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 Jordan Olmstead. 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: Abbas Araghchi stated that the “resistance economy” doctrine does not take an “isolationist” approach, but instead supports selective economic interaction “with [other] countries without depending upon them.”

In a meeting with the National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi stressed that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “resistance economy” doctrine does not prohibit all economic interaction with other countries or promote an “isolationist” approach to Iran’s economy; rather, it “prescribes a certain type of economic interaction with the world” such that no nation can “put pressure on our economy.” He also warned that “in upcoming [economic] cooperation with other countries, Iran will not forget the past.”

Official Statements

  • ?Araghchi: “Resistance economy” does not mean economic isolation. Abbas Araghchi discussed the implications of the nuclear agreement during a meeting with the National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs stated that Iran’s “approach is the resistance economy…The resistance economy considered by the Supreme Leader prescribes a certain type of interaction with the world so that no country or power has the ability to put pressure on our economy; this does not mean that we will cut off all of our economic transactions with the world.” Araghchi also stated:       
    • On the JCPOA: “This understanding and the related documents between Iran and the IAEA is classified and according to international law - the IAEA has the duty to protect these documents…in the JCPOA there are no classified documents.”
    • “In my opinion the reason behind this [the JCPOA] is that Iran has turned into a great power… and [it] has domestic stability; Iran has also achieved scientific and defense capabilities… Certainly if this agreement is realized, Iran will become more powerful than before.”
    • “Iran is not a power that someone can joke around with… A problem could occur since the implementation of the agreements on the western side requires a short amount of time but for Iran it would require two or three months.”
    • On inspections of military sites: “All the concerns on the inspections of the military sites have been removed…we fortunately were able to resist the excessive demands of the West…we guarantee that in no way will there be access to sensitive and military documents.” 
    • On Arak: “According to the [nuclear] agreement, the Arak heavy water reactor will in no way be closed but the current core will be removed from the structure and a new core will be inserted that has a low rate of uranium production; this new core is built by our scientists and this is a source of power. According to the agreement, after replacing the reactor, the fuel rods of the previous core will be filled with concrete.” 
    • On Israel: “Israel’s anger over the agreement is real and officials and the Zionist lobby have considered preventing the passing of the agreement in the American Congress.”
    • On Iran’s relationship to its future economic partners: “Certainly, the country’s policies should be planned based on the resistance economy; of course, we are in a position that we can choose our economic partners; and we define the countries with which we want to work; therefore, Western delegations and European officials’ travel to Iran does not mean accepting them for economic cooperation; therefore, in upcoming cooperation with countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not forget the past and its records. On the other hand, the resistance economy does not mean an isolationist economy; this policy means interaction with countries, without depending on them.”
    • On IAEA inspectors: Araghchi reiterated that as only countries with which Iran has diplomatic relations can send inspectors, “for example, American and Canadian inspectors cannot be sent to Iran.”
    • On sanctions removal under the JCPOA: When asked about the debate of “canceling” [taleqh] vs. “suspending” [laghv] sanctions under the JCPOA, Araghchi stated: “The topic of canceling in the JCPOA agreement has been an economic and financial debate; on the basis of agreement…these sanctions will be removed [bardashteh shavad] jointly on the day of the implementation of the agreement. In discussing other sanctions, the Supreme Leader said that the rest of the sanctions are [to be] lifted within a reasonable interval, which has been achieved in this agreement.” (IRIB) 
  • Velayati: It is time to accept Iran’s nuclear program. Ali Akbar Velayati attributed Western animosity toward the Islamic Republic to Iran’s independence and scientific progress. Velayati praised Iranian resilience in dealing with sanctions and pressure from the West. The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor pointed to the P5+1 nuclear deal and proclaimed, “Today the time has come to accept Iran as a nuclear country.” Velayati also warned the U.S. against meddling in regional affairs and stated:
    • “Iran helps Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine. We will not allow America to interfere in our affairs…if Iran did not help Iraq, ISIS would be in Baghdad today.” (Mashregh News)
  • Khatami: Scrutinizing the nuclear deal should not be divisive. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami called for unanimity on national interests. Khatami praised Iran’s resilience in defending the Islamic Revolution against “six [attempted] coups” since 1979, and threats from the U.S. The Assembly of Experts member reiterated that the Supreme Leader and government officials will only accept a “good deal” with the P5+1. Khatami referred to Article 77 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution, which states that international treaties are subject to the approval of Parliament and stressed, “These [legal] procedures should not lead to discord and division.” (Raja News)
  • Naghdi: The West “wants to take the dollars out of our hands.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi warned of economic exploitation by Western countries during a speech at Shaheed Beheshti University in Tehran. The Basij Organization Commander stated that “the heads of European countries are lined up to come to Tehran, but commemorative pictures with heads of state will not heal the pain of our economy... Europe is in bankruptcy, and they are after our wealth.”  Naghdi added that “cooperation between Muslim countries and Western countries goes nowhere,” and that Iran’s only path is to “equip [itself] with science and technology,” because Western technology has not led to Iranian self-sufficiency. (Entekhab)
  • Saidi: Media is causing "sedition" with its reporting. Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Saidi stated that foreign media outlets have been distorting speeches in an attempt to spread “sedition.” The Supreme Leader's Representative to the IRGC also stated that the media has changed and removed parts of his speeches to make it "inconsistent and contradictory." Saidi expressed his hope that the unfaithful media outlets will be subjected to ensure the "integrity of their context." (Sepah News)



  • Zanganeh: "New chapter" with French energy company. Bijan Zanganeh announced, "A new chapter will open in cooperation with France's Total [in the] development of Iran's oil fields." The Oil Minister added that French companies also have a “broad presence in Iran’s petrochemical industry besides continuing their past activities which were mostly providing investment and finance." (Press TV) (E)
  • Iranian firms are ready to invest in Zimbabwe. Ali Rabi'i and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe spoke on the sidelines of the Global SMS Expo 2015 exhibition in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Cooperation, Work, and Social Welfare Minister stated that Iran has “high respects” for the Zimbabwean people for their "bright records...against colonialism." The Iran-Zimbabwe Permanent Joint Commission Head also added that the presence of Iranian firms and cooperatives in the exhibition illustrates Tehran’s interest in increasing cooperation. Zimbabwean President Mugabe hailed the recent nuclear deal, while calling for closer ties with Iran in industrial, economic and trade matters. (IRNA) (E) (IRNA) (E)
  • Apple's exclusive license is now valid. Mehdi Karbasian stated that there have been talks with Apple Company in order to create an exclusive deal for electronic products. The Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade stated that a preliminary search into Apple's documents indicated that their license was not valid, but Karbasian confirmed that the proper license has been issued to Apple. (Entekhab)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Boroujerdi: France should blacklist the MKO. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated in a meeting with French National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elisabeth Guigou that the EU should not have removed the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from their terrorist list. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman discussed the options for France to blacklist the organization that has killed thousands of Iranians since the 1979 revolution. Guigou called upon a stable Middle East, and added that both countries can increase their concentration to fight against terrorism. (Press TV) (E)
  • Zarif: “Neighbors are [a] priority.” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: “To those still in doubt: Neighbors are [a] priority: An imperative. And a rewarding choice.”  Zarif also described his talks in Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq as “excellent” and wrote that there will be “more to come.” (Fars News Agency) (E)


Domestic Politics

  • Iranian lawmaker: The nuclear agreement is being reviewed. Parliamentarian Nozar Shafiei claimed that Parliament has begun reviewing the JCPOA.  The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member said “that the members of a planned ‘special commission’ for formally reviewing the JCPOA have not been elected yet” but claimed that the NSFP Parliamentary Commission has begun “studying the document in detail.” Shafiei added that “whenever the parliament deems necessary, we will release the results of our studies.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
  • Sunni Kurds gain over 90% of managerial posts in Kurdistan province. IRNA reports that after administrative reforms, more than 90% of managerial positions in the provincial and county government offices of Kurdistan province are allocated to Sunni Kurds. (IRNA) (E)
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