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, and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
Key takeaway: IRGC Deputy Commander Salami echoed the Supreme Leader’s rhetoric on ISIL’s failure to destroy the Islamic community’s unity. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hossein Sadeghi discussed the coldness of Tehran-Riyadh relations.
IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami stated that Iran’s enemies have been unsuccessful in their repeated attempts to destroy the unity on the Muslim community. Salami’s comments on the current need for Muslim unity reiterate one of the principal themes of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent discourse against the Islamic State.
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hossein Sadeghi assessed Iran-Saudi relations as cold despite the many steps the Rouhani administration has taken to improve them. Sadeghi highlighted Saudi’s negative stance towards Iran in the nuclear negotiations and its responsibility for plunging oil prices.
IRGC Brigadier General 2nd Class Mohammad Marani replaced Brigadier General Ghodratollah Mansouri as Commander of IRGC Qods Base in Sistan va Baluchistan province today. Mansour had commanded the base since November 2009, highlighting the length of senior appointments within the IRGC.
Rouhani: The Iranian nation does not fear threats or sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani addressed a gathering in Esfahan commemorating the 36th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Concerning the nuclear program, Rouhani said Iran has no need for nuclear weapons and that nuclear weapons have not made the US or Israel any more safe. Rouhani added that Iran does not fear the threats or sanctions from the West and discussed finding solutions to the water shortage in Esfahan. (President.ir)
Salami: Our enemies seek to destroy the unity of the Muslim community. IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami spoke at a change of command ceremony at IRGC Qods Base in Sistan va Baluchistan province and said the IRGC Ground Forces can always be depended on to solve problems when they arise in the province. Salami warned that Iran’s enemies are seeking to destroy the unity among all Muslims, but so far they have not been successful. (Sepah News)
- Jazayeri: The US is stretched beyond its capacity. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri reiterated that Iran’s defensive capabilities are non-negotiable in any discussion. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Cultural Deputy said that, some still believe that America is a superpower and cannot understand its decline. Jazayeri added: “We will not allow America or others to meddle in the country’s defense affairs.” (Defa Press)
- Islamic Republic’s resistance and fight against “Zionist Regime” has built up and changed the region. In a statement commemorating the 36th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff, said that since the Revolution, Iran has been strong and able to stand up to the domineering and arrogant powers of the world for the first time in centuries. Firouzabadi added that after the fall of socialism, western liberal democracy became the dominant form of thought in the world system, which challenges and threatens faith in God and puts human society at risk. (Sepah News)
Alavi: MOIS helps provide the necessary space for economic activities. Minister of Intelligence Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated, “People need to feel safe in the community, and the Ministry of Information knows its mission today is to have space for economic and societal activities, from scientific, cultural, and social security.” He encouraged the people “… to put factional disputes aside and join hands to further honor our country.” (IRNA)
- Basij Commander: we can implement resistance economy in industry and manufacturing. IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi praised the Basij for its successful use of the Supreme Leader’s “economy of resistance” in the field of agriculture, stating that “in the last few years, fifty thousand production units have started and more than one hundred thousand jobs have been created.” He noted that “Based on the successful experiences in various areas of resistance economy, the Basij can also play a role in stimulating industrial and manufacturing units, and provide practical solutions to the problems and obstacles.” (Basij News)
Sayyari on enemy threats and resistance. Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that through compliance with the Qur’an Iran is able to resist enemy threats and that they see the development and advancement of Iran on a day-to-day basis. The Artesh Navy Commander emphasized that the most important principle of a ruling system is complete independence from foreign forces. Sayyari added that the slogan of the revolution (independence, freedom, and Islamic Republic) has been protected by the blood of martyrs and the people have shown resistance against enemies of the Islamic Republic. He said that the enemy today uses soft-war techniques, including propaganda and the media, to subvert the values of the revolution. (Fars News Agency)
Military and Security
- Pourdastan meets with Pakistani counterparts. Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan met with Pakistani Brig. Gen. Reza Ali Khan and First Captain Chaudry Majid Akbar Khan, Pakistan’s military attaché, to exchange views on security issues, regional politics, ISIS, and takfiri groups. Pourdastan stressed that Pakistan is considered a friend to Iran. The two sides also discussed prospects for joint military exercises and military school exchanges. (Defa Press)
Change of command announced for Qods Force Base in Sistan va Baluchistan. IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Mohammad Marani was appointed as the new Commander of Qods Base in Sistan va Baluchistan. Outgoing Commander IRGC Brig. Gen. Ghodratollah Mansouri had commanded the base since November 2009. (Defa Press)
Iran and Russia hold direct nuclear talks. Hamid Baeidinejad traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian officials ahead of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations. The Foreign Ministry’s Director for Political and International Affairs plans to discuss ways to coordinate bilateral cooperation with Moscow, regarding Tehran’s nuclear program and NPT disarmament issues. (Fars News Agency)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Iranian Ambassador discusses Iran-Saudi Arabia relations. Tehran’s Ambassador to Riyadh Hossein Sadeghi said that President Rouhani’s administration has taken many steps to better relations with Saudi Arabia; however, the relation still remains cold. He added that, Saudi officials have taken a negative stance towards Iran in the nuclear negotiations and have been responsible for plunging oil prices.
- Sadeghi was asked to assess Saudi Arabia’s known status as a state-sponsor of terrorism and its approach to Iraq and he said that efforts should be geared towards reducing regional tensions, as opposed to individual interests.
- Regarding criticism stemming from President Rouhani’s letter of condolence to Saudi Arabia, Sadeghi said: “Saudi Arabia was among the first countries to congratulate Dr. Rouhani on his victory in the presidential election…”
- Sadeghi noted that the invitations for each of the foreign ministers to visit the other’s country are still open, and that such visits “must be allowed until a good platform for dialogue” is formed.
- Regarding the future of bilateral diplomatic relations Sadeghi said: “There are different elements involved in the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The important thing is that both countries decide to overcome these differences to try to develop relations.”
- Assessing Saudi Arabia’s role in the nuclear talks, Sadeghi said that the Saudi stance on the nuclear deal is quite clear and reflects its national interests but that it is hoped that a Muslim country in the region would not interfere in the affairs of others because such a strategy can help strengthen regional ties. (Mehr News)
- Boroujerdi meets Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister. In a meeting with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad, Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi praised the government and the people of Syria for their continued resistance to the takfiri terrorists The Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission claimed that the January 18 Israeli airstrike, which killed an IRGC general and several Hezbollah members showed coordination between the Zionists and terrorist groups, who he said had failed to stop the will of the Syrian people. Al-Miqdad in turn showed his appreciation for continued support from Iran and stressed that the Iran-Syria relationship has an impact on regional and world politics. He also expressed his condolences for the death of IRGC Brig. Gen Allah Dadi. (Tasnim News Agency)