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 IRGC Security Command Spokesman Ali Reza Rahmani announced that the Cyber Defense Command will undergo structural changes to enhance its cyber capabilities, while Parliament allocated $1.2 billion for defense expenditures.
IRGC Cyber Security Command Spokesman Ali Reza Rahmani announced that the Cyber Defense Command structure will be improved and its headquarters will undergo a change of command. Rahmani stated that these changes are necessary in order to meet the country’s security needs in the face of evolving cyber threats. This announcement underscores the regime’s concerted effort to strengthen its cyber capacities following the Supreme Leader’s call in October, to prioritize threats in the passive defense arena Parliament, meanwhile, approved a budget bill allocating $1.2 billion from the National Development Fund for the “strengthening of the defense of the armed forces.”
Military and Security
IRGC announces plans to enhance its cyber defense capabilities. IRGC Cyber Security Command Spokesman Ali Reza Rahmani announced that the Cyber Defense Command structure will be improved and its headquarters will undergo a change of command. Rahmani said, “Hereinafter, the center for handling cyber-crimes will be a subset of this command.” Rahmani stated that these changes are necessary in order to meet the country’s security needs in the face of evolving cyber threats. Rahmani added: “Hence the Commander of FETA [Cyber Police Brig. Gen. Kamal Hadiyanafar] has undertaken the responsibility of this command. (Fars News Agency)
- Ansari: Our enemy is against the idea of the Islamic Republic. Today marked the last meeting of the year aimed at engaging political leaders of the armed forces in the Artesh, IRGC, LEF, and the Ministry of Defense, which was hosted at the Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Headquarters. Deputy Political Director of the Ideological and Political Bureau of the Office of the Supreme Leader Hojjat al Eslam Khosravi, Artesh Khatam ol Anbia Air Base Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Farzad Esmaili, and Head of the Khatam ol Anbia’s Political/Indoctrination Bureau Hojjat al Eslam Mohammad Ali Ansari attended the meeting. Ansari said that, all guardians of cultural policy have very important and valuable work because they are fighting a full-scale soft war. He added that, “the enemy believes that with the aperture of political issues and the tarnishing of public thought they can damage our regime and country; and the work of political organs of the Armed Forces in protecting and preserving this political and ideological regime is very important.” (Mehr News)
- Jalili says Israel fears Lebanese Hezbollah. Representative of the Supreme Leader in the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili said that Israel has received a big slap in the face by Lebanese Hezbollah, but they dare not respond, and not only has its process to victory been stopped, but it has been turned into failure. In another part of his speech he said that during the Iran-Iraq war the enemy used military options against Iran to no avail and today they are trying other options to subvert the people’s minds; he added that, the enemy is using more than 170 opposition satellite networks to create doubt in the people’s beliefs. (Mehr News)
- Araghchi meets with Yukiya Amano. International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi met with the Director-General of the IAEA in Vienna and expressed hope that along with the progress of negotiations between Tehran and the P5+1 that the outstanding issues with the IAEA will also be resolved. He added that the most recent meeting between Foreign Minister Zarif and Amano in Munich was good; however, remaining issues between Tehran and the IAEA must be resolved as soon as possible. He added that over the past year Iran has acted according to the framework of cooperation signed between Tehran and the IAEA. (IRNA)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Zarif: negotiations proceeded in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al Jafari in Baghdad to discuss the framework of bilateral relations between the two countries. Regarding the nuclear negotiations Zarif said positive advancements at the technical-level of bilateral negotiations were made, however, there are still issues that need to be pursued next week. (IRNA)
- Defense Minister Dehghan discusses joint cooperation efforts with Iraqi counterpart. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan called Defense Minister Khaled al Obeidi to reiterate Iran’s support for the Iraqi nation. Dehghan underscored Tehran’s preparedness to enhance its cooperation efforts with Baghdad. (Defa Press)
Judiciary Head reiterates commitment to combat corruption. Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani reassured the domestic audience that the judiciary remains devoted to transparency and ending economic corruption. Larijani pointed to the 3,000 billion toman (nearly $109 million) corruption case and said that the “judiciary stood firm [despite the fact that] in the beginning some people said the judiciary could not,” yet it handled these cases with openness. (Fars News Agency)
National Development Fund allocates $1.2 billion for “strengthening defense.” Parliament approved this year’s budget bill and incorporated 10 amendments. Previously, the sum allocated to the “strengthening of the defense of the armed forces” was $1 billion. After voting to approve the bill and with the proposal of one of the representatives, Parliament passed the $1.2 billion budget. (Fars News Agency)
- Seventeenth Meeting of the Assembly of Experts to be held March 10 and 11. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader and senior member of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said that, on March 10 Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will brief the Assembly on nuclear and regional issues, and on March 11 IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari will speak about domestic issues. Khatami added that the list of candidates for next year’s Assembly elections will be revealed on the first day of meetings. (ISNA)