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, Mondona Salahshoor, and Jordan Olmstead. 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 Supreme Leader stressed that Iran will continue to fight against Western oppression during a speech to university students. Iranian officials reported that progress has been made in the nuclear negotiations but significant issues remain unresolved.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the United States “the very epitome of arrogance” and said that Iran’s struggle against “arrogance” will continue even after the negotiations. The Supreme Leader’s comments indicate that a nuclear agreement will not fundamentally transform U.S. – Iranian relations.
President Hassan Rouhani claimed that the nuclear talks have reached their final stage but several issues remain to be resolved. Senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi expressed doubt that a deal could be reached on July 13 or July 14.
Iran’s Day Bank rejoined the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, an organization that provides transaction processing services to member banks. In 2012, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications cut off services to 30 sanctioned Iranian banks.
Khamenei: The U.S. and its regional allies fear “Iran’s wonderful spiritual influence.” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed university students from across the country on July 11. Khamenei discussed Iran’s battle against Western oppression and stressed that the fight “against arrogance and global imperialism is never-ending and today, America is the very epitome of arrogance." Khamenei also talked about regional crises and the ongoing P5+1 nuclear negotiations:
- On nuclear negotiations: "We have said to our negotiating officials that they should only negotiate on the nuclear issue. Despite the fact that the American side sometimes brings up regional issues such as… Syria and Yemen, our officials have refused to negotiate with them on these matters.”
- On regional issues: "The liberal West, which claims to [be an] advocate for freedom, does not open its mouth to speak against the Saudi crimes [against Yemen]. Instead of condemning the [Saudi airstrikes], the [UN] Security Council has condemned the victims [Yemenis] of these bombardments in one of its most disgraceful resolutions."
- "Despite its [Saudi Arabia’s] claims, Islamic Iran's influence in the region originates from a divine blessing, not from… force and… weapons…”
- "The main reason behind the enmity of global bullies [the West] towards the people of Iran is the refusal of the Islamic Republic to embrace the system based on an oppressor and the oppressed."
- “We are well aware that Americans and reactionaries [referring to the Saudis] in the region pour out their hearts to each other [due to their frustration] about Iran’s regional influence in their secret meetings, but they [the U.S. and Saudi Arabia] cannot do anything.” (Khamenei.ir) http://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=30255
Rouhani: “We are very close to the peak” of the P5+1 talks. President Hassan Rouhani addressed a group of women and family rights activists on July 12 in Tehran. Rouhani reiterated his pledge to resolve the nuclear issue with the P5+1 and stressed that “one of the goals of the government in [the P5+1] negotiations is to create a new atmosphere in the country” with better opportunities. Rouhani also praised the Supreme Leader for his continued support for the nuclear negotiations, stating: “Currently, we are very close to the peak [of the nuclear talks], but there are still steps left to reach this peak. With the help of God, Iranian negotiators will emerge victorious from this difficult and complicated battle.” (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88088
- Parliament praises nuclear negotiating team. Members of Parliament released a statement praising the “endeavor, resistance, and loyalty of the Iranian team in dealing with excessive demands made by the arrogant powers [the P5+1].” 203 of the 290 parliamentarians signed the statement. (Kayhan) (E) http://kayhan.ir/en/
Iran holds trilateral talks with EU and US officials. Senior foreign policy officials including Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi and U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman discussed key nuclear energy issues in a July 13 meeting. Araghchi expressed hope that Iran and the P5+1 could resolve outstanding issues and reach an agreement, but he refused to promise that they the P5+1 would reach a final agreement by July 14. (YJC) http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5261330/%D9%BE%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B2%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%88%D8%B2%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AC%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AD%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D9%85%D9%88%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B2-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B2%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF
Zarif and Kerry hold direct nuclear talks. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met on July 12. After the meeting, Zarif stated that “there is no plan to extend the talks [beyond July 13].” (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/12/419985/Iran-US-Mohammad-Javad-Zarif-John-Kerry-Vienna
Salehi: Technical talks about nuclear program are “practically finished.” Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the negotiating team has “accepted some limitations, [but it is trying hard] not to let those restrictions have any impact on nuclear activities.” The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head added that “Iran is determined to sell its strategic products including enriched uranium and heavy water.” (IRNA) (E) www.irna.ir/en/News/81680848/
Araghchi: “Good progress” has been made in the last few days. Abbas Araghchi stated that the negotiations have made progress, "but some issues still remain unresolved." The senior nuclear negotiator is hopeful for a deal, but added that he "cannot promise the issues will be resolved by tonight [July 13] or tomorrow night." (IRIB) http://www.iribnews.ir/NewsBody.aspx?ID=87545
Rezaei speaks on nuclear negotiations. Mohsen Rezaei commented on several topics related to the nuclear talks in a July 12 interview. The Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) Secretary stated:
- “Negotiation is the only path for America [and] they should take advantage of the smiles and flexibility of Rouhani and Zarif. They did not make the most of these smiles a few years ago and… broke 20,000 centrifuges… one should tell them to attach 100,000 intact centrifuges to the final negotiations.”
- He cautioned that “America should know that they cannot do any military action against Iran,” and warned that “if the Americans are thinking of a military attack, be sure that in the very first week we will take captives from them, and they will have to pay a high price for each of them to have them returned.”
- Rezaei also criticized the U.S. for opposing the removal of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities. Rezaei protested that “they have tried to negotiate about sub-topics [like] missiles although they are non-negotiable…they say Iranians cannot have ballistic missile with a range of more than 300 kilometers. These statements are suspicious signs. If Iran is attacked in this case, Iran could not defend itself.”
- Rezaei also claimed that President Barack Obama intends to “redress the errors” of President George W. Bush but is “under pressure from the Zionists and Republicans.” He said that “Obama must not show weakness and conclude the negotiations.” Obama must show more courage”. (Rezaei) http://rezaee.ir/fa/news/2079/%D9%88%D9%82%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AC%D9%86%DA%AF-%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%82%DB%8C%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF
Firouzabadi: Iran has no "financial incentive" in the nuclear talks. IRGC Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi described his country's negotiating team as "determined combatants, without any financial incentive" and referred to America as "the Great Satan." The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief added that a victory at the nuclear talks means either concluding an agreement with Iran's demands met or ensuring that the Western powers cannot fulfill their demands if the negotiations fail. (Sepah News) http://www.sepahnews.com/shownews.Aspx?ID=e5d13615-8a54-45c5-8827-a075ecba76be
Vahidi: America “must accept Iran’s position.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi responded to a question about the nuclear negotiations during a ceremony in Tehran. The Strategic Defense Studies Center President claimed that “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s stance is clear and firm and the Americans must accept Iran’s position.” (Basij News) http://basijnews.ir/fa/news/8539855/%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B6%D8%B9-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B4%D9%86-%D9%88-%D9%85%D8%AD%DA%A9%D9%85-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D9%85%DA%A9%DB%8C%D9%86-%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%AF
Jazayeri: Iran has never tried to appease the big powers. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri stated that Iran has never been "in the habit of giving concessions to the big powers." The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces added that the West is making excessive demands in the talks, but warned against such threats by stating that "we will give such a powerful response to any military move that will make the enemy repent its action." (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940420001483
- Larijani generally positive towards the nuclear talks. Ali Larijani stated on the sidelines of Parliament's open session, "I believe that the effort made by the negotiating team defines a clear and completely well-thought path within the outlined framework." The Parliament Speaker added that he hopes the P5+1 members exhibit "the same rationality [as Iran] and [make] good use of the time." He also stated that adding any new ideas to these last rounds of talks "could only cause further problems." (Mehr News) (E) http://en.mehrnews.com/news/108540/N-talks-moving-forward-Larijani
Military and Security
Jalali: Saudi Arabia received assistance from the U.S. and Israel to attack Yemen. IRGC Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali discussed the regional security environment during a meeting with Basij commanders in Tehran. The Passive Defense Organization (PDO) Head mentioned that “a serious change” has occurred in Saudi Arabia. He added that Saudi Arabia along with “several Arab countries” has emerged as a “regional competitor.” Jalali noted several areas of competition between the two countries, including the economy and “cyber.” He claimed that “the Arabs” are trying to track the security dynamics of Iran with cyber tools and “the production of social networks.” Jalali claimed that Saudi Arabia had relied upon the U.S. and Israel to conduct an “infrastructure war” (Jang-e zir sakhti) against Yemen. (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/49681
Shamkhani: The enemy’s threats on Iran have failed. Ali Shamkhani stated that Iran has successfully overcome numerous threats by its enemies. The Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary added that many world powers have threatened the Islamic Republic “in all fields," but these have failed. Shamkhani credited the nation's success to its "unity and solidarity." (Tabnak) http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/516829/%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B4%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B4%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%87
- Iranian Border Guards arrest three members of Jaish al Adl terrorist group. Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. 2 C Saeed Montazer al Mahdi announced that the border guards apprehended three Jaish al Adl terrorist group members on July 11 as they tried to enter the country through the Sistan va Balouchestan province. Border Guards Commander Brig. Gen. Qassem Rezaei stated that “based on their [three terrorist group members’] confessions, they have been hired by the U.S. to foment insecurity in Sistan va Balouchestan.” (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940421000759
Rouhani addresses issue of illegal good trafficking. President Hassan Rouhani discussed banking regulations and illegal goods trafficking with ministers in a July 11 meeting. The committee passed several elements of a law designed to facilitate increased investment from government-owned banks. The Iranian Anti-Smuggling Headquarters also delivered a report at the meeting regarding illegal trafficking, which claimed that Iran has made progress in combatting smuggling networks through technology systems and intergovernmental collaboration. (President.ir)
Court summons Ahmadi Moghaddam as a witness. Former Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam said that he has been summoned to court as a witness in the Mohsen Rouholamini case. Mohsen Rouholamini was an Iranian graduate student who died in the Kahrizak detention center following his arrest during the 2009 presidential election protests. Former LEF Deputy Commander and Tehran Police Chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Radan has also been summoned to court. (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/440512/%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B9%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%85
- Rouhani to address the nation. Deputy for Communications and Information Parviz Esmaili said that President Rouhani will speak directly to the Iranian people after the conclusion of the nuclear negotiations. (Raja News) http://www.rajanews.com/news/216970
Tehran signs $2.3 billion gas pipeline plan. Iranian companies signed a $2.3 billion plan on July 13 to build 1,300 kilometers of pipeline to serve as a “conduit for future gas exports to Europe.” The pipeline will pass through Iraq via two lines to Baghdad and Basra. Fars News Agency stated that plans for exports were delayed “last month over concerns about the security of the pipeline.” (ISNA) (E) http://isna.ir/en/news/94042212319/Iran-signs-2-3-billion-gas-pipeline-plan
- Shafizadeh: Iran’s Day Bank officially joins SWIFT. Day Bank governor Ahmad Shafizadeh announced that the bank rejoined the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications SWIFT, which globally facilitates secure bank transactions. In 2012, SWIFT discontinued communication services to 30 Iranian banks that were subject to EU sanctions. (ISNA) (E) http://isna.ir/en/news/94042212257/Iran-s-Day-Bank-joins-SWIFT