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 Farzin Farzad, and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry are scheduled to hold direct nuclear negotiations.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference today.  Zarif and Kerry have increased their number of meetings in the last few months, including four times in the week prior to the most recent round of P5+1 talks on January 18.

Political Leader of Hamas Khaled Meshaal is scheduled to travel to Tehran in March. The upcoming visit follows reports of decline in Iranian support for Meshaal’s leadership.

Official Statements

  • Rouhani’s Chief of Staff hails national solidarity. Mohammad Nahavandian attributed the administration’s progress in the P5+1 nuclear talks to the solidarity of the people and added:
    • “So far in the negotiations we have witnessed victories that have left the other party with no choice but to accept the reality and acknowledge Iran’s right to science and technology in the nuclear field, and to accept the reality that criminal sanctions are ineffective.”
    • “We hope, thanks to this solidarity, our negotiators in the coming days can make great strides towards a dignified comprehensive agreement that maintains Iran’s nuclear rights.” (ISNA)
  • Supreme Leader continues diplomatic outreach to Western youth. The Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched a special webpage titled: “I delivered the Letter” in an effort to encourage North American and European youth to study Islam firsthand, in order to form an educated opinion, rather than succumbing to Islamophobia. The webpage calls for activists to upload pictures, videos, and messages showing how they are spreading Khamenei’s message. (

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Khaled Meshaal scheduled to travel to Iran. Political Leader of Hamas Khaled Meshaal will reportedly travel to Tehran in March; no official date has been set for his visit. (Fars News Agency)
  • Zarif to meet Kerry at Munich Security Conference. After returning from a trip to East Africa Thursday night, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference sometime Friday afternoon. The Foreign Minister welcomed talks with other parties if they request a meeting.
    • Zarif responding to questions on whether or not a deal can be reached at the meeting stated: “It is not clear because everyone does not want a nuclear deal, but we can make some progress.” (IRNA)
    • US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed that on Friday Kerry will meet with Zarif in Munich to discuss the upcoming nuclear talks. (ISNA)
  • Deputy Foreign Minister meets with Syrian counterpart. Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad. Abdollahian stated, “Today, Syria has become a symbol of the fight against terrorism and extremism in the Arab and Islamic World …. America and the West have now reached the conclusion that in any political process, a realistic approach is necessary for a political solution in Syria.” Abdollahian also stated that “the idea of national reconciliation which has been emphasized by the Syrian president is realistic for achieving a resolution to the conflict.” (ISNA)
  • Qassem: Attack on Quneitra was a violation. Sheikh Naim Qassem emphasized that the Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) attack on the Shebaa Farms was the Resistance’s third victory after 2000 and 2006. The LH Deputy Secretary-General said that Tel Aviv’s attack on Quneitra was a “blatant violation” and has now set “new rules” of engagement. Qassem added that this means that LH always has fighters in range and that an attack may occur at any time. (Mehr News)
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