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 Analysts Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin and Mondona Salahshoor.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.
Key takeaway: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei unveiled provisions of Iran’s next five year development plan, while President Hassan Rouhani warned the P5+1 against reneging on commitments if a nuclear agreement is reached.
Supreme Leader Khamenei outlined Iran’s 6th five year plan in a letter addressed to President Rouhani. Provisions in the plan call for developing missile capabilities, arms production, and cyberinfrastructure. The plan also allocates at least five percent of the public budget to defense expenditures.
President Hassan Rouhani warned the P5+1 that Iran will “go back to the old path” if Western powers do not uphold their commitments under the final nuclear deal. Rouhani’s statement suggests that the regime will return to enriching uranium without limitation.
AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis discusses the nuclear negotiations and the regime’s evolving rhetoric towards ISIS and Saudi Arabia in his most recent blog post, “Near to a nuclear deal, Iran grapples with bigger headaches."
Supreme Leader outlines five year plan. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced the provisions of a new five year plan for economic development. The plan is based upon three main pillars: the resistance economy, scientific and technological progress, and cultural excellence and resistance. The outlined plan contains 80 provisions under the following subheadings: economic affairs, information technology and telecommunications, social affairs, defense and security, foreign relations, law and the judiciary, cultural affairs, and science, technology, and innovation.
- On defense: Khamenei calls for at least five percent of Iran’s public budget to be used for strengthening national security. His plan underlines the need to upgrade Iran’s deterrence power by developing the nation’s missile capability and defense technologies, as well as boosting the capacity to produce weaponry and major defense equipment to help counter “different types of threats.”
- On foreign policy: Iran’s goal will be protecting and strengthening economic and political relationships in Southwest Asia. Priority will be given to “economic diplomacy with the aim of developing foreign investment, entering foreign markets, and acquiring technology in order to achieve the goals of the resistance economy.”
- On technological development: The plan calls for a “five-fold increase in the development of content in cyber space…and the localization of social networks ” and “completion and development of Iran’s national internet, providing security for the national network, and control over input and output data…so that 50 percent of internet traffic is domestic.” This provision also calls for an increase of investment in cyber infrastructure so that Iran can become “one of the leading countries in the region.”
On economic development: The five year plan stresses economic development along Iran’s southern cost, including in Khorramshahr, Chabahar, and Sistan va Baluchistan province. The plan also emphasizes developing Iran’s railway network. (Khamenei.ir) http://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=30128
Rouhani: “If the opposite side ignores the agreement, we will go back to the old path faster than they could imagine.” President Hassan Rouhani addressed the nuclear negotiations during a fast breaking (iftar) celebration with senior media officials. President Rouhani claimed that “if an agreement comes about, we are committed to implementing the agreement; of course, the opposite side must be committed to following the agreement as well.”
- On the resistance economy: Rouhani stated that “if this week and next week we are able to arrive at an agreement, this does not mean that Iran will ignore the principles of the resistance economy; the resistance economy will continue with all of our effort and we believe that the resistance economy is beneficial to Iran and is able to increase our national power.”
- Iranian officials “for several months have been researching how to use our [economic] potential if an agreement is reached.”
- “We want a resistance economy, a culture of endurance [farhange esteqamati] and constructive engagement with the world…” (ISNA) http://isna.ir/fa/news/94040905520/-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82-%D8%AF%D9%88-%D8%B7%D8%B1%D9%81-%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C
Amano to hold talks with Rouhani and Shamkhani. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano is scheduled to meet with President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani on July 2 in Tehran. Amano plans to discuss Iran’s past nuclear activities and proposals to resolve outstanding issues. (Mehr News) http://en.mehrnews.com/news/108319/IAEA-chief-due-in-Tehran-tomorrow
Salehi expected to meet with Ernest Moniz. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head Ali Akbar Salehi is expected to meet with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Vienna. The Foreign Ministers of France and China will meet with Iranian officials on July 2 in Vienna. (YJC) http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5249898/%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D9%85%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B2-1130-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%88%D9%82%D8%AA-%D9%88%DB%8C%D9%86
Source claims Iran and P5+1 finished drafting text of possible final agreement. A source close to the Iranian negotiating team informed IRIB News that the P5+1 deputy foreign ministers will discuss the text of the possible agreement before the P5+1 foreign ministers make a decision on a final nuclear deal. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/787491
Zarif and Kerry meet privately before first day of extended nuclear talks. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met privately for the first fifteen minutes of the negotiating session on July 1. (IRNA) (E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81667525/
- EU extends freeze on Iranian sanctions until July 7. In a July 1 European Council statement, the EU announced the freeze on sanctions will allow more time for nuclear negotiators to reach a “long-term solution.” The extension is in accordance with the Geneva Joint Plan of Action deal that Iran and the P5+1 made in November 2013. (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/06/30/418194/Iran-EU-P51-Vienna-
Araghchi: Negotiators are working “around the clock” to work on differences in final text of deal. Abbas Araghchi stated an agreement has not been reached, but there has been a “positive climate” in the nuclear negotiations and both sides want to see progress. The Deputy Foreign Minister added, “a good agreement is the one that complies with the principles, frameworks and red lines set especially by the Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and in that case we will agree to a deal.” (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/01/418264/Iran-Nuclear-Deal-Abbas-Araqchi
- Anonymous Iranian source states Iran and P5+1 are drafting a timetable for sanctions removal. An Iranian diplomat stated that Iran and P5+1 members are negotiating the details of sanction removal. The source also rejected reports that negotiations have been extended and stated “no date has been set as yet and the two sides have only agreed to continue negotiations after June 30.” (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940409001483
Military and Security
- Pourdastan: Iranian ground forces ready for “any enemy.” Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that the Armed Forces are ready to deliver a swift response to any enemy threats. The Artesh Ground Forces Commander stated "we will target any enemy who intends to get close to our borders." In addition, Pourdastan underlined the growing capabilities and destruction power of the Ground Force's missile unit. (IRNA) (E) http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81666256/
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Abdollahian met with Omani Foreign Minister. Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Muscat. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs praised the relationship with Oman as a successful model for relations with neighboring countries. In addition, Abdollahian hailed Oman's "constructive role" in the Yemen negotiations, as well as its cooperation in accelerating humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen. (MFA) http://mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&pageid=176&newsview=347363
- Ejei: “Mehdi Hashemi’s verdict is final and binding.” Judiciary First Deputy Chief Hojjat al Eslam Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei stated that the verdict on Mehdi Hashemi, son of former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is definitive and “binding.” Ejei did not mention a timeline for Hashemi’s corruption case, stating: “I do not know the exact time… but the verdict is certain…” (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/216205