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, and 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: The P5+1 and Iran extended the nuclear negotiations until July 13. Senior government and military officials observed Qods [Jerusalem] Day.

The P5+1 and Iran extended the deadline to reach a final nuclear deal to Monday, July 13. Speaking to reporters on July 10, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated, “We hope everything will be resolved by this Monday.”

Senior political, military, and security officials marked the occasion of International Qods Day on July 10. Iran initiated International Qods Day in 1979 in condemnation of Israel and in support of the Palestinian people. Expediency Discernment Council Secretary and former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaei attended a Qods Day rally in full IRGC uniform, and criticized the Obama administration as incapable of making concrete decisions in the nuclear negotiations. Several officials also expressed strong support for the Iranian nuclear negotiating team; for example, Armed Force General Staff Headquarters Chief Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said, “Our negotiating team [members] are like front-line fighters...” Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani praised Qods Day, but stated that the formation of Sunni extremist groups such as ISIS can replace the “Palestinian problem” as the primary issue of concern for the Islamic community.

Mohsen Rezaei also pushed back on earlier comments from Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani that “it is not impossible” for the U.S. embassy in Tehran to reopen. Rezaei stated, “Expectations of reopening the American embassy are nothing but a dream…”

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis discusses the implications of the debate over the arms embargo on Iran, and analyzes Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s June 30 announcement of Iran’s next five year development plan in his latest blog post, "Lifting arms embargo would be a real coup for Iran.”


Nuclear Talks

  • Nuclear negotiations extended until July 13. The EU announced that it is extending a suspension of sanctions against Iran until Monday “to give more time to the negotiations in order to achieve a long-term solution for the Iranian nuclear program.” (ISNA)
  • Zarif: “We hope everything will be resolved by this Monday.”  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a bilateral meeting on July 10 in Vienna.. Speaking to reporters following his meeting with Kerry, Zarif stated, “We hope everything will be resolved by this Monday.” (Mehr) (Tabnak)
  • Boroujerdi: “Americans have shown that they are not trustworthy.” Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi commented on the nuclear negotiations, claiming that “America and its allies…must make the necessary decision for a good agreement; otherwise there will not be a deal.” The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman blamed “Zionist pressures” for delaying the nuclear agreement and argued that “this indicates that America does not have independent decision-making regarding an agreement.” He reiterated that Iran’s conduct in the nuclear negotiations “follows the specified lines.” He also added that “in the case of continued posturing by America,” history will blame the U.S. for the failure of the nuclear negotiations. (IRIB)
  • Sayyari: “A bad deal will never reach Tehran.” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari addressed the nuclear negotiations during a Qods Day rally. The Artesh Navy Commander claimed that “the enemies think that with the application of pressure they are able to arrive at their goals but it will not be so.” He added that the negotiating team has followed the statements of the Supreme Leader in addition to the “specified red lines.” (Javan Online)
  • Salehi: A “high chance” of reaching an agreement. Ali Akbar Salehi stated, “There is a high chance for [an] agreement in the Austrian capital.” The Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) added that both sides are making progress in narrowing down the differences. Salehi’s remarks come after a diplomatic source stated that the Western powers had raised their demands on the Iranian team. (Fars New Agency) (E)
  • Kamalvandi: “Not too many issues remain.” Behrouz Kamalvandi stated that “not too many issues remain” and that many of the technical issues have been resolved.. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman also claimed that the negotiating team is relying on the “path of dialogue” and observing Iran’s redlines for an agreement. In addition, Kamalvandi announced that some of the past political and technical issues have narrowed, while new issues have surfaced that will only advance if both sides can agree. (Tabnak)
  • Jazayeri: No visits to military sites “under any circumstance.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri stated that “access to military sites will not be allowed under any circumstance.” The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces added that the possibility of military inspections was never within the framework of an agreement. (Sepah News)


Official Statements

  • Rouhani addresses joint summit of BRICS and SCO. President Hassan Rouhani attended a joint summit meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on July 9. Rouhani also delivered a speech to the joint summit, expressing Tehran’s interest in strengthening relations with emerging economic powers. He stressed that “Iran is seriously interested in diversifying its economic ties through more active international participation.” Rouhani added that Iran is prepared “to play a bigger role in global peace, stability and security.” Rouhani also discussed the ongoing nuclear talks and stated:
    • “Fortunately, with tact and understanding the [P5+1] negotiations are approaching an end and Western powers have admitted that Iran's scientific development cannot be stopped.”
    • Rouhani underlined the need for “multilateralism, respect for international law, reforming political and economic institutions and development of international cooperation,” to address global challenges.
    • “In this regard, national and regional security and confronting terrorism and extremism are the most important areas of modern cooperation.” (
  • Rezaei: “Expectations of reopening the American embassy is nothing but a dream.” Mohsen Rezaei dismissed talks of potentially reopening the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The EDC Secretary and former IRGC Commander stated: “This subject is a dream that many people have… Expectations to reopen this country’s [America’s] embassy in Iran, is an expectation that has yet to be realized and it is unlikely to occur in the future.” (YJC)
  • Firouzabadi: Iran’s negotiators “are like front-line fighters.” At the Qods Day rally, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi stated, “They [the Americans] do not side with pure Islam… As the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah] Hazrat Imam Ali Khamenei said that from the first day [of the nuclear negotiations], ‘I am not optimistic about America and the negotiations.’” The Armed Force General Staff Headquarters Chief stated, “Our negotiators are like front-line fighters during night operations…until the end, they must resist with the red lines of the [Islamic] Revolution…” Firouzabadi continued, “If we are not successful in the negotiations, we will celebrate the victory of the resistance of the nation of Iran…” He stated that whether there is a deal or not, “…in both cases, the negotiators are the winners of the scene, and will face the welcoming and warm embrace of the nation of Iran like soldiers returned from the front.” He also stated, “…the Iranian nation and Muslims, who came together on the scene, pray for the disappearance [mahv shodan] of Israel from the face of the earth…” (Sepah News)
  • Shamkhani: “The Palestinian problem” is “secondary” to groups like ISIS. Ali Shamkhani stated, “Today, the takfiri currents [e.g. ISIS] in Islamic society have been created in such a way that…they can transform the Palestinian problem from the primary issue of the Islamic Ummah [community] to the secondary issue.” The Supreme National Security Council Secretary praised Qods Day, stating, “The Muslim world can and also must be able to be united for the problem of the oppression against a nation, meaning the Palestinian people.” (YJC)
  • Jafari: “Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine all should be free” from the West. In an interview with Al Alam an Arabic news channel based in Iran, IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari emphasized Iran’s commitment to Palestine and the “liberation of all Muslim nations.” Jafari stated: “The promise of Imam Khomeini must be fulfilled and the people of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine should be liberated from global arrogance…the promise of greater victories are on the way… Resistance to the final victory will be the people’s slogan for today and future.” (Al Alam)
  • Larijani: “The West’s ultimate objective is to obliterate Islam.” Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that Western countries created Israel “with the aim of breaking up and sharing Islamic Countries among themselves” during an address at Tehran Friday Prayers. He added that failure of the nuclear talks will “not be in the West’s interests.” (Press TV) (E)
  • Safavi: Terrorist groups are changing the regional situation. IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi delivered a speech at the Qods Day rally in Tehran, where he praised the future “Liberation of Palestine.” The Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader also added:
    • On the comparisons to previous Qods rallies: Safavi stated that this year’s Qods Day differed from previous years because of the spread of terrorist groups in the region: “Terrorist groups such as [ISIS] and al Nusra, with the support of the Zionists and Saudi’s cruel war against the oppressed people of Yemen…have created a new situation in the region and the world.”
    • On Israel: Safavi described Israel as the “cancerous tumor” that prevents Muslims from achieving geographical and political unity in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
    • On a regional conspiracy: Safavi stated that America has a strong presence in the region under the “pretext of insecurity and war,” but in reality the U.S. is stealing the area’s oil wealth while providing billions in arms to Arab countries. (Defa Press)
  • Alavi: The Muslim world must point the gun sights towards Israel. Intelligence Minister Hojjat al Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated that “the message of international Qods Day to the Muslim World is that we must point our gun sights towards Israel, not towards the youths of Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and other Muslim countries.” The Intelligence Minister noted that “the arrogant world today has arrived at this conclusion that it must weaken opposing forces in order to ensure the security of Israel, rather than [directly] reinforcing Israel.” (Mashregh News)
  • Khatami: Negotiating team standing up to “global arrogance.” Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami addressed reporters on the sidelines of the Qods Day rally in Tehran. The Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader stated that the negotiating team is standing “against the global arrogance” of the West. In addition, Khatami expressed concern and outrage over deteriorating conditions in Yemen and Gaza. President Hassan Rouhani was also present at the rally (Fars News Agency) (IRNA)


Domestic Politics

  • Mohsen Rezaei attends Qods Day rally in full IRGC uniform. Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) Secretary Mohsen Rezaei attended the International Qods Day Rally in full IRGC uniform with the rank of Major General July 10 in Tehran. The Former IRGC Commander reiterated Iran’s support for the people of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, and Palestine on the sidelines of the rally. Rezaei also discussed the ongoing nuclear negotiations and stated:
    • “The presence of the Iranian people at the Qods Day Rally is a message [and show] of support for the negotiating team.”
    • “The behavior of the Obama administration and the behavior of America [is] that it always takes two steps forward and two steps back. These fluctuations suggest that Mr. Obama and his [negotiating team] do not have the power to convene this case [referring to the P5+1 nuclear talks].” (


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Rouhani and his Chinese counterpart confer on expansion of strategic relations. President Hassan Rouhani met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the joint SCO-BRICS summit on July 9. The presidents called for enhanced Beijing-Tehran cooperation in economic, political, and security fields. (
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