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.
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA) announced that contrary to yesterday’s report, Zolfaghar Brigade Commander “Abu Shahd al Jabouri” has not been killed in Syria. The leader of the Iranian-backed, Iraqi Shi’a militant group was reportedly surrounded by Jaish al Har in Dar’a province for seventeen hours when opposition groups announced his death on social media. There was particular confusion after the initial report when fellow brigade member “Abu Zahir” told ABNA that the whereabouts and status of “Abu Shahd” were unknown. “Abu Shahd” himself later confirmed his wellbeing in a telephone interview with ABNA:
- “We are ready to sacrifice our lives and have taken steps in the path of martyrdom. We announce strongly that we are proud of following the path of Imam Khanenei, the leader of the world’s Shi’as. My only request from Shi’as in Iran and other countries is to pray for us so we do not disappoint Seyyada Zeynab and can honorably guard her shrine.”
- Syrian President Bashar Assad met with an Iranian parliamentary delegation led by National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi in Damascus earlier today. They discussed parliamentary coordination by regional countries to confront “Wahabbi currents.”
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshiar Zibari and announced that the two countries have reached an agreement on implementing the 1975 Algeria Accord regarding the Arvand River. Zarif also warned “certain governments” in the region that they would not benefit “from supporting extremism and sectarianism.”
- In a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammad al-Attiya, Foreign Minister Zarif denied the formation of a coalition consisting of Iran, Qatar, Turkey and Iraq in resolving the Syrian crisis.
Zarif also discussed the Supreme Leader’s pessimism towards the P5+1 nuclear talks and Iran’s commitment to the Geneva Accord:
- “What the Supreme Leader introduced was the perspective of the Iranian people and the people’s problem with the way America and Western countries confronted the nuclear matter and how they have confronted the Islamic Republic in the past few decades. This has created amongst our people a serious lack of trust towards the West, particularly America.”
- “The Supreme Leader stated that the Iranian people and its government will stand by their agreement. We will not act contrary to the accord and will do what we agreed to. We will continue it and are serious in negotiations.”
- Zarif also discussed the Supreme Leader’s pessimism towards the P5+1 nuclear talks and Iran’s commitment to the Geneva Accord:
- Iranian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei urged Saudi Arabia to abandon support of armed Syrian groups.
Military and Security
- Iranian media outlets reported the inclusion of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base subsidiary Sepasad Engineering Company as a participant in the United Nations Global Compact.
- Armed Forces General Staff Headquarter Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri claimed that “Followers of the Light” program, which takes visitors to the Iran-Iraq War era battlefields, plays an important role in “neutralizing the soft war of the anti-Islamic system enemies” and “transfers the culture of resistance of the Sacred Defense era to today’s generation.” Jazayeri then added, “Soft war may take ten, twenty or even fifty years. With such description, the enemy will invest specifically in resources and organizations in its agenda to impose soft war on us.”
- European and American Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi reiterated that “We will never allow any nuclear facilities to close. We have made this very clear and we think that the other side has noted this. We have also announced that no enriched material will leave Iran.” Ravanchi then added, “The nuclear negotiations have taken a lot of energy from the administration, to the extent that our main concentration is the nuclear negotiations …The Islamic Republic is neither permitted nor seeks to hold bilateral negotiations [outside of the nuclear talks] with America.”
- President Hassan Rouhani pledged to transform the Jasak port into an “important industrial center of the Persian Gulf.” He announced that the first project in the area is the construction of a road between Bandar-e Abbas and Jasak.
- President Rouhani also invited the private sector to invest in the Jasak international airport plan, which he announced would “begin in the eleventh administration and end in the twelfth administration. Anyone who invests in Jasak must know that they will profit in the following years.”
- Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Strategic Research Center and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati discussed missile deterrence. In a separate event, Velayati approved the administration’s decision to increase fuel prices, which would add more revenue for use in the targeted subsidies plan and decrease consumption:
- “Iran needs deterrent missiles to defend itself against countries that have casted a greedy eye on Iran, but it will never threaten the security of other countries.”
- “[T]he countries and individuals who discuss Iran’s missile and military programs want to see Iran defenseless and vulnerable. All of their movements are within this regard, but Iran will completely disregard them.”
- Head of the Women’s Parliamentary Faction MP Fatemeh Rahbar criticized Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, the daughter of former President Ali Rafsanjani, for her criticism of women’s treatment following the Islamic Revolution.
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi warned media outlets and stated, “There are movements in some media outlets and I see some dangers. I tell them now behind the doors to observe the frameworks, and if they do not reform I will publically state [their names] …Those who claim human rights must be tested for truthfulness to see whether they really claim this or only introduce this where their interests lie.”
- President Rouhani reassured the public that upcoming fuel price increases will have a “mild slope,” steadily increasing throughout the year. He also announced that the inflation rate decreased from 43% when he first took office to 33% today, and that “We will attempt to lower it to 12%.”
Photo of the Day
- President Hassan Rouhani addresses families who lost members to the Iran-Iraq War.