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: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the Iranian negotiating team but cautioned that “it is necessary to scrutinize” the text of the nuclear deal to ensure that the other side does not violate any of its provisions.
The Supreme Leader warned that “some world powers are not to be trusted” in his first major comments on the nuclear deal. He commended the negotiators for arriving at an agreement but stressed that the document must be examined so “the other side” cannot violate the agreement. Other conservative figures, including Judiciary Head Amoli Larijani and Kayhan Managing Editor Hossein Shariatmadari, cautioned that the text of the nuclear deal might cause misinterpretations. Larijani also cautioned that while “the steps taken in Vienna have shortcomings, review and clarification are different than libel and insult.”
President Hassan Rouhani claimed the nuclear deal is a “legal, political, and technical victory for Iran.” President Rouhani credited “constructive engagement” for the success of the nuclear negotiations and claimed that the deal creates “the conditions for the removal of the oppressive sanctions and puts the country on the road of development… and implementation of the policies of the ‘resistance economy.’” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Rouhani’s emphasis on the importance of constructive engagement; Zarif stated, “I say to my Arab brother and friendly countries in the Persian Gulf and the Arab world that Iran is ready for cooperation and partnership…(Iran and the Arab countries) face many common challenges…The time of common cooperation has arrived.”
Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) Secretary IRGC Major General Mohsen Rezaei responded to EDC Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s earlier comments that the agreement is “more important than the [Iran-Iraq] War or the liberation of Khorramshahr” during Operation Beit ol Moghaddas in April-May 1982. Rezaei highlighted the role of the armed forces’ preparedness in Iran’s negotiations with the P5+1; he also stated, “If Khorramshahr had not been liberated, the negotiations between Iran and the world powers would not have taken shape…”
Rouhani writes letter to Khamenei. President Hassan Rouhani sent a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which he praised the nuclear agreement for bringing an end to the nuclear negotiations. Rouhani claimed that “constructive engagement” brought Iran to “victory” and produced “the conditions for the removal of the oppressive sanctions and put the country on the road of development, advancement, and implementation of the policies of the ‘resistance economy.’” He noted that this “agreement shows well that we are able to enter into negotiations with the world powers while following the red lines of the political system and maintaining the dignity of the country.” He added that the agreement is a “big lesson for our region; the solution for regional political problems is not aggression, killing, or terrorism; [the solution] can be achieved with negotiation and the real participation of the people.” He added that “…without a doubt, we will need unity, domestic solidarity, resistance, and wise action under your [the Supreme Leader’s] leadership, in order to achieve the next stage of this movement and implement the various stages of this agreement in order to arrive at all the demands of the nation and the complete removal of all the oppressive sanctions.” (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88156
Khamenei: “We know well that some of the six powers are not trustworthy.” In response to President Hassan Rouhani’s letter, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commended the nuclear negotiating team and claimed that “finally reaching a deal is an important step.” Khamenei, however, cautioned that “it is necessary to scrutinize the document which has been created” and guard against possible violations of the agreement by the other world powers. Khamenei concluded by saying that “I ask the dear nation to be united and calm so we can ensure our national interest in a calm and sensible environment.” (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88156
Rouhani: Iran will respect the nuclear agreement. President Hassan Rouhani called the nuclear agreement an “unprecedented and unique action” in diplomatic history during a July 15 cabinet session. He stressed that Iran will honor the terms of the agreement and said that the negotiations are a “legal, political, and technical victory for Iran, and show that Iran can negotiate at a high level.” He added that the world powers “did not have any way besides negotiations; from our perspective, the best path was [the one of the] negotiations and we emphasized this from the beginning.” He also stated the “the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] followed the nuclear issue and supervised it with care.” Rouhani noted that “in order to solve problems relating to unemployment and economic growth, we [Iran] need investment and technology.”
- Rouhani announces new governors for Qom and Fars provinces. The President appointed Mehdi Sadeghi as the governor of Qom and Mohammad Ali Afsani as the governor of Fars.
Rouhani discusses regional security situation. Rouhani claimed that “Iran will continue protecting countries in the region from terrorism.” (President.ir) http://president.ir/fa/88140http://president.ir/fa/88143 http://president.ir/fa/88119
Zarif: “The time of common cooperation has arrived.” In an interview with Lebanon-based news outlet al Mayadeen, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed the final nuclear deal, Iran’s right to uranium enrichment, and the need for regional cooperation against “common challenges.” He stated:
- “Naturally, the conclusion of the Vienna nuclear talks was a great achievement and a triumph of diplomacy over threats and pressure. Long years of threats and pressure against Iran did not achieve anything for the Westerners….They [America and other countries] thought they could get everything by force and threats, and have never provided a political and diplomatic solution…”
- “Iran is probably the first country for which the UN Security Council recognized the right to enrich uranium, after eight years of opposition. During those eight years, the UN Security Council wanted Iran to forgo its uranium enrichment program. This is a great success and achievement for Iran. In addition, the P5+1 also departed from some of its past unrealistic positions, and adopted a new positive approach.”
- “I believe that this agreement can remove the guise [poosheshee] under which Israel has been hiding…This agreement will also help [shield] some of our partners and neighbors from terrorist groups in the region. There are people who tried to hide [behind] the phenomenon known as ‘Iranophobia’….I say to my Arab brother and friendly countries in the Persian Gulf and the Arab world that Iran is ready for cooperation and partnership with you based on mutual respect and good neighborliness. We (Iran and the Arab countries) face many common challenges…The time of common cooperation has arrived. This is an important priority for the government of Iran – to strengthen cooperation and relations with neighbors. The time has arrived for us to confront common challenges, including extremism and sectarianism, with partners and neighbors.” (Alef) http://alef.ir/vdcexx8w7jh8vzi.b9bj.html?283130
- Upon his arrival in Tehran on Wednesday, Zarif “[stated] Iran [will] step into trade on peaceful nuclear technology following years of research and development in the nuclear industry.” Zarif further “stressed that all red lines set by” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “were observed in the negotiations.” (PressTV)http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/15/420310/Iran-nuclear-talks-concl...
- Zarif also thanked Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani for their continuous support during the nuclear talks. The Foreign Minister added that the guidance from Khamenei contributed to the success "against the world powers." In addition, Zarif expressed his gratitude to the "noble people of Iran" for their compassion. (ISNA)http://isna.ir/fa/news/94042413768/%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%...
Rezaei thanks nuclear negotiators and praises Ayatollah Khamenei’s leadership. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezaei praised the “skill and effort of the negotiators” but claimed that negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 would not have taken place without the preparation of the armed forces and the preparedness of the nation for resistance under the Supreme Leader. The Secretary of the Expediency Council added that America would have attacked Iran without negotiations if not for Ayatollah Khamenei's leadership. Rezaei also stated, “If Khorramshahr had not been liberated, the negotiations between Iran and the world powers would not have taken shape; if there had also not been 20,000 centrifuges, the Vienna [negotiating] table would not have taken shape.” Rezaei was likely responding to earlier comments from Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; Rafsanjani stated that the agreement is “more important than the [Iran-Iraq] War or the liberation of Khorramshahr.” (Fars News) http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13940424000982
Saidi: “Iran’s assistance to Syria must not be criticized.” Hojjat al Eslam Ali Saidi discussed Iran’s regional security strategy during a meeting with Basij and IRGC members. The Supreme Leader’s Representative to the IRGC said that “the issue of Iranian assistance to Syria must not be criticized because the line of resistance in Syria is the front line of resistance against arrogance [the West] and the Zionist regime [Israel]. So, if this line falls, the other lines will fall after it.” (Defa Press) http://www.defapress.ir/Fa/News/49789
- Salehi: Civilian nuclear work will continue “with a vengeance.” Speaking to reporters, Ali Akbar Salehi stated “From now on, Iran’s nuclear activities will continue with a vengeance, particularly in the field of constructing nuclear power plants.” The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head added that the regime is “likely to clinch deals with China” on building “two small nuclear power stations in Iran” in the future. (Press TV) (E)http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/15/420317/Iran-nuclear-program-AEOI-head-Salehi-P51-Vienna
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Algeria praises nuclear agreement. The Algerian Foreign Ministry welcomed the nuclear agreement and called it “a landmark decision for establishing peace and international security.” (IRNA) http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81684919/
Majedi: Germany will become a "trustworthy trade partner." Ali Majedi stated that the removal of sanctions will bridge the "gaps in relations between Iran and Germany." The Iranian Ambassador to Germany noted that before the imposition of the sanctions, "Germany was the Islamic Republic's second largest trade partner." Germany's Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel will attend a political and trade delegation in Tehran on July 19. (Press TV) (E)http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/15/420391/iran-germany-ambassador-...
Iran and Tajikistan seek closer political and economic ties. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with Tajik Ambassador to Iran Nematollah Emamzadeh to discuss “promoting political and parliamentary relations” in Tehran on July 14. Emamzadeh thanked Iran for its effort to develop Tajikistan and added, “By building two hydroelectric power plants with a capacity of 120 megawatts in Tajikistan…Iran has [lessened] the country’s power shortage.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/799242
- Lavrov: The nuclear deal opens the door for a “broad” coalition against ISIS. Sergei Lavrov stated “It [the nuclear deal] removes the barriers…on the way to a broad coalition to fight [ISIS].” The Russian Foreign Minister added that the nuclear deal presents the opportunity for Iran and Russia to cooperate in defense technology. (Press TV)(E)http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/14/420282/Iran-agreement-lavrov-Russia-isil--
Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal
Shirazi welcomes the nuclear agreement. Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi praised the deal as “improving Iran’s position in international affairs.” The senior cleric stressed the necessity of implementing the measures of the agreement in order to arrive at “a final result.” (IRNA) http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81685104/
Dehghan praises nuclear negotiators. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan praised the nuclear negotiators in a meeting attended by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and Ministry of Defense leaders. The Defense Minister thanked the nuclear team for their diligence, and claimed that “the fundamental rights [of Iran] became recognized” on the basis of the “principled positions of the negotiating team.” He added that “this resistance and big achievement are a great honor to the blessed and honored blood of our martyrs.” Dehghan added that Iran’s defense industry is “formed around self-reliance and cutting dependence,” which will allow the military to “defend the country appropriately and meet potential threats until all sanctions and restrictions are lifted.” (ISNA)http://isna.ir/fa/news/94042413680/%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82-%D9%87...
Larijani praises nuclear talks. Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadeqh Amoli Larijani praised the recently-celebrated Qods [Jerusalem] Day, commended the nuclear agreement, and called for judicial reform.
- On Qods Day: Larijani praised Iranians for participating in Qods Day parades. He said Qods Day represented the goals of resisting oppression and "unity with the Muslimummah [community], meaning rescuing the oppressed people of Palestine.” He also warned that “the Zionist regime [Israel] in its acts of oppression cannot dream of permanence, and sooner or later it will become erased from the pages of time.”
- On the nuclear agreement: Larijani lauded Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for brightening the negotiating path through his leadership and guidance. He cautioned that while “the steps taken in Vienna have shortcomings, review and clarification are different than libel and insult.” He also called upon the P5+1 to “be careful to observe the text of the agreement exactly for implementation.”
- On judicial reform: Larijani called for assistance from the government and parliament in reforming the Judiciary. He expressed hope that “the problems of the Judiciary, including problems in jails will be lifted [by] replacing prison with alternative penalties, in a way that does not create an additional burden on the shoulders of the Judiciary [for] crimes that don’t damage the security of society,” in order to “avoid the chance of oppression to prisoners.” (Mehr News)http://mehrnews.com/news/2860080/%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D...
Ali Larijani on the nuclear deal. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that “reviewing the Joint Plan of Action shows that suspending sanctions, not a gradual cancelation of the sanctions, is…clearly shown in the document…If some of the officials of the P5+1 countries claimed that removing the sanctions was gradual, they were probably expressing their own hopes because the text of the agreement shows this topic.”
On enhanced cooperation between Iran and its neighbors. Ali Larijani stated that “the [nuclear] deal opened a new field for cooperation of Islamic countries and the region with the Islamic Republic.” The Parliament Speaker added that “regional and neighboring countries [can] tap into this constructive capacity, which can…[establish] sustainable security.” (Raja News) (Tasnim News Agency) (E)http://www.rajanews.com/news/217197http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/800510
- On enhanced cooperation between Iran and its neighbors. Ali Larijani stated that “the [nuclear] deal opened a new field for cooperation of Islamic countries and the region with the Islamic Republic.” The Parliament Speaker added that “regional and neighboring countries [can] tap into this constructive capacity, which can…[establish] sustainable security.” (Raja News) (Tasnim News Agency) (E)http://www.rajanews.com/news/217197http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/800510
Shariatmadari on the nuclear deal. Managing Editor of conservative news outlet Kayhan Hossein Shariatmadari wrote that “[President] Obama’s interpretation of the nuclear agreement not only differs, but also contradicts in fundamental and essential ways how our dear President [Hassan Rouhani] presented the agreement in [his] televised speech. For example, Rouhani said yesterday that all sanctions, including missile and weapons sanctions, [and] banking, insurance, petrochemicals, transportation and financial sanctions will be lifted at once upon the implementation of the agreement…and what Dr. Rouhani, indicated in his report, such as the future of the Fordow, the number of centrifuges…contradict what Obama stated was his interpretation.” Shariatmadari also criticized the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program for being too harsh. (Kayhan) http://kayhan.ir/fa/issue/478/2
Nobakht: Agreement is good for “local and foreign investors.” Mohammad Bagher Nobakht spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting. The Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President stated:
- On the agreement: Nobakht congratulated the negotiating team and stated that "all Iranians both inside the country and outside...are proud of the talk’s details..."
- On the lifting of sanctions: He acknowledged that the lifting of sanctions "would not be implemented overnight" but that the lifting creates opportunities for "local and foreign investors” in the future.
- On the economy: Nobakht stated in the short-term there will be an increase of exchange rate fluctuations caused by supply and demand. He also added that the currency will stabilize providing greater development for the people. (IRNA)http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81684473/
- Zanganeh: Oil exports will increase by 500,000 barrels per day. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that oil exports could rise by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) within six months. The Oil Minister added that exports could rise by a million bpd after six months and eventually reach 2.5 million bpd. (Tasnim News Agency)http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/800645