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, 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: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met with President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Iran’s outstanding nuclear issues, while Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei explicitly stated that the P5+1 have no other option “except negotiations.”

President Rouhani met with IAEA Director General Amano in Tehran to discuss measures to facilitate cooperation between Tehran and the IAEA, in order to resolve outstanding issues surrounding the potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meanwhile, led the Iranian delegation in the P5+1 negotiations on July 2.

Former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaei reiterated Iran’s commitment to the negotiations, stressing: “we want all issues surrounding the nuclear program to be solved.” Rezaei cautioned the U.S. against making excessive demands, claiming that Iran has accepted several “limitations” to facilitate a “good deal” for both sides. Rezaei also echoed the Supreme Leader’s demand for the immediate removal of sanctions and warned the West that if a deal is not reached Iran will strengthen its internal capabilities and look to develop long-term strategic relations “with countries such as China.”

 AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis discusses the nuclear negotiations and the regime’s evolving rhetoric towards ISIS and Saudi Arabia in his most recent blog post, “Near to a nuclear deal, Iran grapples with bigger headaches."

Official Statements

  • Khamenei censures Western media outlets for propagating crimes against humanity.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with a large group of poets and professors from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan on July 1 in Tehran. Khamenei urged the group to utilize their public platforms to defend the oppressed people of the world. The Supreme Leader referred to expanding media outlets, warning:
    • “If poets and artists remain neutral vis-à-vis the war between good and evil, they will be squandering their God-given talent and if they serve the evil front, they will be committing treason and crime.”
    • “The world media which are dominated by America, England, and the Zionists… sometimes raise a hue and cry for saving an animal, brazenly remain silent vis-à-vis these crimes [referring to Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against Iranian civilians] and similar ones like the ongoing bombing of Yemen and the invasion of Gaza, and Lebanon over the past years.” (
  • Rezaei: “There is no way back, except negotiations.” Mohsen Rezaei discussed the nuclear negotiations during an interview with Chinese Central Television (CCTV). The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary claimed that “we want all issues surrounding the nuclear program to be solved.” He stated that “nuclear negotiations have continued for more than thirteen years and we have come a long way: in the last two years, good progress has been made.” Rezaei blamed the “illogical demands of the Americans for lengthening the negotiations” and claimed that all the officials in Iran want a good deal…we have accepted many of their limitations, therefore we see no reason why the negotiations should become longer.” Rezaei also stated:
    • On sanctions: “It is possible for us to put the nuclear issue aside, but the sanctions must not become a new challenge… we want to solve the nuclear issue.”
    • On retaliation: “The Americans know well that if they use military action, they will suffer damage…we are able to strike the Americans everywhere.”
    • On Iranian – U.S. relations: “I do not think hostility with the Americans will be solved soon. Our issues with America run deep.”
    • On the nuclear deal: “If are not able to reach a deal, the very same situation with the West will continue. The sanctions will continue, but we will certainly decide to change our economic policy…we will increase our internal capability. We will both expand the domestic market in Iran and the regional market. If countries such as China are ready, we can define a long term, strategic relationship with the Chinese.” 
    • On China: “We seek regional cooperation…we are ready for China to come and invest in the Chabahar railroad to Ashgabat and towards Central Asia. We do not want to create the restrictions like before the revolution when only the Americans work with us. All other countries that want to develop relations must take advantage of the opportunity.”
    • On ISIS: “The motivation of the Americans and the Saudis [for supporting ISIS] was to weaken Syria and Iraq.”
    • On Yemen: “The reason why Saudi Arabia is attacking Yemen is not obvious. Saudi Arabia follows a conservative foreign policy and without open war…but the reason is clearly Saudi Arabia’s new leadership...who want to insert themselves into regional affairs.” (Tabnak) 

Nuclear Talks

  • Rouhani and Amano hold direct talks. President Hassan Rouhani met with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on July 2 in Tehran. The two discussed Iran’s nuclear program and ways to resolve outstanding issues with the IAEA. (ISNA)
  • Rafsanjani: Respectful dialogue with Iran is the world’s only option. Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani claimed that the world community knows negotiations are the only way to solve the nuclear issue. The Expediency Discernment Council Chairman declared that Iran has never pursued a nuclear weapon, because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared the development of nuclear weapons unlawful in a fatwa. Rafsanjani added that Iran intends to use nuclear technology only for peaceful health and agricultural activities. (YJC)
  • Zarif: “Negotiations are moving forward and we should be hopeful.” On the sidelines of the P5+1 nuclear negotiation in Vienna on July 2, Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that negotiations are making progress. The Foreign Minister rejected the possibility of Iran abandoning the negotiations. (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Ravanchi: “All these sanctions must be lifted, not suspended.” Majid Takht Ravanchi told reporters in Vienna that sanctions against Iran are “unjust and illegitimate.” The senior nuclear negotiator added “when we reach the implementation day [of the final nuclear agreement], all the past resolutions of the [U.N.] Security Council will be terminated.” Ravanchi expressed hope that a final deal could be reached in “the next couple of days.” (Press TV) (E)
  • Shamkhani: Iran seeks a fair and balanced final nuclear deal. While meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on July 2, Ali Shamkhani stated that the sustainability of a final nuclear deal hinges on the consent of all negotiating parties. The Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary added that Iran will welcome “[a] proposal that would pave the way for progress of Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology and unconditional removal of illegal and unjust sanctions on the country.” (IRNA) (E)  
  • Iranian negotiating team begins nuclear talks on July 2. Senior nuclear negotiators Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi met with their counterparts in Vienna to start drafting a final deal. IRNA reports the deal’s annexes include technical details, sanctions, peaceful nuclear cooperation, and a joint commission between the P5+1 and Iran. (IRNA) (E)

Military and Security

  • Navy commander commends progress on Fatah submarine. During an interview with Defa Press, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the Fatah Submarine is continuing field testing. The Artesh Navy Commander expressed his hope that the submarine will soon be officially operational.  (Defa Press)
  • Navy Commanders of Caspian Sea littoral states will meet in Saint Petersburg. Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari will meet with his Russian and neighboring counterparts in Saint Petersburg to discuss naval security issues. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
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