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.
- Parliamentary Economy Commission member MP Ebrahim Nekou announced that the entirety of President Rouhani’s budget law will likely be approved by the Parliament but noted the parliament’s concern regarding the proposed targeted subsidy law and a twofold fuel price increase.
- Head of the Parliamentary Budget Commission MP Qolam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam announced that $3.5 billion from the National Expansion Fund will be invested in Iranian banks, per the budgetary law. He added, “We have allocated an acceptable number for national security [in the budget].”
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani met with Defense Ministry and Law Enforcement Forces employees and said, “With the awareness and awakening of the Iranian people [during the 1979 revolution] a wave of awakening took place in other countries, and this cause the fear of the Arrogant and Western countries…We live with belief. All of our policies and acts are with God and we must always remember God in our lives.”
- MP Ali Motahari announced his support in Parliament of a campaign for the rich to voluntarily refuse receiving direct subsidies into their accounts. Currently, all Iranian citizens receive direct subsidies into their accounts. Due to a lack of demographic data, the government has found it difficult to identify citizens who would not qualify for the payments.
- MP Soleiman Abbasi announced that 31% of oil and natural gas exports will be deposited into the National Expansion Fund. He added, “There are 2900 unfinished projects in the country, which the necessary resources to finish all of these projects do not exist. Therefore, resources have been allocated to projects on the verge of completion.”
Fatemioun Brigade member “Abu Heydar” announced the death of member Reza Esmaili, in Syria. Esmaili was a 19-year-old Shi’a Afghan who was living in Iran and studying at the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. He was reportedly taken captive in Ghouta, east of Damascus, and subsequently decapitated by Jubhat al-Nusrah, according to the al-Qaeda affiliate’s social media accounts.
- The Iranian-backed group is reportedly composed of Afghan Shi’as “defending the Seyyeda Zeinab shrine, holy shrines and Syria’s Shi’a areas.” Similar groups include Kata’ib Ahl al-Haq, Khadam al-Aghliyeh, Zolfaghar and Abu Fazl al-Abbas brigades. The article added that ten members of the Fatemioun Brigade were buried in Qom, Mashhad, Esfahan and Tehran this past November.
- Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA) included this segment at the end of the report: “ABNA apologizes to the dear readers for to the publishing of very painful images and the heartbreaking account of the martyrdom of this Heydari Shi’a. But unfortunately, we do not have a choice but to show the savagery and brutality of Salafi and Wahabbi terrorists active in Syria and Iraq.”
Military and Security
- Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami called the IRGC “an operational echo of the strategic ideas of the Supreme Leader,” adding that, “Any organization or system that has an identity of independent thought will have its conduct follow these ideas.”
- “The enemy’s psychological operations place emphasis on splitting the mind from the body because they seek to create detached minds in order to make individuals’ and society’s physical conduct follows its own ideas.”
- Salami claimed that over the last 35 years the IRGC has grown to the point where, “If the enemy acts in an intellectual or mental framework, they will fail decisively in confrontation with us.”
- “Missiles, defense, artillery, and tanks do not define the IRGC’s character; they are worthless realities of the material world. What describes the identity of the IRGC is the human elements and factors of this holy institution which is at its peak.”
- “Unlike other armies of the world, the IRGC’s radius of influence is not confined to limited geographical spaces. This is considered a factor in the great success of this popular institution, which is why the elements shaping this configuration should be preserved.”
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan harshly criticized recent statements by US officials regarding the military option,
- “Iran relies on the capabilities of its armed forces, mobilization of its people, and the benefits of its advance defense equipment to prepare to confront any type of hostile action from any assailant.”
- “In any case, it seems that the American officials’ statements are nothing more than a political bluff. Likewise, the previous US Secretary of State admitted that America’s military threats against Iran were a political bluff.”
- “We do not welcome war or tension, but we will certainly put the warmongers in their place.”
- “It is a strange time in which claims of human rights, democracy, and diplomacy still come from those using medieval methods and who think that they can benefit and secure themselves by using violence, oppression, and aggression. They are unaware that a new era has come in which taking these types of ill-advised actions will cause America’s rapid decline.”
- IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi also criticized the US for its military threats, telling “John Kerry and Obama to ask Reagan and [his Secretary of State] Caspar Weinberger about the abilities of the IRGC Navy during the war years. In [1988 and 1989] the Americans were frustrated by us in the Persian Gulf and officially announced their inability.”
- “The military option is a laughable subject. Even John Kerry’s children snicker at it.”
- “America is not only seeking a military option, especially in the Persian Gulf, but is also making the greatest effort in the world to avoid military conflict in the region. That is because if there is a military conflict, they will bear great losses.”
- Fifteen MPs voiced their support of IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari’s comments responding to Secretary Kerry’s warning. The MP released a letter “thanking the dear IRGC” for its “powerful, pounding, and decisive” position. Among the MPs are Head of the Defense Commission Esmail Kowsari, Head of the Principlists Faction Gholam Ali Haddedadel, Deputy Head of the Principlists Esmail Jalili Naeb, National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Chairman Hossein Naghvi, and Head of the Cultural Commission Ahmed Salek.
- Head of the Artesh Political Ideology Organization Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem praised the uniqueness of the Islamic Revolution and Iran’s expanding power, saying “Iran’s strategic position in the region is growing deeper and stronger.”
- Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Safeguards Director Mohammad Amiri said that “This morning three investigators from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspected the Gachin mine in Bandar Abbas.”
- He also noted that there would be another round of talks between the AEOI and the IAEA on February 8 and 9 to answer any questions the IAEA has about Iran’s nuclear activity.
- AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi also said that the Gachin inspection was a move“towards implementing the first step of the Geneva agreement” and that “no representatives of the foreign ministry were present during this investigation.” Kamalvandi added, “Next week we will have a full evaluation of IAEA activity, and then the two sides will talk with each other.”
Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied his country’s foreign minister, economic minister, culture and tourism minister, and development minister on a two-day trip to Tehran during which they met with a number of Iranian officials in order to increase exchange and trade between the nations and sign several agreements:
- First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri met with Erdogan in the meeting to sign four joint cooperation documents which established trade committees, preferential tariffs, possibly including gas exports, and media cooperation.
- While responding to reporters, Jahangiri said that “Tehran and Ankara are making an effort to reach $30 billion in trade in 2015.”
- Erdogan said, “Iran is my second home,” and added that Turkey “currently has a great need for Iranian energy.”
- President Hassan Rouhani also met with Erdogan. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, Culture Minister Ali Jannati, and Industry and Mines Minister Mohammad Reza Naematzadeh were also present. The two sides primarily discussed improving relations.
- Erdogan is also scheduled to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the evening, as well as with Foreign Minister Zarif.
- Expediency Discernment Council Center for Strategic Research Chairman Ali Akbar Velayati met with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to discuss regional developments. Annan called the Middle East an important and active region, and said “Syria is currently like a magnet that extremists are attracted to. In Syria, the current reality is that there is no imaginable quick solution to solve the crisis. The only possible way is a political solution.”
- Velayati responded, “Unfortunately there is a new type of terrorist activity appearing in the world. Some countries believe that they can easily change the current regime.”
- MPs voted to invest 14.5% of oil revenues to Oil Ministry subsidiaries.
- Head of Management and Planning Organization Mohammad Bagher Nobakht discussed the current state of the economy, anticipating the economy to grow 3% in the upcoming year regardless of the Geneva agreement. Reaffirming his positive outlook, Nobakht pointed to energy production, stating “[With] 293 thousand barrels per day of gas for exports and 300 thousand barrels per day for domestic needs, and crude oil exports projected at 1 million barrels per day, the export sector will certainly be fulfilled.”
- Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Company Managing Director Mohammad Hossein Dajmar announced, “With the lifting of sanctions and improvement in the environment, currently some of our trade partners in Europe and other countries have begun their negotiations to renew trade in Iranian ports.”
Photo of the Day
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.