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: Nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi denied that the issue of possible military dimensions [PMD] of Iran’s nuclear program will be resolved under the JCPOA. 

Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi stressed, “In the agreement [JCPOA], it is only mentioned that Iran will cooperate [regarding PMD issues]…it [issue of PMD] is not part of the agreement.” Araghchi also stated that a renewal of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 endorsing last week’s final nuclear deal “is not relevant in our opinion.” Araghchi also stated, “Relations between Iran, Russia, and China are…positive and increasing.”

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Head Ali Akbar Salehi stated that Iran and China have agreed to build four nuclear power plants in Southern Iran “in the next two to three years.”

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis analyzes recent comments by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other Iranian leaders, and discusses the challenges Iran’s leadership faces in selling the nuclear deal domestically, while claiming they haven’t crossed any of their ‘red lines’ in his most recent blog: "Khamenei has his own tough sell on the nuke deal."


Official Statements

  • Araghchi: “We must carefully monitor the actions of the UNSC.” Abbas Araghchi praised the nuclear deal and said that after its duration, “Iran will, like the other members [of the UN], have a normal file.” The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs added that the “duration of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution is 10 years” but renewing the resolution is “not relevant in our opinion.” Araghchi stressed that the UNSC’s behavior must be monitored closely. He noted that the nuclear deal “does not mean the normalization of relations between America and Iran” and claimed that Iran will “not expect America’s policies to change.” Araghchi added:
    • “If the Americans left the negotiating table three times, the Iranian team left 10 times… We were pursuing a good deal that followed our red lines.”
    • On arms restrictions: “The arms embargo will end in a span of five years…The S-300 is not included in these restrictions and is outside the sphere of the IAEA.”
    • On the nuclear agreement: “Not a single stage of the nuclear agreement is dependent upon the IAEA report… but if this report is submitted, the sanctions will be lifted sooner.”
    • On PMD:  “In the agreement [JCPOA], it is only mentioned that Iran will cooperate [regarding PMD issues]…it [issue of PMD] is not part of the agreement. According to the Iran-IAEA Roadmap on PMD, this institution [the IAEA] has until the end of July to pose all 11 questions to Iran and Iran has one month to respond to them and in this plan all the stages are settled by October 15 and the IAEA report is presented by December 15.” 
    • On future relations: “We will witness a new season of cooperation between Iran and the other countries…Azerbaijan and Europe…will have a special place.”
    • “Russia and China have played a positive and constructive role and they assisted in arriving at a balanced agreement. Relations between Iran, Russia, and China are… are increasing; I am positive that after the implementation of the agreement our relations will expand as much as possible.” (Mashregh News)
  • Pourdastan: “Hostilities with America will not end after the agreement.” Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan described the hostility between Iran and the U.S. as being “deep-rooted.” The Artesh Ground Forces Commander said that the Iran and the U.S. might interact more after the nuclear agreement but he cautioned that “the U.S. and Iran differ on various local issues, including support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, support for a stable Iraq, and support for an Islamic awakening.” Pourdastan added that “if someone wants to test Iran’s military, that individual would be the initiator of the war but will not be victorious.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Salehi: Arak reactor to be modernized. Ali Akbar Salehi stated that for many years different parties have opposed Iran's peaceful nuclear program, but the recent agreement in Vienna recognizes the country’s right to enrichment. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head stated that all sovereign states have a right to peaceful nuclear energy. Salehi confirmed that research and development will continue with its nuclear activities and the Arak heavy reactor will be modernized with up-to-date laboratories and equipment approved by the P5+1. (Tabnak)
  • China and Iran agree to build new nuclear power plants in southern Iran. Ali Akbar Salehi announced “We will build four nuclear power plants simultaneously in the country in the next two to three years. Over 20,000 nuclear engineers will start working there.” The AEOI Head added “based on the agreement with Mr. Amano [IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano], PMD needs to be settled by December 15.” (ISNA) (E)
  • Larijani: Iran will not accept “any scientific or technical” limitations on nuclear program. At a meeting in Tehran with Secretary of State of the Swiss Foreign Ministry Yves Rossier, Mohammad Javad Larijani stated “If anyone thinks that Iran will accept restrictions on its scientific and technological development, he is totally wrong.” The Chief of the Judiciary’s Human Rights Council added “the recent conclusion of [the P5+1 talks] is a clear sign of Tehran’s sincerity on the nuclear issue.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E)


Domestic Politics

  • Rouhani: The nuclear deal is not detrimental to regional security. President Hassan Rouhani discussed the JCPOA between Iran and the P5+1 in a cabinet session on July 22. Rouhani praised the UNSC resolution on the nuclear deal and stated:
    • "Iran was seeking to demonstrate the enrichment of law and now the [UNSC] recognizes the right to the enrichment of our country.”
    • “The UNSC has admitted in legal terms that sanctions will not affect Iran so they should be removed… They [UNSC] issued a resolution that it no longer considers the peaceful activities of Iran as a global threat. This is a great victory.”
    • Rouhani stressed that the nuclear deal will create opportunities “for economic growth, enhanced cultural and political relations with other countries, and Iran's empowerment in the military and defense spheres.”
    • On regional security: “Without a doubt… Iran will be strengthened in the region and this phenomenon [JCPOA] will not be at the expense of neighboring countries.”
    • "It is an illusion that if Iran gains power, it will thus, interfere in the internal affairs of others. We deem interference as inappropriate and wrong, and believe that the affairs of every country should be handled by its own people." (
  • Parliament will form JCPOA review committee. Following Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s July 21 address to Parliament, 136 parliamentarians voted in favor of a proposal to form a 15-member special committee to review the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated members of the committee will be picked at a later date. (Kayhan) (E ) (Press TV) (E)


Military and Security

  • Alavi: The Ministry of Intelligence and Security is prepared to repel any threat. Ministry of Intelligence and Security Head Hojjat al Eslam Mahmoud Alavi addressed the administrative council of Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari province, stating that the "country's security apparatus is... monitoring the conditions to see any possible threat to the Islamic Republic and is fully ready to confront these threats…" (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Esmaili: Missile systems not reliant on just GPS navigation. Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili stated that the country's indigenous missile program is not solely reliant on GPS navigation, and that the armed forces have the ability to "switch from one system to another system." The Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base Commander added that those who think disrupting Iran's GPS connection would create problems should remember how Iran “trapped the RQ-170" (the American stealth drone that Iran purportedly hacked and caused to land in 2011). When asked about the armed forces’ use of navigation systems, Esmaili responded, "We will use all the systems in this field." (Basij Press)
  • Naghdi: “Negotiations have made the Americans more serious in their hostility.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi claimed that the nuclear resolution indicates that the U.S. does not want an agreement “for resolving issues;” instead it is indicative of “more serious hostility” towards Iran. The Basij Organization Commander added that the U.S.’s actions suggest a “deep dishonesty” and that America only needs an agreement to “legalize sanctions and continued pressure on Iran.” (Basij Press)


  • Economy Minister: “Resistance economy” doctrine will guide the financial system. Deputy Economy Minister for Bank and Insurance Affairs Mohammad Parizi stated that “the movement of the economy to the resistance economy will continue with greater care in the period after the removal of sanctions.” Parzizi reiterated that after the lifting of sanctions “there will be no change in the resistance economy approach” and explained that “although with the removal of sanctions, some transactions such as in revenue flows and financial and business exchanges will be facilitated, this does not mean that the economy will be without planning.” (IRIB)
  • Indian delegation visits Tehran to explore energy industry. A 14-member Indian delegation representing energy, electricity, and petro chemistry companies arrived in Tehran on July 22. Iranian official Majid Javedani stated: “Iran enjoys great capacity and potential to produce energy from natural resources of wind and sun...the Indian delegation is looking for participation in Iran’s oil, gas electricity, energy and petro chemistry industries and the visit aims at identifying the opportunities.” (Mehr News) (E)
  • Iranian delegation in Vienna will pitch petrochemical investment opportunities. The Iranian delegation “will discuss new opportunities for investment in Iran’s petrochemical industry with officials from European companies.” National Petrochemical Company Deputy Managing Director Mohammad Hassan Peyvandi is heading the Iranian delegation. (Press TV) (E)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Velayati implicitly warns Saudi Arabia against escalating tensions with Iran. Ali Akbar Velayati underlined the need for collective action to combat terrorism in a meeting with visiting Secretary of State of the Swiss Foreign Ministry Yves Rossier on July 22. The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor also responded to Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iran rhetoric and recent threats against Iran. Velayati stated: “We [Iran] hope that this irrelevant statement is incorrect… if it is true, I must say that countries greater than [Saudi Arabia] do not dare to disrespect the great Iranian nation.” (YJC)
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