5+1 negotiations will take place in Vienna a few days after Ashton’s visit. On recent talks, he stated, “Negotiations took place in a positive atmosphere, but we cannot be optimistic about the progress of upcoming negotiations yet.” Eraghchi then announced that ballistic missiles and defense matters are outside the current nuclear negotiations framework.
- AEOI Deputy Asqar Zarean announced the arrival of three International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in Iran to install replacement monitoring cameras in the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Lebanese Army Intelligence Organization reportedly identified Palestinian national Nezal Hesham al-Moqayyar as one of the suicide bombers who targeted the Iranian culture mission in Beirut yesterday. He was reportedly a follower of one of the “wahabbi takfiri” group leaders Ahmad al-Asir in Lebanon. Reports confirm that the two bombings have left eight dead and 108 injured.
- Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Roknabadi met with Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam and urged the identification, arrest and punishment of the perpetrators who carried out the two suicide bombings against the Iranian Cultural Center in Beirut.
- Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jubhat al-Nusrah launched five rockets into Lebanese villages bordering Syria as part of its “We vow to take revenge” operations.
- Europe and American Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi announced that Iran-UK relations have resumed today at the non-permanent charges de’affairs level.
Military and Security
Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi touted expansion of Iranian influence in the Levant. Saidi also said soft war was a changing variable and commented on how the Representation of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC has transformed in response to said variables:
- “Today, the enemy’s hard war has transformed to soft war. The arena of soft war is the entire country and targets the most vulnerable sectors of society. The IRGC cannot neglect in this regard, naturally and because of its inherent duty and not be active in the path of guarding the Revolution and its values.”
- “During the 200 year old lifespan of liberal democracy in America, none of America’s presidential candidates have assaulted the liberal democracy framework that is the construct of Western intellectual thought. But in our country, despite a political framework based on divine structure, some dare to damage it. We witnessed that in the arena of recent elections especially the  elections they assaulted the system’s foundation by creating sedition.”
- “One of the differences [between current circumstances and 35 years ago] is the expansion of borders. Through this event, the field of combat has also expanded to the extent that our combat field has extended today from Chalamcheh to the shores of eastern Mediterranean.”
- “The expansion of Iran’s penetration arena and America’s jealousy of this matter is another changing variable in today’s international arena, to the extent that it has affected the IRGC’s special works.”
- “The arena of the Supreme Leader’s Representation to the IRGC has determined the necessities for successfully executing its missions proportionate to these changing variables. “
- “In this regard, coordinated and equal movement between IRGC Command and Representation of the Supreme Leader has become more efficient than before in the trend of executing missions and duties in the arenas of spirituality, increasing awareness and communicating and teaching political ideology.”
- Addressing a gathering of IRGC Aerospace Forces personnel, senior cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Alavi Gorgani emphasized obedience to the Supreme Leader and said, “The people must obey [12th Shi’a Imam Mahdi’s] deputy to reach salvation…The nation must be under the flag of obeying the Supreme Leader.”
- In a letter, President Hassan Rouhani responded to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s approval of “resistance economy” policies, calling it “the best light” for the administration that will lead to Iran’s economic growth. He added that the administration will take immediate action and “bring the efforts and creativity of all opinion-holders to the field by strengthening jihadi culture.”
- Supreme National Security Council Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani criticized representation in the Arab-majority Khuzestan provincial government and said, “Less than a fifth of current Khuzestan province officials are Arab, which this matter is not the Supreme Leader’s policy. Officials must observe ethnicity in appointment individuals, because in this case we will have trained soldiers for the Saudi and UAE intelligence services.”
President Hassan Rouhani issued orders to his first deputy Eshagh Jahangiri and administration departments on the execution of the resistance economy policies:
- The Central Bank is to design monetary, currency and credit policies in this regard and place them in the agenda of the Money and Credit Council.
- Various departments are to collaborate and encourage foreign direct investment and increase production and exports.
- Head of the Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission MP Hojjat al-Eslam Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam announced that the budget was calculated based on a crude oil sales projection of 1.4 million barrels per day. He then dismissed US military threats and announced the allocation of 7500 billion tomans [approximately $3 billion] to strengthening defense foundations.
Photo of the Day
- IRNA photo essay: Photographs of clerics who participated in the Iran-Iraq War. IRGC commemorates today as the “Clergy and Sacred Defense Day,” in memoriam of Ayatollah Fazlollah Mahallati, Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC who was killed in 1986.