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 contributor 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: President Hassan Rouhani reportedly called an emergency meeting of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) following news of a military coup in Turkey.

Iranian media reported that there will be an emergency session of the SNSC, likely "early" on July 16, to discuss the developments in Turkey. The SNSC includes President Hassan Rouhani, top military officials, and a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Senior clerics called for a serious investigation into Iran’s recent salary scandal during their Friday sermons. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani stated that funds improperly received by government officials must be returned to the state’s coffers. He referred to Khamenei’s recent orders to punish those implicated in the scandal, in which leaks revealed that some government officials have been receiving exorbitant salaries and benefits. Qazvin Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Adbuldkarim Abedini similarly called for “decisive” action against those who obtained exorbitant salaries. The Rouhani administration has highlighted the resignation or firing of more than a dozen senior government officials as evidence of its progress in investigating the scandal, but it has come under pressure to expand the investigation to include those in Rouhani’s inner circle.

Fox News reported that Iran conducted a ballistic missile test on the evening of July 11-12 near Esfahan, citing multiple intelligence officials. It reportedly “failed shortly after liftoff.”

Iranian news agencies reported the deaths of two IRGC officers killed in the vicinity of Aleppo, Syria.

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.”
  • AEI scholars mark the one-year anniversary of the nuclear deal and reflect on what has come to pass since the Islamic Republic reentered the global economy in “The Iran Deal: A Year in Review.”


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Supreme National Security Council to hold emergency session. Iranian media reported that there will be an emergency session of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), likely "early" on July 16, to discuss the military coup in Turkey. (Entekhab)
  • Iran condemns Nice terror attack. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi condemned the terrorist attack in Nice, France and stated, “As we have said before, terrorism is an ominous phenomenon that will not be eradicated without international cooperation and consensus.” (Fars News Agency)

Domestic Politics

  • Friday prayer leaders stress importance of a serious investigation into salary scandal. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani reiterated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s July 6 comments calling for further action on the ongoing salary scandal. Emami Kashani stated that improper funds must be returned to state coffers and noted that Khamenei has “given orders on this issue.” He also criticized Saudi Arabia’s role in the region during his sermon, stating that “the takfiris and the Wahhabis in Syria commit crimes with the money of Saudi Arabia.” Qazvin Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Abdulkarim Abedini also called for dealing “decisively” with employees who received exorbitant salaries. (Fars News Agency)  (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Parliamentary commission to investigate salary scandal. The Article 90 Commission, a parliamentary body responsible for investigating complaints against any of the three branches of government, will meet with experts from July 16-20 to review the draft of a bill aimed at regulating the pay structure for government officials. Commission members will also meet with the heads of the Inspectorate General Accounting Office, the Center for Research, and the National Audit Office to examine payroll records. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani requested on July 6 that the commission investigate the salary scandal and submit a formal report to Parliament. (Mehr News)

Military and Security

  • Intelligence forces kill “armed outlaws” in Kerman province. Khalil Homaei, a top security official in Kerman, said that Iranian intelligence forces killed three “armed outlaws” in the southeastern province of Kerman on July 14. Homaei added that an operation is still underway “to cleanse the area of criminals.” Iranian security forces have conducted several operations against armed groups in northwestern and southeastern provinces in the last month. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

Casualties in Iraq and Syria

  • Two IRGC officers killed in Syria.
    • IRGC Col. Seyed Reza Marasi was from East Azerbaijan province. He was reportedly killed in Aleppo province. (Fars News Agency)
    • IRGC Maj. Abolfazl Nikzad was from Tehran province. He was reportedly killed near the city of Aleppo. (Lesan News)


  • Senior official: We will be producing four million barrels of oil per day within two months. Ali Kardor, the new managing director of the government-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), announced that Iran will be producing four million barrels of oil per day before the Persian month of Shahrivar (August-September). He also told reporters that Iran has negotiated with 23 international oil and gas companies since the signing of the nuclear deal in July 2015. (Donya-e-Eqtesad)
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