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: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously approved a resolution endorsing the P5+1’s nuclear deal with Iran. IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said shortly before the vote that Iran “will never accept” provisions in the draft of the UNSC resolution on Iran’s armament abilities. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that the nuclear deal would not alter Iran’s policies towards the U.S. “in any way.”

In comments published shortly before the UNSC approval of the resolution endorsing the nuclear deal, IRGC Commander Jafari claimed that the final nuclear agreement and the draft of the UNSC resolution violate Iran’s red lines, especially those regarding “armament capabilities” (tavonhayeh tasliati). He vowed that Iran “will never accept” these provisions and explained that a “good agreement” complies unambiguously with Iran’s red lines. Jafari’s statement echoes commentsmade by other hardliners that the nuclear agreement breaches several of the Supreme Leader’s expressed red lines.  Defense Minister IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, meanwhile, stated, “Issues related to missiles have never been on the agenda of the [nuclear] talks,” and that Iran “will implement its programs in the field [of missiles] with determination.”

In a televised July 18 speech, Supreme Leader Khamenei stated, “Our policies towards the arrogant American government will not change in any way.” Khamenei stated that Iran does “not negotiate with America about various international issues,” stressing that its nuclear dialogue with the P5+1 was an “exceptional case.” Khamenei stated that the negotiations resulted in the P5+1 being “forced to tolerate the research and development of Iran’s nuclear industry.” Prior to the UNSC’s June 20 approval of the resolution endorsing last week’s nuclear deal, Khamenei emphasized, “whether the agreement is accepted or not, we will not stop supporting our regional allies,” including “the nation and government of Syria” as well as “the oppressed Bahraini people.”

IRGC Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani spoke on the religious and moral duty to defend the holy places during a gathering for Iran-Iraq War veterans and their families. The date of his speech is unclear; it appears he delivered it approximately late last week. Reporting on his speech does not indicate Soleimani commented on the nuclear deal.

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis explores reactions to the nuclear deal announcement from President Rouhani, Supreme Leader Khamenei, and other voices within Iran’s leadership in his most recent blogpost “Iran takes a victory lap.” 


Official Statements

  • Khamenei: “Our policies towards the arrogant American government will not change in any way.” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed that the nuclear deal will not change Iran’s policy towards the U.S. during a televised address on July 18. Khamenei stated, “As we have repeated, we do not negotiate with America about various international issues; we do not negotiate on bilateral issues; sometimes we do negotiate on exceptional cases based on compromise, like the nuclear issue…” Khamenei also stated:      
    • On regional policies: “The policies of America in the region are 180 degrees opposed to the policies of the Islamic Republic.”
    • “Whether the agreement is accepted or not, we will not stop supporting our regional allies; the oppressed Palestinian nation, the oppressed people of Yemen, the nation and government of Syria, the nation and Iraq government, the oppressed Bahrain people, the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine; we will always support them.”
    • On Israel:  “Americans accuse Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance – which are the most dedicated national defense units in the country — of terrorism. There is no greater injustice than this. They [the Americans] support the terrorist, child-killing Zionist government [Israel]. How can we bargain, how can we negotiate, how can we reach an agreement with such a power?”
    • On nuclear weapons: “Domestic political problems force them [the Americans] to boast that ‘we brought Iran to the negotiating table, we subjugated Iran, we prevented Iran from [acquiring] nuclear weapons’…okay the truth is a different matter...Iran’s nuclear weapons are not related to the conversations with America and other states; Because they also know…that on the Quran and the Sharia we condemn  the production of  nuclear weapons, maintaining them, and using them; we are not making steps towards this. Iran’s nuclear weapons do not have any relationship to the negotiations…they know the importance of this fatwa.”
    • On U.S. foreign policy: “President Obama has admitted that the Americans erred in Iran during the 1953 coup; they erred in supporting Saddam Hussein. He has also mentioned two or three other cases. But tens of cases have also not been admitted; the 25 years of the oppressive second Pahlavi government…the dominance of the Zionists; the destruction of the passenger plane [Iran Air Flight 655] and many other things [have not been admitted]…I also wish to say that now they are making mistakes in many areas of the region and especially towards the Islamic republic and the Iranian nation.”
    • On the negotiations: “The result of ten to twelve years of conflict with the Islamic Republic has been that the six powers today are forced to tolerate the research and development of Iran’s nuclear industry. The development of the nuclear industry will continue…This is the result of the resistance of the Iranian nation…”
    • On the military option: The U.S. claims that “it is able to destroy the Iranian army” but this is just boasting: “If war were to occur here, the one who would emerge defeated from the war would be the transgressor and criminal America.” (
  • Rouhani: Iran achieved victory in diplomacy. President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech in a ceremony attended by the Supreme Leader and Iranian officials on July 18 in Tehran. Rouhani hailed Iran’s victory in the P5+1 nuclear negotiations, while stressing that the nuclear deal is the beginning, not the end. Rouhani stated:
    • “Today no one in the world says that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been defeated…or has signed a non-dignified deal.”
    • “Those who used to say…that…Iran has breached [its nuclear obligations] and therefore does not have the right to enrichment and that sanctions are legal due to UN resolutions, have come to the conclusion that…pressure and bullying [Iran] has failed…”
    • “Today…the dust and dirt that was covering the face of…Iran caused by global arrogance [the West], has been removed, and now the people of the world, can see the face of this [Iranian] nation better…[an image] of resistance, perseverance, logic, reasoning, and interaction with those who do not want to have conflict...”
    • “Thanks to God, what was desired by the great Iranian nation and the Supreme Leader has been achieved so far.” (
  • Jafari: “We will never accept” sections of the UNSC draft. Prior to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s approval of a resolution endorsing last week’s nuclear deal, IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari discussed the nuclear deal and the draft of the UNSC resolution. He stated: 
    • On the draft of the UNSC resolution: “Some of the things that were contained in the draft were particularly contrary to and in violation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s red lines, especially regarding armament capabilities [tavonhayeh tasliati], and we will never accept them.”
    • “Any resolution which conflicts with our red lines has no credibility, and we hope that the UNSC will not spend its time idly approving such draft.” 
    • On the deal: “Stating that the most important criterion for the evaluation of nuclear conclusions and the measurement of its proportion with a ‘good agreement,’ is its full and complete, transparent, and unambiguous compliance with the red lines announced by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
    • Jafari also stated, “That which is important more than anything else for me, as a military official, is a serious stand, without the slightest indulgence, on a very crucial red line – namely, the ‘maintaining and improving on Iran’s defense capabilities.’”
    • “Fundamentally, the Americans’ arrogant and brutal nature tells us that if they had believed a little bit in their own military capability against Iran, they would not have sat at the negotiating table.”
      • “Not once, but several times, the Americans and their domesticated dogs – meaning the Zionist regime – have had their snouts rubbed in the dirt against such groups as Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance, which are considered a small part of the massive ability of the global Islamic revolution; therefore, a knowledgeable person not only does not take such ridiculous claims and threats from the Americans seriously, but also understands that it is clearer proof of their frustration and misery.” (Raja News)
  • Dehghan: Iran is moving forward with “its missile programs.” Speaking at a meeting of Defense Ministry officials regarding the nuclear agreement, Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan stated: 
    • “Issues related to missiles have never been on the agenda of the talks, and the system [of the Islamic Republic] will implement its programs in this field [of missiles] with determination.”
    • “This agreement was the result of the resistance and courage of the country of Iran, and a measure of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution’s wisdom and the nuclear negotiating team’s intelligence and strength, which led to the major world powers’ acceptance of the dignified stance of the Islamic Republic; it is the first step on the path to resolve…Iran’s nuclear issue, that its implementation requires complete respect for…Iran’s red lines by the P5+1 and [gaining] the trust of the nation of Iran by the P5+1 and international organizations.”
    • “Past PPI [PMD] issues with the [IAEA] have been agreed on, and we will act accordingly; certainly, we will not grant access to military secrets…to any authority.”
    • “The Americans ought to have understood this meaning by now –those factors of national and defensive power do not rest on this kind of equipment and weapons; we do not get permission from any authority to arm our country’s armed forces, and we equip our armed forces in proportion with threats.”
    • “…The Americans…think that they have been able to impose anything on the Iranian nation, due to their misunderstanding of the Iranian nation.”
    • “The U.S.’s recent nuclear tests [conducted] simultaneously with the P5+1 talks with Iran…indicate a lack of commitment to international peace and security, which is why independent nations and government can never trust America.” (Sepah News)
  • Zarif discusses the “military option.” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that “unfortunately, there are still people who vainly insist on preserving a failed option.” Zarif added that “it seems that these individuals are not able to understand…that using force to transgress on the rights of others is not an option but a dangerous and immoral temptation…” Zarif was likely responding to June 19 comments from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter that the military option remains on the table for the U.S. (MFA)
  • Araghchi: UN recognizes Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. Abbas Araghchi stated that the recognition of Iran’s enrichment program is the most important feature coming out of the July 20 UN resolution. The previous six UNSC resolutions targeted Iran’s nuclear program as a threat, but the International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister declared that the UN members must accept the new resolution under the pretext of Article 25 of the UN Charter (which states that all members must agree and carry out the decisions by the UNSC). Araghchi addressed the importance of the new UN resolution:
    • Araghchi stated that there is a fundamental change in the relations between Iran and the UNSC, and the new resolution illustrates that Iran is no longer a threat requiring the subjection to Article 41 of the UN charter (that addresses the principle of economic sanctions).
    • Araghchi stated that the July 20 UN resolution defined a "road map" to remove all sanctions. Araghchi added that the "sanctions regime" is no longer recognized, while expressing his belief that there should not be any restrictions on the military and nuclear industry, which he described as serving "dual-purpose goods." 
    • On the missile issue: Araghchi stated that UN Resolution 1929, which prohibits missile activities in Iran, is flawed. The resolution states that Iran cannot conduct missile activities that are designed to carry a nuclear warhead, but Araghchi urged that Iran does not have this type of military program.
    • Araghchi concluded by saying that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is one of the most complex legal agreements in the history of international negotiations. (Mashregh News)
  • Soleimani speaks at a veteran ceremony. IRGC Qods Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani spoke at a gathering of fighters and families of martyrs in which he stressed the religious and moral duty of every individual. He claimed that the purpose of “the martyrs’ defense” is not just defending the Zeinab Shrine in Syria, but is the “most important of the compulsory duties,” according to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. (
  • Tehran objects to German proposal for recognizing Israeli regime. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham dismissed German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel’s call for Iran to recognize the Israeli regime. Afkham stated: "We follow completely different policies on certain regional issues compared to Germany." (MFA)



  • Seif: Frozen assets abroad stand at $26 billion. In a letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani, Valiollah Seif stated $26 billion in frozen assets could be released once the nuclear agreement comes into effect. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) chief added “a major part of Iran’s assets remain in foreign banks to guarantee funds for imports.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Zanganeh: Iranian oil to hit 4.7 million barrels per day “in the near future.” In a July 20 statement, Bijan Zanganeh announced “Iran will raise its oil recovery to 4.7 million barrels per day in the near future.” The Oil Minister added “Iran has the biggest hydrocarbon reserves in the world and [is]…responsible for the world’s energy security.” (ISNA) (E)
  • Qamsari: All 2015 oil deals already signed. Mohsen Qamsari announced that Iran finalized its 2015 crude oil contracts, but “traditional customers are prepared to buy more.” The Director of International Affairs for the National Iranian Oil Company added that oil prices will not exceed $60 per barrel by 2018. (IRNA) (E)
  • German delegation arrived in Tehran. The 60-member German delegation, headed by German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, arrived in Tehran Sunday. Executives from numerous German companies including Linde, Siemens, Mercedes-Daimler, and Volkswagen participated in the delegation to increase political and economic relations between the countries. (IRIB)
  • The Minister of Economic Affairs traveling to Vienna. Economic and Finance Minister Ali Tayyebnia departed for Vienna to attend the annual session of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID). A large delegation including Deputy Economic Minister Mohammad Khazaei accompanied Tayyebnia on his visit. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
  • Switzerland seeks closer bilateral relations with Iran. Swiss State Secretary Yves Rossier is due to visit Iran on July 20. Swiss Ambassador to Iran Giulio Haas stated, “Bilateral relations will boost to higher levels in the wake of the nuclear agreement.” (IRNA) (E)
  • Italian delegation to visit Tehran in August. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi are expected to visit Tehran on August 13 to improve diplomatic and economic relations. Guidi stated that Iran possesses a large untapped market, while the Italian credit company SACE has publicly stated its plans to increase its business in Iran by $3 billion over the next four years. (Tabnak)
  • FIFA to release Iran’s money. Mehdi Taj Deputy of the Iranian Football Federation announced that the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) will release approximately $8 million of Iran’s frozen assets. (Kayhan)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Rouhani promotes stronger Iran-Pakistan ties in phone call with Pakistani President.President Hassan Rouhani expressed interest in enhanced Tehran-Islamabad relations during a phone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain on July 18. Rouhani said that the P5+1 nuclear deal will benefit the region and called for increased Iran-Pakistan ties to boost bilateral trade to more than $5 billion. ( (E)
    • Rouhani calls for better relations with Qatar. President Rouhani underlined Iran’s preparedness for closer ties with its regional neighbors in a phone call conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani on July 18. Rouhani stressed that prosperity and security in the region depends on collaboration. (Press TV) (E)
  • Hamas delegation visits Riyadh. Political Leader of Hamas Khaled Meshaal reportedly traveled with a delegation of Hamas officials to Saudi Arabia, where they met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. According to reports, Khaled Meshaal asked for monthly donations from the Saudi government and the Saudi king promised to review Meshaal’s request. King Salman also reportedly requested 700 Hamas fighters to participate in Saudi-led attacks against the Houthis in Yemen. Meshaal, however, refused to send fighters to Saudi Arabia “because it would create a security vacuum in Gaza” that Iran would then exploit. (ABNA)


Nuclear Deal

  • Khoshrou: Threats of sanctions do not help the NPT. Gholam Ali Khoshrou addressed the UNSC following its adoption of the JCPOA, where he stated, "No threats of sanctions or war could help sustain the NPT in the long run." The Ambassador to the UN added that the sanctions imposed on Iran were "baseless and pure speculation and hearsay." Khoshrou however described the potential significance of the JCPOA by stating this could "herald a new chapter in [the] relations between Iran and the council." Khoshrou additionally responded to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power's comments regarding Iran destabilizing the region stating, "The not well-placed to raise such accusations against my country." (Press TV) (E)
  • Boroujerdi: “There is no reason to grant further access to Parchin.” National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi said There is no reason to grant further access”  since the IAEA has previously inspected the Parchin facility.  (ICANA)
  • Iranian lawmakers issue statement on nuclear deal. 14 parliamentarians criticized the UNSC vote on the nuclear deal in a letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. The lawmakers stressed that parliament has not yet approved the nuclear agreement and claimed that the right for placing conditions on the provisions “will be reserved for the Islamic Republic.” (YJC)


Military and Security

  • New radar to be installed. IRGC Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili stated that “A new radar will soon be installed in a strategic region of the country.” The Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base Commander unveiled plans on July 16 to install a new missile system with medium-range and long-range radar within several months. (Defa Press)
Arrow down red
Aug '15
Jul '15
Jun '15