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. 

Military and Security

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari responded to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s warning that the US is prepared to use the military option if necessary:
    • “Mr. Kerry considers this a direct battle between America and the most powerful, faithful, and revolutionary people of the world. Your threats are your best chance against our revolutionary people. Our leaders prepared us years ago for a great, destiny-making battle. I know that it is unlikely that your wise people would put America’s hand into this fateful battle by actually putting the laughable military option on the table.”
    • “We know that your country is in the greatest debt in the world. Everyone knows your inability to solve your economic issues, which led to a few weeks of [government] shutdown. The sun of your imperialist civilization is nearing sunset. Do not hasten your decline by repeating failed strategies like the use of military force.”
    • Jafari claimed that US political and military experts “Do not consider the use of [military force] to be in America’s security interests and have given their own warnings about this to officials many times.” 
  • Senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani supported Jafari’s position, adding, “Iran is very powerful with the courage and planning of the Supreme Leader, and will remain powerful. What the enemies say is laughable, a joke, and could not be more stupid.” 
  • Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan said that “The most complex, and most widespread threat against Iran is on the cultural front… We must be armed with the weapons that will enable us to emerge victorious from this battle. We must enjoy internal and cultural consolidation so that the attacks against us have no effect.”  
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi discussed Syria, and the achievements of the Islamic Revolution and defended the IRGC’s involvement in the economic sphere:
    • “Iran’s Islamic Revolution is a revolution that directly stood against America’s hegemonic dominance-seeking. Today we witness the revolution’s effects and Iran’s widespread penetration in the regional and international arena [referring to the Arab Spring].”
    • “This matter that the Americans are concerned about the presence of the Islamic Revolution in Latin America demonstrates the depth of the Islamic Revolution’s appeal. Iran’s glorious revolution has proven this truth both in slogan and in action.”
    • “Sometimes expediency dictates that goals are pursued in a diplomatic form, which diplomacy has its own rules and requires high vigilance. No harm must be inflicted upon the system’s principles during the negotiations.”
    • IRGC economic activities: “This interaction [between the IRGC and the government in civil construction] takes place within the framework of principles, laws and measures and the IRGC will continue this trend. In the past, it was introduced by the IRGC Commander that the IRGC will not refrain anywhere the government requires aid.”
    • “The presence of the IRGC in this arena possesses several characteristics. First, that the projects at the hands of the IRGC are national projects that the private sector does not have the capability and capacity to be present in these projects. Another is that the IRGC’s primary goal from entering economic projects is not to make profit, rather it is to move towards the IRGC’s intrinsic goals in defending the Islamic Revolution.”
    • “When foreign companies Total and Shell abandoned our projects, a revolutionary institution needed to take responsibility so there are no disruptions in the path of the Islamic Revolution.”
    • “On this basis, the IRGC’s presence in the economic and strategic arenas is in-line with the path of its intrinsic duty. This movement depends on the laws that the IRGC has implemented. In this arena, the massive volume of IRGC civil and service measures in impoverished areas and also placing part of equipment ability in the path of fighting poverty by the IRGC demonstrates that this popular institution pursues [national] service.”
    • Spirituality as an equalizer in asymmetrical warfare: “Our war with the Dominant System [West] is an asymmetrical war. What makes equal asymmetrical war is the element of spirituality, motivation and will.”
    • “Spirituality is an effective element that alters the equations of the combat field. Experience has proven that by using the element of spirituality and will, the most powerful enemy’s capability can be defeated.”
    • “I, as the representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC, whose responsibilities are mostly IRGC cultural and spiritual affairs, announce that our mission to persevere against any form of invasion is favorable from a spiritual aspect. Our youth today have that same motivation and passion of the first years of the revolution and Sacred Defense.”
    • “Commanders explicate equipment and military power but I announce that the pillar which can provide us with superiority against the enemy is spirituality. Our Basijis today consider themselves in the front of righteousness and will not abstain from any attempts in the path of guarding this divine trust.”
    • “The IRGC has this honor to be present in all sectors of society and tries to prepare the conditions for the continuation of the revolution’s movement.”
    • Quds Force: “In this arena, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the form of the Quds Force takes steps in the path of defending the global oppressed and poor, strengthening religious and spiritual basis, increasing awareness and identifying the enemy’s conspiracies.”
    • “The enemies of the revolution utilize various tools to not allow the revolution’s voice to reach America and Europe, such as cutting Iranian networks from satellites.”
    • Syria: “With attention to the movement and behavior before Geneva II, it was clear that this summit will not have a specific result. What will determine Syria’ fate is the will of the Syrian people and the government, which in this path, the perseverance and resistance of the Syrian people, government and army have been able to neutralize the enemy’s conspiracy.”
    • “They pursued many goals in Syria and accepted much cost. If this area fell, it would accompany many transformations, and unfortunately some inside did not pay attention to the importance of this matter. However, the perseverance and steadfastness of the Syrian government and people disrupted equations and today the enemies know that the Syrian matter is not resolvable through the military route and all must head toward a political strategy. They attempted to form an interim government and their attempt was unsuccessful.”
    • “Today, the phenomenon of military confrontation and fall of the Syrian government has ended. The only way of negotiation is based on the Syrian government and people’s resistance, which in this case the opposing front has no choice but to retreat and concede.” 


  • President Hassan Rouhani met with South Korean Speaker of Parliament Kang Chang-Hee and called for economic cooperation between the two countries, saying, “We see no barriers to developing economic, scientific, cultural, and trade relations between Iran and South Korea. The conditions are prepared for the investment and action of Korean companies in different sectors, including oil, gas, energy, and manufacturing.” The speaker went on to say, “Given the Geneva agreement, we want economic relations between Iran and South Korea to grow quickly.” 
  • Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov will be traveling to Iran tomorrow to speak with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani. 
  • Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan traveled to Tehran where he met with Foreign Minister Zarif and Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Annan stated that, “The goal of my trip to Iran is to meet with senior leaders of this country and listen to their positions on a wide spectrum of developments, especially those that are currently overwhelming the region.” 
  • Foreign Minister Zarif met with Italian Cultural Heritage and Activities Minister  Massimo Bray to discuss the importance of culture and the need for cooperation: “Cultural cooperation can create the groundwork to deepen political relations, which is why the Foreign Ministry supports cultural diplomacy.”  
  • National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member MP Safar Naimiraz claimed that Iran’s presence in the Geneva II negotiations is “a way of defending Syria’s rights” and added, “The West fears not nuclear Iran, but Islamic Iran as the region’s superpower.” 
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Asian and Oceania Affairs Ibrahim Rahim Pour announced that “[Turkish] Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan is accompanying a group of four Turkish ministers, which includes its foreign minister and three economic ministers,” that will be arriving in Tehran tomorrow. 

Regional Developments

  • Lebanese Hezbollah member Yusuf Hassan Hafiz was reportedly killed in Syria this past Saturday, “defending the Seyyeda Zeinab shrine and protecting Shi’a areas.” 
  • An unnamed member of Iraqi Shi’a militant group Asaib Ahl al-Haq announced the death of teenage member Zarqam Jabar al-Abudi in Syria and said, “Defending the Seyyeda Zeinab shrine is our duty and we do not fear stating this. We formally invite the country’s [Iraqi] youth to defend the holy sites and the shrines of Heydar Karrar’s [First Shi’a Imam Ali] children in Syria. Asaib Ahl al-Haq has even raised flags across the country to inform everyone of this invitation.” The article reporting this event also states the group has been “guarding” the Shi’a shrine for the past seven years.


  • Addressing a gathering of clergy and seminar students at the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institution, Tehran MP and Steadfastness Front member Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Nabavian criticized the Rouhani administration:
    • He first criticized Rouhani for revealing the method of former Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi’s oil sales under sanctions, “which we sold parts of oil under the Omani flag.”
    • Withholding Geneva Accord details from MPs: “It is the legal right of representatives to know what is in the accord, then why do you hide it? Give that right to us so we will behave cautiously with you.”
    •  Drawing analogy between current negotiations and the decision of Imam Khomeini to end the Iran-Iraq War: “Who was the team that imposed [UN] Resolution 598 [resolution ending the Iran-Iraq War] on the late Imam [Khomeini], who made [him] drink the poison chalice?”
    • “We agreed in the accord that any act we seek to undertake in the nuclear field must be with the consent and signature of America.”
    • “We agreed on the Geneva Accord to allow free access to inspectors to uranium mines and factories, while most inspectors are spies. One of our country’s nuclear scientists said ‘when the inspectors sat behind computers for only one time, they entered a virus into the system and about 3,000 of our centrifuges went offline.” 
  • In reaction to the annual US report on human rights in Iran, the Basij Organization released a report on 2013 US “human rights violations” at the University of Tehran. Speakers who included: Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, Parliament Vice-Chairman Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard, National Security and Foreign Policy [NSFP] Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi, and Head of the Judiciary Branch Human Rights Center Mohammad Javad Larijani criticizes human rights in the US:
    • Boroujerdi: “If the fuse of the nuclear discussion is lowered, they [Westerners] will raise the matter of human rights.”
    •  Larijani criticized human rights organization and said, “Human rights defender is a spurious phrase.” He added, “Many precautions must take place regarding nuclear energy rights. But I do not believe that because the wheel of our centrifuges spun fast our economy’s wheel slowed, rather this is to the opposite and this is a strategic mistake. 
    • Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi commented on America's human rights abuses pointing to the large numbers of African-Americans in prison and early treatment of Native Americans as some of the evidence.
      • “This document is one thousandth of the realities of America’s human rights abuses because they do not allow any type of investigation into the matter. For 35 years, Iranian reporters have not been permitted to go more than 40 kilometers from the UN’s headquarters and no American president has dared to spend five minutes with an Iranian reporter. And these are presidents who claim to have free speech.”
      • “America’s human rights abuses are such that their flames encompass the whole world. America has not yet passed a single day without a war, either by invading a country itself or supporting invaders.”
      • “Every day we hear new reports about killings in colleges and schools, which is a phenomenon exclusive to America.”

Nuclear Issue

  • National Security and Foreign Policy [NSFP] Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi discussed the formation of an expert supervisory delegation on the implementation of the Geneva Accord and said, “I was not present in the session that it was supposed to be introduced, so I do not know what happened with this matter. The formation of this delegation was approved by the NSFP executive board, and if commission members also approved this matter it can enter into force.” Regarding a defense budget increase, Boroujerdi stated, “All committee members agreed on this matter that the defense budget must increase. With attention to the challenges that the Americans are pursuing to impose on our country and nation, the topic of the country’s security is our most important pillar.” 
  • The next round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 to reach a final nuclear deal will take place in New York in mid-February. The Iranian delegation will remain largely unchanged and will be headed by Foreign Minister Zarif. The P5+1 will be led again by EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and will include the foreign ministers of all six nations. 
  • Foreign Minister Zarif spoke with a Swiss media outlet about the recent nuclear agreement and how Iran would react to new sanctions:
    • “The nuclear issue is just a cover for the Zionist regime to be able to continue its occupation and encroachment of Palestine. This excuse and pretext has now been taken out of Israel’s hand. This is not important for us. We never imagined that there would be a serious threat of a military attack. America still says this. What came out of the violence in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan?”
    • “During the past ten years, the West imagined that there would be the option of 0% enrichment and that Iran would retreat from enriching uranium. Now, of course a little late, America has recognized that this was not possible for them to achieve. Obama has clearly stated that 0% enrichment is a wish of his, but that he cannot achieve it.”
    • “If this process does not lead to a positive result that does not mean the end of the world. However, this would show that America believes that more resolutions against Iran would help. In this case, it becomes clear that more sanctions against Iran only results in more centrifuges in Iran.”
    • “Obama has promised to veto any type of effort to approve new sanctions against Tehran in Congress. Preparing Congress in this regard is an issue of Obama’s executive power, and I have no connection to that issue.” 
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Abbas Eraghchi said that “The Geneva agreement does not mean a normalization of relations between Iran and America or the West, though it is possible to make this error. There is hostility in place between us and America, and it is not such that after the agreement we have become friends with America. We have fundamental issues with this country on different topics.”
    • “We do not have permission to talk about issues other than the nuclear issue, such as terrorism or human rights. Sanctions are connected to this, and if they want to continue sanctions or return to them, that means the agreement is broken.”
    • “If Congress seeks any excuse to place sanctions on Iran, the White House has also indicated that this is a violation of the negotiations, and it will be a violation of the Geneva agreement.” 
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi responded to a letter by 150 MPs requesting that the Geneva Accord’s implementation agreement’s text be published, saying “My suggestion to Eraghchi was that we publish an abstract from a realistic viewpoint like the one the American’s published from their own viewpoint. Also, it is always possible to ask [Foreign] Minister [Zarif] questions.” 


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