Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

Notebook Entry Iran News Round Up - February 4, 2014 has been updated.

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. 


  • Addressing a summit of university heads, President Hassan Rouhani said the views of the academics were being drowned out by some “illiterates” criticizing the administration's nuclear negotiations and pledged  a more secure university environment:
    • “We must prepare the environment for the scientific growth of our university students so we are able to conduct the necessary research in various scientific fields and introduce theories.”
    • “From the opinion of this administration, the university is a solution and is not a problem.”
    • “I would like to criticize the university, of course you must criticize, but I would like to ask why the university is silent? Why must some illiterates who receive money from certain sectors talk, but our university professors, intellectuals and students are silent? Why is it that when an international event occurs professors write private letters to the president? Why do you not shout? Why do you not enter the field? We want a spirit like Socrates. Those who negotiated in the Geneva negotiations are also from university and are considered our university professors.”
    • “Research does not recognize the red lines that are normal in our society today.”
    • “Why is it that we do not grow in humanities, law, political science, economy and social sciences and do not have opinion but we progress in genetics, simulation and new energies? The reason is that we do not set red lines in chemistry, physics and similar sciences and one can easily express opinions. But in political science and similar matters, it seems that we must have eight eyes but we do not have eight eyes; we have two eyes and only see forward. God has not given us more than two eyes. We must see ahead meaning national interest, not to look back or only look to the right, left, the ground and the sky. These are not enough.”
    • “An open environment must be allowed to form.”
    • “We must create the necessary environment for the political growth of university students, not partisan growth. This is our duty and necessary for the country.”
    • “We must create the necessary environment for physical exercise of students, especially female students.”
    • “I urge you to not wait for the administration. You are responsible. You must provide solutions to us. You must give us solutions in political and economic matters.”
    • “Why is that that the Zionists shout day and night when we take a step? Why do some countries that are our geographical neighbors and close to us shout everywhere? Then it is clear that a great act has taken shape. This measure is the effect of the university because those who talk and make decisions in the negotiations are trained by the university.” 
  • Several MPs criticized President Rouhani for his remarks on “illiterate” critics of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA).They also chastized the administration for the “unbalanced, unplanned and incorrect” distribution of aid during widespread snow storms across the country. The statement reads in part that the distribution "is executed during the Ten Days of Dawn [Ten days marking the arrival of  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Feb. 1-11, 1979] in such a way that causes the people’s dissatisfaction of the system and is followed by their protesting.”
  • First Deputy to the President Eshagh Jahangiri stated, “We have taken important steps in foreign policy and the current opposition stems more from jealousy.” 
  • The National Iranian Gas Company warned that if central cities do not reduce their natural gas consumption, northern cities affected by snow storms will face “a sharp gas decline.” 

Diplomacy and Regional Developments

Military and Security

  •  Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani requested aid disbursement to western Mazandaran province in separate letters to the Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief, Artesh Commander and the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics. Western Mazandaran is most affected by snow storms. 
  • Head of the Artesh Crisis Headquarters Brig. Gen. Mohammad Mohammadi announced the deployment of personnel from the Gorgan 30 Division Base, Navy Forces Northern Fleet Command, Ghazvin 216 Mechanized Division and Corps Network Training Center to the Gilan and Mazandaran provinces.
  • Rasht MP Jabbar Kouchakinejad announced, “The situation in northern areas affected by snow have improved with the entrance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Artesh.”
  • In a joint statement, 202 MPs thanked the IRGC and Artesh for their relief efforts related to a widespread snow storm in eighteen provinces and urged increased aid to these areas. 
  •  Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali  Saidi emphasized “awareness” and obedience to the Supreme Leader  as important factors in the continuation of the Islamic Revolution at a  political gathering at the IRGC Navy Forces Prophet Noah Naval Area 2  Headquarters:
    • “The components that caused the victory of the revolution will guarantee its safety and continuation.”
    • “Unity, sympathy and obeying the Supreme Leader are at the top of all the factors of the revolution’s success. The more their importance is understood, the duration of the revolution’s progress and grandeur will have a stronger guarantee.” 
    • Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi discussed population growth and said, “Currently, we must pursue ways to increase the population. Population reduction is a strategic danger for national security, therefore we hope to witness serious activities in this field.”
  • Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Ebadollah Abdollahi emphasized the necessity of securing liquidity for the “shrine to shrine” free way project, a 900 kilometer highway between the holy cities of Mashhad and Qom, and said, “The special characteristic of this project and its difference with other projects is the base’s type of partnership. In reality, Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base is responsible for securing a part of this project’s liquidity. On this basis, we must utilize all of our capability to finish this project as soon as possible.” 

Nuclear Issue

  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed confidence that a finalized agreement with the P5+1 can be reached by July 20. He also added that Iran would use its “influence” on Damascus to bring about a cease fire and withdrawal of foreign forces should the “sides use their influence on other engaged military forces in Syria with a unified goal.” 
  • Foreign Minister Zarif provided details on his recent meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry:
    • “Most of our time was spent on the matter of continuing negotiations and achieving a comprehensive agreement.”
    • “Mr. Kerry emphasized in this meeting that the American government is engaged to pursuing the matter, is serious and wants the work to reach results. The concerns inside America were discussed. One of the matters was that they are concerned inside America that the sanctions will fall apart with the preliminary agreement.”
    • “We know the matter that these concerns exist. Of course, we believe that sanctions were illegal from the beginning and did nothing to resolve the matter and repeated stated that the result of sanctions were the installation of 17,000 centrifuges.”
    • “In reality, sanctions caused an increase in the Iranian people’s pessimism toward policies that cause food and medicine acquisition by Iranian people and companies to be faced with obstacles. We hope these matters are lifted.”
    • “I also emphasized in this meeting that we believe sanctions are both illegal and without result. America must look at this problem from another aspect. It must seek to resolve the situation and pressuring Iran will not give results.”
    • “They also emphasized the necessity of committing to the contents that we agree upon. The contents that will be agreed upon are approved by both sides and we must be committed to them all, not to publish third-party contents and make them the basis, which those contents will not be the basis legally. What is implemented today is what was agreed upon on November 24 in Geneva titled the Joint Action Plan [JPA]. The understandings that we implemented have no relation with what was published by the White House.”
    • “I emphasized that using the opportunity for confidence building is for the sides to be committed to the contents that the negotiators agreed upon and not to unduly publish other contents.”
    • “We hope that a final agreement is produced with the beginning of negotiations on [February 17] between I and [EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine] Ashton and followed by the official meeting between Iran and P5+1 countries on [February 18], for which we enter serious negotiations for a final solution. The final solution has an unforgettable part, which is the complete lifting of sanctions. The result of negotiations must be the lifting of all sanctions.”
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary (NSFP) Commission MP Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani accused the current and two previous administrations of “illegally and unofficially” implementing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol, due to “lack of confirmation and ratification by the Parliamentary” He added:
    • “The Parliament has been completely unaware of this type of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whether in the Ahmadinejad or the current administration. Permission to the agency at this level has taken place without the Parliament’s approval. Just as I stated, the implementation of this protocol by the former and current administration has an unofficial aspect and Iran is not completely committed to it and can end cooperation with the agency whenever it feels the need…The official implementation of the suspension protocol and its ratification and approval by the Parliament is possible at the end of nuclear agreement between Iran and the West and in case of the Westerners’ commitment to their agreement.” 
  • First Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi stated, “None of the MPs will be added to our country’s nuclear negotiations team.” 


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