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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton with contributors Ken Hawrey and Shayan Enferadi. 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: Parliament elected three jurists to the twelve-member Guardian Council, the body that vets candidates for elections and approves parliamentary legislation.

Parliament selected Abbasali Kadkhodaei, Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, and Seyyed Fazlollah Mousavi from a pool of candidates chosen by Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wields direct and indirect control over the Guardian Council’s composition, however. He appoints six of the twelve Guardian Council members, while the remaining six members are chosen from the candidates offered by the Judiciary head, who is himself appointed by Khamenei.

The Foreign Ministry rejected Bahrain’s statement claiming that two men arrested in connection with the alleged June highway bombing in Bahrain received training in the creation and use of explosives and weapons from the IRGC.

Eleven members of the Fatimiyoun and Zainabiyoun brigades were reportedly killed in Aleppo, Syria. They will be buried in Qom province on July 14. Iranian news agencies also separately reported the death of another Fatimiyoun Brigade member.

AEI Must-Reads

  • Paul Bucala and Ken Hawrey document Iran’s aerial resupply network to Syria as part of Tehran’s expanding ground campaign to support Assad in “Iran’s Airbridge to Syria.”

Domestic Politics

  • Parliament selects new jurists for electoral watchdog body. Parliament elected three members to the influential twelve-member Guardian Council, which vets candidates for public office and must approve all parliamentary legislation. Parliament selected Abbasali Kadkhodaei, Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, and Seyyed Fazlollah Mousavi from a pool of candidates chosen by Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani. Alizadeh was reelected, but Kadkhodaei and Mousavi are taking Siamak Rahpeyk and Hojjat ol Eslam Mohammad Salimi’s places among the six jurists on the Council. Rahpeyk and Salimi were not among the candidates Judiciary Head Larijani offered to Parliament. (Entekhab)
  • Resistance Economy Headquarters revises IPC. The Resistance Economy Headquarters discussed the terms of the first Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) during a meeting chaired by First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri. The finalized text of the IPC will be discussed during a future cabinet session before being approved. (Mehr News Agency) (E) (Mehr News Agency)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Rouhani: Whichever side violates the nuclear deal first will be “a political loser.” President Hassan Rouhani discussed Iran and the P5+1’s commitments under the nuclear deal during a cabinet meeting on July 13. He stated, “If the [P]5+1 decides to ignore its commitments, we are fully prepared and able to return to a desirable point with our nuclear capabilities in a short period of time… Violating [the nuclear deal] will be detrimental to all, and any side who seeks to take the first step will become a political loser on the international scene.” Rouhani continued, “Of course, we are still dealing with certain issues, including banking transactions, which have not yet reached our desirable level… However, some positive steps have been taken to tackle these issues, and Iran is now linked to major banks in the world.” ( (E) (Mehr News Agency) (E) (
  • Foreign Ministry rejects Bahraini government’s claims of suspected bombers’ ties to Iran. The Foreign Ministry reacted to Bahrain’s statement claiming that two men it arrested in connection with an alleged June highway bombing received training in the creation and use of explosives and weapons from the IRGC. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi called the statement “redundant, baseless and a lie” and said, “The Bahraini government raises such fake and rejected claims in an attempt to project the blame on others for its internal conflicts and escape accountability to the public opinion.” (Fars News Agency) (E) 
  • Foreign Ministry official: Blocking the Boeing sale violates the nuclear deal. Senior nuclear negotiator and the Foreign Ministry’s Director for Political and International Affairs Hamid Baeidinejad warned that any attempts to block the planned sale of Boeing aircraft to Iran Air would “certainly be a violation of the nuclear deal, and we will confront it.” The House of Representatives recently passed legislation aimed at stopping the Boeing deal. (Mehr News Agency)

Military and Security

  • IRGC Navy deputy commander warns U.S. vessels to stay 12 miles from Iranian territorial waters. Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri discussed the IRGC’s monitoring of U.S. Navy warships in the Persian Gulf during an interview on July 13. Reuters reported on July 11 that IRGC vessels came as close as 500 yards to a U.S. warship carrying Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command. The IRGC Navy Deputy Commander stated, “The IRGC Navy in the Persian Gulf, and the Artesh Navy in the Sea of Oman, have a strong presence.” He added that Iran’s naval presence is such that “foreign vessels do not dare come closer than 12 miles from our territorial waters. If they do, they will be treated as we treated the Americans.” The IRGC detained ten U.S. sailors overnight in January after their two patrol boats strayed into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. (Fars News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency)
  • MOIS announces arrest of six terrorists. Hojjat ol Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) arrested six terrorists who were planning to conduct terrorist attacks during rallies marking Quds Day in a statement released July 12. The MOIS head claimed that these individuals are linked to a terrorist cell that previously attempted to conduct attacks against Iran. MOIS announced on June 20 the arrest of individuals allegedly planning to conduct terrorist attacks in Tehran and other provinces during Ramadan. (Fars News Agency) (E)

Casualties in Iraq and Syria

  • Eleven Fatimiyoun and Zainabiyoun members killed in Syria. Seyyed Hassan Hosseini and Seyyed Mehdi Sharifi were members of the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade. Jan Hossein, Navid Hossein, Iftikhar Hossein, Bahar Hossein, Vakil Hossein, Zeenat Hossein, Abid Hossein, Kamiab Ali and Navid Ali were members of the Pakistani Shia militia Zainabiyoun Brigade. ISNA reported that the eleven were killed in the vicinity of Aleppo. They will be buried in Qom province on July 14. (ISNA)
    • Mohammad Zahir Yaqub, also a member of the Fatimiyoun Brigade, will be buried in Saveh, Markazi province. The location and time of his death are unclear. (Tasnim News Agency)
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