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
Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Hojjat al-Eslam Abdollah Haji Sadeghi discussed the value of spirituality:
- “Our biggest blessing is the blessing of religion and that of the velayat [guardianship of the jurisprudence], which we must thank this large blessing by obeying, supporting, and accompanying the velayat.”
- “To the extent that our reliance upon God increases, the IRGC’s immunity and impenetrability against adversities will also increase.”
- “Guarding the revolution has no meaning without motivation, spirit, belief and awareness.”
- “The bad-wishers of the Islamic Revolution have organized and designed their trend of activities with complete precision so they can achieve their desired ends by utilizing such measures.”
- “The enemies have realized that if our youth are involved with corruption, debauchery and carelessness and are gravitated towards the short-term, then a worthy defender in the path of guarding the transcendental religious and revolutionary values will be no more. On this basis, they have utilized widespread and targeted plans in the path of inflicting harm upon the element of spirituality among the youth.”
- “Strengthening spirituality and beliefs and supplementing them with science, knowledge and awareness are the most important components that can create immunity against the conspiracies of the enemies and adversities.
- IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi spoke at the opening ceremonies of the third National Smart Boat Races. Fadavi stressed the importance of developing underwater vessels and said “We are primarily a nautical country, but unfortunately our level of progress is not at all like a nautical country. The roles the sea and shores play that ought to be developed is not taking place.”
- Fadavi said that the US Navy has “real hostility” towards Iran and is a threat, adding “For the same reason, the IRGC must confront them. Years ago we began discussing smart boats and formed the ‘Organization of Combat Smart Boats’ in the IRGC Navy. We are able to confront America fundamentally, whereas they cannot fundamentally influence us in this field.”
- Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated, “The Intelligence Minister is no longer a tool for elevating a party and crushing another. Our society is a moderate society… Both parties are valuable capitals of the revolution and the Islamic system. Extremism from both parties is a mistake and it is this path of moderation that reaches the country to daily successes.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi responded to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s warning that the military option remains on the table by stating, “As the soldiers of [the Supreme Leader], the Iranian nation in the armed forces have complete preparedness to silence any American sedition and make their threat regretful. It is best for the Americans to pursue the method of diplomacy within the framework of the Geneva Accord and not to close the door on negotiations by stating light and cheap words.”
- Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Commander Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili inaugurated the Hog and Sky Guard missile systems simulators, “Which can simulate goals on real scales in various classes of missiles, aircrafts, helicopters and drones. The capability of executing various combat tactics with different formations for training consumption has been considered for these systems.”
- Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that eight military exercises will be held in 2014-15.
- Eight foreign and Iranian banks not subject to international sanctions will cooperate to transfer the $4.2 billion in blocked Iranian assets, per the Joint Plan of Action. The eligible Iranian banks are: Pasargard, Parsian, Saman, Sarmayeh, Keshavarzi, Kar Afarin, Maskan and Mellat.
- Iran Investment and Economic and Technical Aids Organization Managing Director Behrouz Alishiri announced the injection of $16 billion in foreign direct investment during 2014-15 and stated, “Foreign investment services offering a unit window system is ready for initiation.”
- Pars Energy Special Economic Area Customs Managing Director Khodadad Rahim claimed that “Despite the total implementation of sanctions by Western governments, exports of gas fields in [December-January] grew by 272% in comparison to the previous year.” He added, “The share of gas field among entire exported goods was 64% from a weight aspect and 62% from a value aspect. The majority were exported to: China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Afghanistan.”
- At the first National Monetary and Banking Management Expansion Conference, Central Bank Vice-Chancellor Akbar Komijani announced the approval of “economic resistance” policies by the Expediency Discernment Council and discussed current obstacles as well as necessary reforms:
- “Reforming and strengthening the monetary system has been one of the principles that have been emphasized in this [economic resistance policy].”
- “Interference in the money market has surpassed the normal level. Even though justifications existed for this but it has accompanied disrupting effects in banking performance.”
- “We pursued other goals alongside capturing inflation and stabilizing prices. Perhaps reform in monetary and banking laws is the primary necessity for this.”
- Budget and Planning Parliamentary Commission Member Ahmad Tavakoli said that Iran was among the greatest energy consumers in the world, which has caused energy and electricity prices to increase greatly. He said the government was working on a solution with “the least damage to business, families, and the government,” but called on citizens to “control additional consumption” because “a collision with this phenomenon of recklessness would usher in bad consequences.”
- Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, spokesman Behrouz Kemalvandi noted that “three inspectors from the [International Atomic Energy] Agency have entered Tehran to inspect the Gachin mine. They will go to Bandar Abbas tomorrow… This afternoon there will also be negotiations with the IAEA to come to an agreement on how inspections will be done.”
Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Eraghchi said that “the first step towards a joint goal” was taken and emphasized that Iran’s “own enrichment will continue at the final stage” but that “no sanctions will remain.” He also noted that billions of dollars would be freed up in the Iranian economy following the lifting of sanctions and unfreezing of Iranian bank accounts, such as “the $4.2 billion in oil revenues that will be freed and directly transferred to the Central Bank.”
- Eraghchi in the context of remarks in the automotive manufacturing industry, said “Because of the sanctions against Iran, making deals with Iran had risks, but with this deal, these problems have also been solved.”
- President Hassan Rouhani met with the “Elders” group, which includes former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, in Tehran today. Rouhani urged an end to the Syrian conflict and defended Iran’s nuclear program, stating, “All of our activities have been peaceful and will remain peaceful. Iran wants nothing more than its right based on the NPT. If there is a serious will on the opposing side and the readiness to reach a final comprehensive agreement, a short amount of time exists.”
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov to talk about the hopes for growing relations between the countries and cooperation in research and development in order to “benefit both countries and serve peace and stability in the region and international arenas.”
- Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham noted that investigations into the killing of an Iranian diplomat continued, Iran will also implement and closely supervise the Joint Action Protocol, and said that “The time and place of the next round of negotiations has still not been finalized. The negotiations will be held in the coming weeks.” Afkham also noted that a trip was being planned for EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton to visit Iran.
- Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with Italian Cultural and Tourism Minister Massimo Bray and stated, “This era was an experience in which both sides noticed that [relations] must return to the previous routine.”
- Iraqi Shi’a militant group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq buried a member, Jafar al-Ayadi, in Iraq earlier today. Al-Ayadi was killed in Syria.
- Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said that “The media is the nation’s tongue. It must be able to publish content with complete freedom and without stuttering. The media must hear the voice of the officials and people and reflect this in society while keeping their trust.” Qalibaf also cautioned that the media shouldn’t take the place of the rulers and act as judges, saying “Preventing deviations is one of the important tasks of the media, and it must play this role correctly.”
- Bushehr Province Governor Moustafa Salari spoke with the province’s chamber of commerce about the necessity of forming a foreign relations council in the region because “Discussions about relations with two countries, Qatar and Kuwait, must be separately investigated by this committee. For the past twenty years, Bushehr Province has had problems with Qatar, which we seek to solve within a legal framework… Qataris are eager to invest in this province and we must provide the conditions for their presence.”
- According to Mehr News, the trial to hear the charges against one of the ministers in the Rouhani administration was held in a criminal court in Tehran. The charges stem from the individual’s time as a deputy minister and were filed by a supervisory organization. The minister himself was not present at the hearing.
- Deputy Interior Minister for Cultural and Societal Affairs Morteza Mirbagheri spoke to leaders of NGOs across the country, saying that President Rouhani would soon meet with them “to advance the goals and plans of NGOs.”
- Legal Deputy to the President Elham Aminzadeh announced, “Approximately ten experts are continuously reviewing 1,000 opinions and analyses [for the draft of the Civil Rights Charter]. Our deadline goal is finishing specialist work by [19 February] and presenting it to the president.”
Photo of the Day
- Italian Culture and Tourism Minister Massimo Bray visits Kerman province and Arg-e Bam.