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, Diana Timmerman and Warren Marshall. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Via a message to Washington, Tehran warned Israel that it “crossed” Iran’s “red line” in its airstrike which killed an IRGC general in Syria; while Hossein Salami reiterated that there will be an appropriate response to the attack.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced that Iran has warned Israel through the US over the recent killing of IRGC Qods Force Brigadier General Allah Dadi in an Israeli airstrike in Quneitra, Syria. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister said, “The Zionist regime has crossed our red line.” IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami, moreover, echoed regime rhetoric, vowing to avenge the attack. The IRGC Deputy Commander, however, did not specify when the retaliation would occur, adding: “…its time, place, and severity are yet to be determined.” Tehran’s outreach to Washington, coupled with the IRGC’s vague threats, is indicative of the regime’s inability to expand beyond its current operational capabilities, with ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria.

Senior Iranian officials and IRGC commanders attended IRGC Brigadier General Allah Dadi’s commemoration ceremony in Esfahan. The presence of IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani reinforces the regime’s sentiment towards Allah Dadi, as expressed through the impassioned speeches delivered by senior officials during the memorial service.

Official Statements

  • Abdollahian: Israel should expect consequences for its actions. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, stated that Iran sent a message to the US through diplomatic channels concerning the killing of IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allah Dadi in Syria. Abdollahian said the message told the US that the Israeli air strike was a red line for Iran and that Israel should expect to feel the consequences of its actions. (IRNA)
  • Jafari: Jerusalem will be liberated soon. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari stated that “the blood of our martyrs combined with the martyrs of Quneitra suggests… that the freedom of Jerusalem will happen soon.” The Commander of the IRGC noted that Israel has been defeated “in several areas” including the 33-Day War in 2006 because “the Zionists are afraid of us.” (Sepah News)
  • Salami: We will take our revenge against Israel. IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami discussed Iran’s future retaliation for an Israeli airstrike that killed an IRGC Brigadier General and several Hezbollah commanders in Syria.
    • “I say to the Zionists that we will take our revenge, but its time, place, and severity are yet to be determined. Be ready at every time and place and go to your best shelters, because the IRGC and Hezbollah do not speak idly.”
    • “America couldn’t prevent the Zionists’ defeat in four wars and it cannot intervene militarily in Syria, even as it has announced and carried out its threats.” (IRNA)
  • Safavi: “Zionist” assassination of IRGC and Hezbollah commanders was imprudent and foolish. IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Safavi, Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader, condemned the “Zionist regime” [Israel] and its air attack in Syria, and stated that the Israel is happy about the situation in Syria and Iraq. Safavi warned that Israel’s actions were foolish, and that Iran is fighting for peace and stability in the region while the US, Britain, and Israel are working to undermine Muslim countries. (Sepah News)
  • Asafari discusses the Rahimi corruption case. Parliamentarian Mohammad Hassan Asafari said that the referral of Mr. Rahimi’s case by reformists is a ploy to avoid being exposed as corrupt and called it a form of revenge and a betrayal of the country. Asafari said embezzlement and corruption is not part of conservative ideology, adding that conservatives, over the course of history, have identified economic corruption and brought it to the legal system. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Larijani: Iraq’s unity and the support of the religious scholars will establish security. Ali Larijani emphasized the need to boost bilateral economic cooperation and facilitate Iranian investment in Iraq during a meeting with Iraqi Communications Minister Hassan Kazem al Rashad. The Parliament Speaker also expressed his satisfaction with the Iraqi military’s recent victories in the campaign against ISIL. (Fars News Agency)
  • Izadi says Iranian commanders have an “advisory” role in Iraq and Syria. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mostafa Izadi praised IRGC Qods Force Brig. Gen. Allah Dadi, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria on January 18, and spoke on Iran’s military role in Iraq and Syria: “Our commanders are only responsible for consultation and advisory [missions].” The Armed Forces General Staff Strategic and Oversight Affairs Deputy pointed to Israeli fears of Iranian commanders and said, “The Islamic Revolution of Iran has trained people that dream of martyrdom and that are followers of Imam Hossein. Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iraqi fighters, who are currently fighting against the agents of the arrogant [West], are a part of this group.” (Defa Press)
  • Shamkhani: Western aggressiveness stems from fear and reaction towards the soft power of Islam. The Supreme National Security Council Secretary said the promotion and development of the mission of the Prophet Mohammad and the globalization of the culture of the Islamic Revolution and “Sacred Defense” is a result of soft power, which is at the core of Islam. Ali Shamkhani highlighted the need for a strategic viewpoint on the production and publication of literary works on the Iran-Iraq War. (Mehr News)
  • Sharif: International Zionism is common enemy of all Muslims. IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Ramezan Sharif, Head of IRGC Public Affairs, wrote an article in response to the “criminal helicopter attack” by Israel that killed an IRGC general and several Hezbollah members. Sharif wrote about the need for unity among the Muslim ummah [community] and for recognition that Zionism, which is supported by the US and Israel, is the common enemy of all Muslims. Sharif added that the conflict between Iran and its enemies was at first a military and security conflict, but has become an economic, cultural, and societal conflict, headed by Israeli think tanks. (Defa Press)
  • Dehghan: The progress of the Iranian nation today is due to the jihadi spirit of our young scientists. Hossein Dehghan attributed Iran’s scientific advancement in nuclear, nano, space, stem cell, and other areas of technology to the Islamic ideology of the country’s researchers. The Defense Minister added that Iran’s Islamic system also fosters justice and morality in society, unlike the Western countries that focus on material welfare and neglect the spiritual dimension. (Fars News Agency)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Abdollahian calls Russian representative. Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian spoke by phone with a representative of President Vladimir Putin during the recent Syria peace talks in Moscow to discuss developments in Syria. Both parties emphasized the need for a political solution to the conflict in Syria and stressed the importance of dialogue and national reconciliation. (Tasnim News Agency)

Military and Security

  • Soleimani and several senior IRGC commanders attend Allah Dadi’s commemoration ceremony. A memorial service was held for IRGC Qods Force Brig. Gen. Allah Dadi and Lebanese Hezbollah member Jihad Mughniyeh at the Imam Ali Mosque in Esfahan, Iran. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC Qods Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Basij Commander IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, IRGC Brig. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Ramezan Sharif, LEF Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and several other Iranian officials attended the memorial service. (Sepah News
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