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 Chris Rawlins, Farzin Farzad, Diana Timmerman and Warren Marshall. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: The Foreign Ministry denied it received a message from Israel indicating its disinterest in escalation over fallout from its January 18 airstrike. Judiciary Head Ayatollah Amoli Larijani warned against cuts to the judiciary budget. 

Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi claimed that Israel sent a message to Iran through “an official channel” articulating Tel Aviv’s disinterest in escalating tension after recent attacks between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israel. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham categorically denied this, stating that “…Iran has received no official or unofficial message” from Israel.  This exchange follows Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian’s January 27 warning Israel, through the US, that it should expect consequences for its actions.

The heads of the three branches of government – Judiciary Head Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, President Hassan Rouhani, and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani – met for the 5th time during the Rouhani administration. 

Ayatollah Larijani reproved any potential changes to the judiciary budget, underlining prospective fallout of the proposed steep budget cuts.

Money can now be transferred between the Central Bank of Iran and Mir Business Bank in Moscow, removing what Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei referred to as a long-term impediment to economic relations between the two countries.

Official Statements

  • Tehran denies receipt of communication from Tel Aviv. Marzieh Afkham categorically denied that Iran had received a message from Israel articulating Tel Aviv’s disinterest in escalating tension after recent attacks between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israel. The Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman added: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has received no official or unofficial message from the illegitimate Zionist regime.” Afkham’s statement follows recent remarks made by Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi claiming that Israel sent Iran a message through “an official channel” on the issue. (Qods Online)
  • Abdollahian: Iran does not consider US fight against terror as sincere. Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized US-led efforts to combat terrorism and said that the US has reached out for Iran’s support in combating terrorism. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister added: “We do not see America as sincere in its fight against terrorism because they simultaneously support terrorists.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Shamkhani praises launch of Fajr satellite. Supreme National Security Council (SNCS) Secretary Ali Shamkhani congratulated the Supreme Leader, the President, and the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics on the successful launch of the Fajr satellite. He stated that “after less than two decades in the space industry, the path to the most complex achievement” is being taken by Iran. (ISNA)
  • Alavi: today the enemy’s conspiracies have been neutralized. Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi said that the successful launch of the Fajr observation satellite into orbit paves the way for growth and excellence in the air and space sphere. The Intelligence Minister also thanked unnamed soldiers for their efforts in creating security and stability in the Islamic Republic and added that all of the enemy’s conspiracies in the region have been suppressed. (Fars News Agency)

Domestic Politics

  • Judiciary head holds the 5th session of the heads of government. The Judiciary Head Sadegh Amoli Larijani met with President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in his office. (Fars News Agency)
  • Ayatollah Larijani: Don’t change the judiciary budget. Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani stated at the end of the meeting of the heads of state that “at this meeting there was talk about the judiciary’s budget; but we have discussed it in previous meetings.” The Head of the Judiciary continued: “in any case, we expect from the government that the judiciary budget will be proportional to meet our responsibilities, and what the government has promised us. (Fars News Agency)
  • Obstacles facing exporters – a serious issue on the government’s agenda. Eshagh Jahangiri said the government encourages the private sector to start exporting technological and engineering goods and services to correct the balance in next year’s budget. The First Vice President noted the importance of neighboring countries in the non-oil export field, especially Iraq. Poor infrastructure, lack of customs regulation and exchange between Iraqi and Iranian businessman were among the topics discussed and solutions were proposed to solve these obstacles. (ISNA)

Nuclear Talks

  • Araghchi: Iran’s defense capabilities are non-negotiable. International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi reiterated the regime’s position regarding its missiles: “Our country’s missile program is completely defensive in nature and the Islamic Republic of Iran in no way considers the defense issues negotiable and will not talk about them with any foreign party.” (ISNA)
  • Larijani: Parliament supports “domestic diplomatic efforts” to solve P5+1 issues. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “Parliament’s general approach in the field of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 is to support the domestic diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue. During a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Pandikar Amin Mulia, Larijani praised the “rich history of good and dynamic relations” between Iran and Malaysia, and stated that “positive steps have been taken to strengthen cooperation and interaction.” (IRNA)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Sanaei: Positive progress made in economic relations between Iran and Russia. Mehdi Sanaei, Ambassador to Russia, announced that money can now be transferred between the Central Bank of Iran and Mir Business Bank in Moscow. Sanaei stated that the difficulty of transferring money between the two countries has long been an impediment to economic relations and this new deal will be a solution to that problem. Sanaei added that discussions to reduce the tariffs between the two countries have recently begun. (Fars News Agency)
  • Sattari: Iran prepared to send agricultural technology to Iraqi Kurdistan. Sorena Sattari announced that Iran is ready to export agricultural products and technology to Kurdistan, during his meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan’s Minister of Agriculture Abdul Sattar Majid Qadir. The Vice President for Science and Technology Affairs added: “There are many areas of mutual cooperation. As far as the field of technology is concerned, we are fully ready to cooperate with Iraqi Kurdistan.” (Tasnim News Agency)  
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