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.
- Members of the Parliamentary Energy Commission summoned Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh to answer questions next week. The committee’s oil sale working group will discuss strengthening industry ties between the private sector and oil ministry officials and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Constitution Working Group will continue revising the state-owned entity’s constitution.
- President Hassan Rouhani spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland about the economy, resolving the Syrian crisis, and a “new stage of relations” between Iran and the West:
- “My viewpoint on social, economic, and political issues is a viewpoint of moderation.”
- “Events and developments in the global economy over the last six years have shown that no one can live alone. No country can ignore the others and solve its own problem.”
- “I was elected by the Iranian people in a democratic manner and found myself with the opportunity to set out on the goals of economic development and improving Iran’s foreign relations.”
- “The crises at the start of the 21st century show that using the economy, by itself, to secure a ‘better life’ is not enough for the people.”
- “In the foreign policy arena, regional cooperation remains a priority for us. We intend to create deep relationships with our neighbors and friends.”
- “We have also had long-standing economic and trade relations with European countries. With the implementation of the Geneva agreement in the coming week, the following steps, and the lifting of the sanctions, Iran’s relations with Europe will become completely normal.”
- “In the past few months, interactions between Iran and America have also entered a new stage. For the first time, diplomats from both countries negotiated with each other, changed views, and even made a decision to solve their differences on the nuclear issue. This is an important change in the period following the Islamic Revolution.”
- “I come from a region of the world that is burning in the fire of insecurity and violence…It is true that extremism and violence are serving as soldiers, but I believe that the approach to confront terrorism must be [fostered through] multilateral development.”
- “I believe that global security is tied to the security of the Middle East, and the security of this region will not be secured by neglecting the people.”
- “Development is a requirement of security, and achieving knowledge and technology is a requirement of development. Creating barriers in the path of a country’s research and development increases pessimism and hostility and in the end, leads to failure. For this same reason, Iran pursued its nuclear program, and it wanted, and will want, nothing more than to use it peacefully. It will accept no barriers on the road to its scientific progress.”
- “Despite this, some people still imagine that Iran can be forced to act by fear and threats or that it has gained nuclear weapons, to which I clearly announce: Nuclear weapons and means of violence have no place in our overall security strategy, and there is no incentive for this. A look to the past clearly shows that Iran has never attacked or invaded, but has only taken defensive action against direct and indirect threats and attacks.”
- “I emphasize that whatever came out of the recent negotiations was a solution that was desired by both sides as a satisfactory solution. After ten years of insisting on illogical and incorrect solutions, the other side finally came to the conclusion that Iran would not give up its achievements and rights in peaceful nuclear technology under any circumstances. [They also realized that] the continuation of mistrust and strengthening sanctions would have no outcome other than direct and indirect costs to both sides.”
- “At the end, I wish to emphasize this point that I seek friendly and stable relations with countries based on ideas of moderation, steadfastness in religion, and adherence to interaction-building, as well as a framework of multi-lateral trade and belief of fair cooperation and interaction in the economic arena.”
President Hassan Rouhani met with Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte in order to discuss: bilateral relations, the Geneva accord, and the Syrian crisis in a press briefing:
- “Iran and the Netherlands can expand their relations and strengthen their interim cooperation in various economic fields, including their cooperation in industry and scientific fields especially shipping, oil and energy.”
- “If the opposing side of Iran abides by its agreement, Iran is also determined to act upon its agreements in the matter of nuclear accords.”
- “We have continuously announced that all must strive so the will of the Syrian nation is implemented. We must all confront terrorism in the region because the Syrian matter has no military solution and the expansion of terrorism is not to the benefit of any country.”
- Rouhani spoke with a Swiss media outlet and said that the three decades of hostility between Iran and the US could shift to friendship: “No hostility remains forever, nor is friendship eternal. That is why we must transform our hostility into friendship.”
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi stated that, “After the inauguration of the new administration, some felt that freedom has increased and one can break the red lines, but President Rouhani is not willing to do this.”
Military and Security
- A funeral ceremony was held today for IRGC member Akbar Shahriari in Tehran, who was “another one of the courageous fighters in the front of ‘pure Muhammadean Islam fighting American Islam’” in Syria. He was reportedly killed alongside Mahmoud Reza Beizaei, whose burial was held yesterday.
Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi discussed the mission of the IRGC and the core values that its members must adhere to:
- “We must guard our guardianship well because this uniform, rank and place will not be placed at just anybody’s discretion.”
- “With attention to this point, guardianship requires certain necessities. One must know that a virtuous deed is worthy for any individual but is more worthy for the guards and an obscene act is ugly for anyone but is uglier for the guards.”
- “To preserve the rank and dignity of guardianship, we must pay attention to three fundamental points, which include Sharia, tradition and constraints that the organization considers.”
- “The other important point is preserving the thirty-year capital of guardianship that must continue and must not be constrained to the time of service, and we must look beyond this.”
- “The more important point is that all of our efforts are to establish religious rule because we are at the front line of preserving the values of Islam and the Revolution.”
- “If persevering against the enemy yesterday was based on belief and foundation, today this perseverance is [based on] belief, strategy and security.”
- “If in the past our defense of the Islamic Revolution was limited to borders, today the border of our war is as expansive as the world of Islam and we must pay special attention to this matter.”
- “Officials must be faithful and faith-centered; all of their efforts must be devoted to the establishment of religious rule in society.”
- Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced the role of the Basij in combating illegal narcotics and said, “As a people’s coordinating and organizing organization, the Basij takes responsibility in the field of confronting illegal narcotics, and in this regard it will begin its confrontation in a special form in five cities of the country…The Basij will be active in the aspects of prevention and culture [and] in the matter of confronting illegal narcotics because the activities of the Basij in this arena will be based more on cultural and preventive aspects, and these aspects will form our fundamental activities.”
- The new Head of the Basij Construction Organization Ebrahim Azizi stated, “In the situation when our enemies are attempting to prove the system’s inabilities based on religion in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Basij and Basij Construction have come to the field to prove the falsity of this conspiracy.” Azizi’s previous positions include IRGC Shiraz Province Commander, Governor of Shiraz and Hormozgan provinces, and Sistan va Baluchistan Province Political and Security Deputy and “is considered one of the country’s successful directors.”
- In an interview with CNN, President Rouahni affirmed earlier statements made by Foreign Minister Zarif, that Iran will not dismantle existing centrifuges, while adding, “We are willing to create this trust that there will be no concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.”
Photo of the Day
- ISNA photo essay of “Alone in the Crowd” at the 32nd Fajr International Theater Festival, directed by Anna Dora Dorno.