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.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized the US, saying “the recent negotiations have shown America’s hostility and inability,” while speaking in Qom on the anniversary of January 1978 protests that led to the death of a number of anti-shah revolutionaries protesting a slanderous story about Ayatollah Khomeini:
- “If faith comes together with insight, action, and perseverance, there will certainly be divine victory… A lack of insight is like not having an eye. A person who does not have an eye cannot discern his path and goes off of it.”
- “Iran provides all of these conditions, including faith, insight, action, and perseverance, because it had a trustworthy and skilled guide like Imam Khomeini, who knew about the world, [holy] books, and the sunna [way of the Prophet] and cut out greed and personal material interests.”
- “The people must not be stricken with the fantasy that the enemies of the Islamic Revolution have given up their hostility today.”
- “Of course, it is possible that all the hostility will eventually retreat, but we must not be surprised by the enemy or his fronts and we must not take the enemy’s smile seriously and be deceived by it.”
- “The goal of Iran is to reach the ideals of Islam, meaning the spiritual and material progress of humanity. Reaching this goal is not possible except with faith, insight into ongoing issues, and not being surprised by the enemy.”
- “My eternal advice to officials is that to remove the country’s problems, it is necessary to look to internal forces and not turn an eye outwards.”
- “Our enemies today talk in a way that [indicates] that the nation of Iran will raise up its hands and submit under the pressure of sanctions, whereas they have again erred because this nation is not a nation that raises its hands as a sign of submission.”
- Khamenei noted how conditions were far worse during the Iran-Iraq War and then said, “Likewise, today the removal of problems and the only way to confront the hostility of the enemies is through the perseverance of the nation, reliance on its internal abilities, and trusting God that it is possible.”
- “When the enemy is confronted with a determined and resistant nation, it has no recourse except retreat. This fantasy that the nation of Iran has come to the negotiations table because of sanctions is a downright mistake, and the nation of Iran will shatter the enemies’ mistake.”
- “We have previously announced that the Iranian system will negotiate with this Satan on specific issues that it considers expedient in order to fix [the enemies’] evils and solve the problems.”
- Khamenei also said that during recent negotiations American officials made clear their hostility to Iran, Islam, and Muslims through “their tone and words” over the past few weeks.
- “If the Americans do not act on an issue, the reason for it is their inability, not their lack of hostility. They say, ‘If we were able to isolate Iran’s nuclear manufacturing, we would, but we cannot.’ Yes, they cannot because the nation of Iran has the will to stand its ground and bring its abilities to the battlefield.”
- “The recent negotiations showed America’s hostility as well as its inability.”
- Khamenei pointed to US support of Israeli “crimes” against Palestinians, the failure to close Guantanamo Bay, and drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan: “America has no right to talk about human rights because the American government is the greatest violator of human rights in the world.”
- President Hassan Rouhani met with members of the Parliamentary Integration Commission to discuss the budget and current economic issues facing the country, calling for unity to achieve success:
- “Sympathy and cooperation between Parliament and the administration is necessary to serve the people and remove the country’s problems. Continuous meetings and cooperation between Parliament and the administration are necessary to have and reach joint analysis of issues.”
- “Those malicious towards Iran have followed two plans. The first is creating a gap between Iran and the international community by labeling Iran a threat to the region. The second is creating a gap between the people and system. The goal of sanctions was to deepen these two gaps. That is why, by protecting the people, on the one hand the administration shows the true face of Iran to the international community, and on the other continues the political epic of the elections by seeking national reconciliation and societal consensus.”
- “Fortunately, with the actions that have been taken over these few months, a halt to inflation has begun. The monthly inflation that was 3.5% is now a .5% decrease, and the rate of unemployment has also decreased.”
- “The root of inflation and stagnation must be solved. For the administration, two subjects, food security and the health of the people, have been confronted most urgently.”
- Rouhani also addressed energy issues: “Due to the lack of action in investing in the energy security sectors, gas and electricity are a source of need for manufacturers and families during the winter. At the same time, we are seeing that the air pollution in all of the cities is a threat to the environment.”
- “Despite the policies, laws and serious attention to reforming the energy market and environment, the improper implementation of the targeted subsidies law and high inflation negated the initial benefits of fuel price reform.”
- “The result of this is that gas consumption in Iran is greater than all of Europe and we still import gasoline. That is why it is necessary, in addition to paying attention to the people’s living conditions, to begin energy and environmental reform.”
- President Hassan Rouhani spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin during which the two spoke of the importance of “regional security and stability” in issues such as Syria, Iraq, and terrorism:
- “Efforts to strategize relations between Iran and Russia and establish stable, long-term relations based on long-term interests and cooperation can bring stability and security to the region and a future of peace and friendliness.”
- The two spoke about establishing a joint cooperation commission: “Iran is prepared to act on infrastructural projects in different sectors under the framework of understanding of a joint commission, as well as present and take the necessary actions to develop bilateral cooperation.”
- The presidents agreed it was necessary for all to adhere to the Geneva nuclear agreement: “Some countries sought to make excuses and create problems during the negotiations process… The continued role of Russia provided the field for speeding up the end of the deal.”
- “Instead of negotiations in Geneva, it is necessary to have a real solution to the Syrian crisis. No extra-regional meeting without influential elements will be able to solve the problem of Syria, and that is why Geneva II will fail before it forms.”
- “In order to confront terrorism, it is necessary to get rid of its intellectual and financial roots. Iran is prepared to cooperate with Russia to seriously confront terrorism.”
- Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Amir Abdollahian met with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Faisal Maqdad to speak about recent developments in Syria and the Geneva II conference. Maqdad gave a pessimistic evaluation of the conference’s potential and said, “In the end, it is the Syrian people who will decide the political future of their own country.” He continued, “Anyone who thinks that we will make [the terrorists] surrender their power during Geneva II is in a fantasy.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi met with British parliamentarian Jack Straw, where he criticized British policy and said “England must know that Iran today is not pre-Revolutionary Iran. Iran today is a powerful country that has great influence on regional and global equations…Ten years ago, in the presence of German and French foreign ministries, you said that Iran did not have the right to two centrifuges. Today we have 19,000 centrifuges. England must accept that Iran is the winner of this battle. Today, we have knowledge in all dimensions, predominantly peaceful dimensions, yet we are seriously against nuclear weapons.”
- Boroujerdi then said, “Presently our relations with England are at the level of charge d’affaires. In this framework, on the basis of respect, mutual interest, and the lack of intervention in internal affairs, we are prepared to interact in a direction that progresses our relations.”
- Straw responded, “Iran is a great, civilized, and powerful country that has an influence on regional relations and international equations…Given the positive approach of Iran and its responsibility in implementing the Geneva agreement, we are optimistic and hope that the result of this agreement is the lifting of sanctions, the return of the Iranian file from the [UN] Security Council to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the achievement of the desired perspectives.”
- Straw also said, “The only solution to the Syrian crisis is a political solution. Iran, with its influential role, must participate influentially in the Geneva negotiations.”
- According to Fars News Agency, Straw ended by saying, “From the beginning, the sanctions enacted against Iran were a mistake, and an effort must be made to remove the sanctions.”
- Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour has announced that the official date for Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif’s trip to Lebanon is Monday, January 13.
Military and Security
- Head of the Passive Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali spoke to an assembly of provincial governors about the purpose of his organization and the key threats facing the country, the most serious of which is the “economic war”:
- “According to the commands of the Supreme Leader, passive defense is like an immunization from within for the people. This means that whatever the enemy attempts will have no effect. This subject ought to be created in the body of the country and society in different apparatuses.”
- “There are three categories of threats: military threats, modern or technological threats, and the other is people-centered threats, a field which needs more attention from governors and ministers.”
- “In people-centered threats, the enemy has different approaches. The first approach that the enemy takes is soft war, ideological war, or war of beliefs, which in reality is turning the minds of the people in the direction of their own goals. The second approach is economic war, creating challenges and irregular war amongst the people, which includes the people’s work.”
- “Presently, the greatest threat to our country is the economic war. The goal in an economic war is principally the people. All of the efforts are in this direction in order to remove the people from the state of moderation and make them protest and rebel against the government.”
- Minister of Defense Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan stated that “Today, Lebanese Hezbollah has reached a place at which the Zionist regime is worried about its own fate if a war like the 33-Day War were started. This can be considered an achievement of the Islamic Revolution.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Deputy of Basij Affairs and Cultural Defense Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri spoke about Syria in advance of the Geneva II conference and issued a warning to the West:
- “For the past two years, the enemies of Syria and the Resistance have done whatever is in their power to make the Syrian government fall and challenged the regional Resistance, yet despite the widespread presence of people in the arena, they have confronted failure.”
- “America and its allies have done whatever possible to broaden military action against Syria, doing it with the least hesitation, but their inability is the cause of their failure to make a more widespread military attack on this country.”
- “The government and people of Syria will not fall for deceptive games and will not give the least concessions to the enemies of the country.”
- “It is possible that a number of terrorists…die or are destroyed in useless clashes, but the number that remain will create many disturbances for Europe, America, and regional countries.”
- Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi spoke about the great sacrifices and victories made during the Karbala 5 operation in order to defeat Iraqi forces and end the Iran-Iraq War. Safavi closed by saying, “Today’s generation must know that the victory of the Holy Defense [Iran-Iraq War] was achieved with the gallantry and courage of such soldiers. We must transfer the culture of sacrifice and martyrdom to this generation.”
- Senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi arrived in Geneva in order to conduct technical and political negotiations with representatives of the US and P5+1. Eraghchi is scheduled to meet with EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid later in the evening. US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman is also expected to stop in Geneva for the meeting on her way to Russia.
- Eraghchi said, “There is a possibility that we will have a trilateral joint session with [Ms. Sherman] and Ms. Schmid.” The negotiations will continue tomorrow as well.
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh claimed that “During the first nine months of the current year, around $34 billion in crude oil and gas was exported, of which about $32 billion was collected and placed in the treasury.”
- Zanganeh also said that construction of some large refineries was halted: “Construction of the Persian Gulf Star [Oil Company] refinery and the Anahita refinery are on the agenda…The shareholders and management structure of these gas condensate refineries must be reformed. After identifying contractors working in the private sector, it will be resumed.”
- Governors in the provinces of Razavi Khorasan, Isfahan, and Markazi have announced that they will be limiting natural gas consumption by households and manufacturers in order to reduce the large amounts of pollution released into the air.
Picture of the Day
- Youth national wrestling championships currently underway in Kermanshah.