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: The Supreme Leader called for greater efforts to foster Iran’s scientific progress. Iran and the P5+1 held a plenary ministerial session in Vienna, while an unnamed source close to the Iranian negotiating team indicated the possibility of an extension to the talks.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of Iran’s scientific progress and referred to university professors as commanders of the “soft war” against the West. Khamenei explicitly stated that Iran’s “scientific speed should not slow down for any reason,” and he called for continued progress until Iran reaches “the civilizational status it deserves.”

Iran and the P5+1 held negotiations at the foreign minister level on July 6 in Vienna; Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary State John Kerry also held direct nuclear talks. An unnamed source reportedly “close to the Iran’s nuclear negotiating team” suggested that Iran and the P5+1 could potentially extend talks until July 10.

Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Head Asadollah Asgarowladi stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), a shipping company sanctioned by the U.S., the UN, and the EU, has launched a direct shipping line connecting Iranian and Russian ports on the Caspian Sea. Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, meanwhile, announced that Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan have drafted an agreement designating the five states as the sole guarantors of security on the Caspian Sea.

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: Iran’s scientific progress “should not slow down for any reason.” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a gathering of university professors on July 4 in Tehran. Khamenei praised the group for advancing Iran’s scientific progress and said, “The country’s scientific speed should not slow down for any reason.” The Supreme Leader described the professors as commanders of the “soft war,” comparing their vital role to the responsibilities of Iranian commanders during the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War]. Khamenei stated:
    • “The enemies’ [the Westerners] objective behind sanctions is not the nuclear issue, or human rights and terrorism, because they [the Westerners] are the main terrorism-nurturing and anti-human rights centers. Their [the Westerners’] objective is to prevent the Iranian nation from reaching the civilizational status it deserves…”
    • “It is necessary [for Iran] to proceed with the country’s honorable drive… professors and scientific organs have a prominent role [to play] in this process.”
    • “Officers of the soft war [referring to professors], command and lead young students through objective presence in this vital and profound struggle; this arena is also a ‘Sacred Defense.’”
    • “The enthusiasm-inspiring speed [of Iran’s progress in the sciences] has slowed down today; officials must double their efforts so that the scientific progress movement will not lose steam…”
    • “The environment in [universities] must be an environment of political understanding, knowledge, and awareness, but politicization and focus on marginal issues will deal a serious blow to the main task of universities, which is scientific… progress.” (
  • Senior Parliamentarian reiterates Supreme Leader’s redlines on final nuclear deal.Alaeddin Boroujerdi reiterated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s redlines of inspection of military sites and interviews with nuclear scientists. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman added, “I don’t think that any long-term extension of the negotiations will be on the agenda of the Iranian negotiating team.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Pourdastan: “Nuclear deal doesn’t mean Iran-U.S. rapprochement.” Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan claimed that although “the United States might make a deal with us within the framework of the [P5+1]… we should never see this as a positive gesture on the part of our enemy." The Artesh Ground Forces Commander described the cause of hostility between the U.S. and Iran, saying that "our enmity with the U.S. is a matter of principle. We seek truth, freedom and justice. They exploit nations and create failed states." (Kayhan) (E)
  • Dehghan: “Iran is preventing the goals of the Zionist regime [Israel] and its allies in the proxy war.” During a speech commemorating Qods [Jerusalem] Day, IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan criticized Israel for assisting ISIS. The Defense Minister added that Iran will never allow Israel to achieve its “goal of dominating the region and the Islamic world.” (Basij Press)


Nuclear Talks

  • IAEA delegation arrives in Iran. Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that a five-member IAEA delegation arrived in Tehran. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman stated that the purpose of the visit is “to hold negotiations on the details of the agreements made during IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s recent [July 2] visit to Tehran." The IAEA delegation will hold talks with Reza Najafi, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA Board of Governors and member of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) on July 6. (IRIB)
  • Full meeting of the P5+1 members takes place.  On July 6, the foreign ministers of the P5+1 and Iran, along with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, met in Vienna ahead of the July 7 deadline to reach a final nuclear deal. (Press TV) (E )
  • Source: Nuclear negotiations may extend to July 8 or 9. A “source close to Iran’s nuclear negotiating team” indicated that it is possible the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 could extend to “late Wednesday night or Thursday morning.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Zarif and Kerry meet for third consecutive day in Vienna. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met on July 6 to “discuss the progress of the nuclear talks.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
  • Araghchi: All sanctions will be lifted on the day of finalizing the nuclear agreement. Abbas Araghchi stated, “On the day of the [nuclear] agreement, all economic and financial sanctions by the EU, the U.S., and the [UN] Security Council will be removed and we will talk measures to meet commitments,” during a July 4 broadcast from Vienna. The senior nuclear negotiator added, “We have never advanced this far during the past talks.” (Press TV) (E)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Rouhani will attend BRICS and SCO Summits in Russia. President Hassan Rouhani received an official invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summits, which will take placein the Russian city of Ufa. Rouhani is scheduled to deliver a speech during the BRICS Summit on July 11; he will also address the SCO Summit on July 12. (Tabnak)
  • Rafsanjani: WikiLeaks documents on Saudi Arabia “will cost Riyadh dearly.” Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar AkbarHashemi Rafsanjani said that the WikiLeaks disclosure “will cost Saudi Arabia dearly and its consequences will not go away easily.”
    • On Iraq: Rafsanjani stated, “We do not have an eye on Iraq and do not feel any danger from [the] Iraqi side. We consider the defense of Iraq and its security our own.”
    • On Egypt: In response to a question on Iranian-Egyptian relations, Rafsanjani “said Iran does not have any problem with the people of Egypt.” 
    • On regional concerns: “We have banned the nuclear bomb. Why [should] they [the Saudis] fear us [?] They should fear Israel. Saudi Arabia does know that Iran is not a threat.” (IRNA) (E)
  • Velayati: Iran fully supports legal governments in the region in their fight against terrorism. Ali Akbar Velayati called on regional powers to work together and added “Iran, Syria, and Iraq, which are on the front line of resistance, are jointly fighting terrorism.” The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor added, “We are witnessing blind terror acts by Western-backed terrorists in some regional countries.” Velayati specifically blamed “the U.S., the Israeli regime, and reactionary regional countries” for supplying terrorists with money, weapons, and training. (Press TV) (E)


Military and Security

  • Iranian forces deploy long-range radar system. Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili unveiled a long-range Ghadir radar installation near Ahvaz city in southwestern Khuzestan province on July 4. The Khatam al Anbia Air Defense Base Commander claimed that the IRGC is responsible for designing, manufacturing, and operating the Ghadir radar system. Iranian forces deployed another Ghadir system in early June 2014 near Garmsar city in Semnan province, located in central Iran. Esmaili stated that Iranian forces will install a third Ghadir radar system within the next year. (Defa Press)
  • Sayyari announces draft of “Caspian Sea treaty.” During a meeting in St. Petersburg, Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan have prepared an agreement on providing security in the Caspian Sea. Sayyari added that security in the Caspian would be the sole responsibility for the five littoral states under the agreement. Russian Navy Commander Vladimir Vysotskiy noted during the meeting that security cooperation between Russia and Iran is growing stronger. (YJC)



  • Nobakht discusses 6th five-year program. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht stressed that, “We considered…the provisions of the previous five-year programs,” and stated, “The 6th [five-year] program will be realistic and aware of the damages of the past [five-year] programs...” He stated that the 2016-2017 budget “must be written into the framework of the 6th [five-year] program.” The Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President also stressed that the Iranian economy must grow at such a rate to reach the 6th five-year plan’s eight percent increase goal by 2020-2021. He highlighted the large number of provisions in the 5th five-year program and said “there was no time to realize all of the provisions” of the 5th five-year program.” (Mehr News)
  • Rouhani issues directives on financial reform. President Hassan Rouhani called for comprehensive financial reforms in a directive addressed to First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri. Rouhani ordered Jahangiri to devise a comprehensive plan equipped with mechanisms to reform Iran’s banking system, develop its capital market, and organize government debt. (
  • Tehran and Moscow work to boost bilateral trade. Asadollah Asgarowladi stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), a sanctioned shipping company, has launched a direct shipping line that connects Iranian and Russian ports on the Caspian Sea. The Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Head added that Taban Airlines is negotiating the launch of direct flights between the Iranian city of Rasht and the Russian port city of Astrakhan. Asgarowladi stated “an agreement has been signed… direct flights are expected to start in a month from now.” (Press TV) (E)
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