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.
President Hassan Rouhani met with Ministry of Intelligence employees and stressed the need to enhance cyber security in remarks. He also emphasized that the ministry is not subject to political manipulation:
- “The people must feel safe in the strong and professional shadow of the Intelligence Ministry.”
- “Observing civil rights and the rights of minorities are an undeniable necessity.”
- “The Intelligence Ministry is the system’s watch and neither this ministry, nor its employees are tied to any groups.”
- “There is only one banner and banner man in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and that is the Supreme Leader. All must move under that flag and to say that another flag is placed in the country is neither rational nor legal.”
- On Sunday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited the grave of Iranian diplomat Ali Asqar Assadi, who was killed last month in Yemen by unknown assailants.
- Two MPs issued a warning to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for his continuous meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
- Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Media Office issued a statement defending Zarif’s meetings with Kerry “regarding the nuclear issue and the upcoming meeting of Iran and P5+1.”
- Legal Deputy to the President Elham Aminzadeh announced the implementation of the citizens rights charter is currently in the drafting phase and should be finalized within the next few months.
- Chief of Staff to the President Mohammad Nahavandian said “In trade and economic negotiations, a long-term view must prevail. Relations between Iran and Europe have a real and strategic logic. If, on that basis, Europe seeks to take a serious and confident step, Iran is the best candidate for being a partner in Europe’s security.” Nahavandian also discussed the Geneva Accord, saying “In the case of a final deal, the right of Iran’s access to nuclear technology, which is worthy of every NPT member, will be achieved with the observation of every international law."
- University Professors Islamic Association Central Council member Mahmoud Hosseini said “Some still do not believe that a fundamental transformation is taking place in the hostile relation of the West towards Iran. The West has reached a point in which it must set aside its hostile relations with Iran. On this basis, we are currently witnessing various Western diplomatic job creators and investors who travelling to Iran.” He also discussed the future of the Middle East’s geostrategic environment and said, “America will no longer need Middle Eastern oil in the coming years. Therefore, there is a fundamental transformation undergoing in its regional strategy. It seems that they no longer need dominance on oil resources. From another side, Europeans are seeking to fill America’s role in the region. Therefore, they are seeking to improve their relations with Iran.”
- Iran Space Organization Deputy Hamid Fazeli announced the launch of the Nahid communication satellite to LEO orbit next year.
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressing the German Foreign Relations Council, stated “If there is good will we can achieve an agreement within six months. Iran will never take military action against anyone.” He added that Iran is not concerned about new US sanctions because President Barak Obama has promised to veto such Congressional measures.
- National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member MP Bagher Hosseini commented on the Geneva II Syria talks and said “As long as participating countries in summits related to the resolution of the Syrian crisis emphasized the support of terrorists, certainly such summits will not reach any results.”
- Iraqi Ambassador to Iraq Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh announced that Baghdad has signed an arms deal agreement with Tehran and stated “Some sources have said that the agreement between Iran and Iraq was because this country’s Defense Ministry considers Iranian-made military equipment to be very efficient and important, considering the needs of the Iraqi Army."
- Lebanese Hezbollah buried member Ali Mahmoud Heydar Ahmad AKA “Jibrael" this past Saturday.
Military and Security
- Head of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Public Relations Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif announced that IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari has ordered Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base and IRGC commanders in the provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran to provide aid to areas affected by a heavy snow storm.
IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami discussed Iran’s military capabilities and the supposed weakness of the US:
- “Iran’s revolution was the largest threat for America’s political expansion in the world of Islam, which took place with reliance on Islamic values.”
- “Iran’s Islamic Revolution had a design higher than reducing American interests in the region. In truth, it promised the emergence of a new civilization based on Islamic values in the world, and America became concerned about the repeat of this revolution in other countries.”
- “If unity among Muslim nations is established, they are capable of tightening the breathing space of the West and America to an extent that there will not be any environment to breath for the Zionist regime either.”
- “Usually, any side that possesses diplomatic logic and strength will never use military phrases. The Americans were weak in the two arenas of political logic and diplomatic strength during the trend of negotiations between Iran and the West. In reality, they lack diplomatic strength and do not possess the power to ideologically impose themselves to the other side.”
- “The Americans have committed many errors in their calculations, which caused them to adopt mistaken approaches.They must learn from history that their military strength has not been able to become a component of power.”
- “Fundamentally, the Americans lack diplomatic logic in international relations and try to use the logic of power instead of the power of logic.”
- “The expansion of our military strength and structure have expanded in a form that not only are they able to preserve Iran’s vital interests, but they will also endanger the enemy’s vital interest in the region at any level.”
- “America’s military option makes no difference to us. They can use their option but must take responsibility for its destructive aftermath.”
- “We have diagnosed America’s military strategy, have reviewed it and also shaped our capabilities. We have identified points that can create shock for America.”
- “It is a mistaken imagination that they take military action against us, but we entered negotiations when our military strength was proven.”
- “[Lebanese] Hezbollah possesses an in-depth and widespread expansion in the region.”
- “Alongside these, our naval power is completely ready on the basis of a destiny-shaping naval battle. Our cruise and ballistic missiles have reached a higher level of attention.”
- “The nuclear men [negotiations team] must know that they are sitting alongside powers that possess large weaknesses. We have no concerns and urge our officials to be self confident, strong and pursue national interests.”
- “Islamic resistance is in inseparable part of our faith, belief and policies, just as the resistance of Islamic Palestine, Lebanese Hezbollah and nuclear that exists against the supporters of the Dominant System.”
- “The supporters of takfiri groups are clear, the main center of this dangerous conspiracy is America and Israel. They take satisfaction from the weakness of Muslims. From another aspect, reactionary governments that are politically dependent on America seek domination and penetration in the region. But they must know that the reflection of this move will also engulf them.”
- “Despite this, Iran possesses a safe environment with its intelligence structure and opulent spirit. In reality, since the [2010 Chabahar suicide bombing]. Eleven suicide measures took place, which all of them were neutralized at their early stage.”
- On captured RQ170 drone: “Reverse engineering and optimizing this drone continues and we have reached a good point. Of course, the drone is composed of various systems. In the case when these systems give result, this super system is deliverable and we are finalizing this with speed. We possess very good drones with the same design that are flying; the RQ is not an immediate necessity.”
Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi praised domestic reliance and spirituality as two key pillars in Iran's strength in international affairs:
- “One of the most important attributes of the Imam [Khomeini] was desiring national and intellectual independence, which is one of the most important types of independence.”
- “We have reliance on indigenous weapons and forces, that with spirituality are the infrastructure of our success in the battle of righteousness against the unjust. This strong will and indigenous equipment, alongside the management and command of the Supreme Leader, have ended this arena in the international field to our benefit.”
- “When we designed speed boats, the Americans also designed speed boats for their destroyers in their defensive system. But at the end, they concluded that they do not have the element to put on these boats. This element derives from self-sacrifice from its forces, which the potential of such a force does not exist in America.”
- “In the military arena, we have been able to advance very well. We are a model country relying on indigenous forces and also indigenous weapons, which is an endogenous factor of power.”
- Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Commander Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili claimed that the Hog air missile defense system has become “optimized.” He added that the improvements include twofold radar reach and electronic warfare capability.
- Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that the Bushehr energy plant was shut down today in order to change 27 tons of fuel, which is roughly a third of the plant's fuel.
Foreign Minister Zarif discussed the Holocaust and uranium enrichment in an interview with German media outlet Phoenix:
- “The Holocaust was a horrific tragedy that must never occur again.”
- “We will never take measures against the Jews and have high respect for them inside and outside of Iran. We do not feel threatened by anyone.”
- “We seek to end the futile cycle and use all paths so we can create confidence one again. After all, the security of others is also our security.”
- “All of the various capacities and opinions must be comprehensively analyzed” on whether Iran will reduce the number of its centrifuges to 4,000."
- Oil Ministry aenior adviser Mohammad Souri announced twofold petrochemical exports increase in the event of the return of Shell and BP to Iran. He added, "The National Iranian Oil Company needs $150 million in new investment."
- In a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei, senior executive of a Russian Lukoil company announced the company's readiness to return to the Iranian energy sector following the reduction of sanctions against Iran.
- Per the Geneva Accord, the first $550 million installment has been transferred to Iran via a Swiss bank.
- A 140 member senior French delegation is in Tehran to discuss foreign direct investment in various fields, including banking, monetary, oil, natural gas and petrochemical sectors.
Photo of the Day
- Mehr News Agency photo essay of unprecedented snow fall in the northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran.