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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton and contributors Ken Hawrey and Shayan Enferadi. 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: Defense Minister IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan claimed that Iran will continue deploying military advisors to Syria in order to “bring peace and security to the region.”
Dehghan emphasized the importance of “comprehensive and decisive” efforts against terrorism during a meeting with Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al Freij after the trilateral meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Tehran on June 9. Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani also met with the Russian and Syrian defense ministers to discuss the conflict in Syria on June 9. Iranian news outlets introduced Shamkhani as being the “chief official responsible for coordinating Iran’s political, military, and security efforts with Syria and Russia.”
Iranian news agencies, meanwhile, reported that two additional Iranian soldiers were killed in Syria as al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra and other opposition groups beat back pro-regime offensives south of Aleppo city.
- Matthew McInnis analyzes President Hassan Rouhani’s ability to push through economic reforms in “Will Rouhani have a tough road to re-election?”
- Follow the latest electoral developments in Parliament and the Assembly of Experts, including the parliament speaker election, in the Critical Threats Project’s “Iran Elections Tracker: Updates and Analysis.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Defense minister: We consider it our duty to support the Syrian government. Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan discussed the situation in Syria during a bilateral meeting with Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al Freij. Dehghan emphasized the importance of “comprehensive and decisive” efforts against terrorism and noted, “We consider it our own duty to support the Syrian government and nation against terrorism based on the request of the legal government of Syria.” Dehghan stressed the “continuation” of Iranian support, including “military advisors, aid, and other humanitarian support.”
- Freij also commented on the meeting, stating, “With the coordination that occurred during the meeting, may we witness the reinforcement and even greater integration of the Axis of Resistance against the takfiri terrorists.” (Tasnim News Agency)
Ali Shamkhani meets with Russian and Syrian defense ministers. Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al Freij in Tehran on June 9 following their meeting with Iranian Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan. Iranian news outlets introduced Shamkhani at the meeting as the “chief official responsible for coordinating Iran’s political, military, and security efforts with Syria and Russia.” Shamkhani called upon the international community to support the “costly efforts of Iran, Syria, and Russia” in Syria and isolate “those countries which overtly and covertly support terrorism.” (ISNA)
Zarif responds to Saudi criticism over Iran’s involvement in Iraq. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated, “I do not know when Iraq ceded its sovereignty to Saudi Arabia,” in response to recent criticism over Iran’s coordination with Iraqi Shia militias in the offensive to recapture the ISIS-held city of Fallujah. Zarif added, “We will leave Iraq when the Iraqi government wishes.” IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani has been documented multiple times accompanying senior commanders of the Iraqi Shia militias in recent weeks, and at least two Iranians have been killed so far in the operation to retake Fallujah. (Fars News Agency)
- Iranian news agencies reported that an Iranian film actor, Amir Nouri, visited Shia militias operating near Fallujah, citing a picture posted to Nouri’s Instagram account. He appears alongside members of Firqat al Imam Ali al Qitaliyah, a militia affiliated with Iraq’s religious establishment. (Mashregh News)
- Tehran Friday prayer leader: Now is the time to focus on domestic enemies. Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani commented on foreign and domestic threats to Iran during his sermon on June 10. The interim Tehran Friday prayer leader stated, “We have all spoken so much about foreign enemies. America, Israel, the West allied with America, and especially Saudi Arabia are all enemies of Islamic Iran… But less has been proposed to actually counter the internal enemies… We must be careful so we do not work with the plots of the enemy.” (Fars News Agency)
- Deputy foreign minister: The administration is committed to the Resistance Economy. Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi defended the Rouhani administration’s efforts to implement the Resistance Economy doctrine against recent criticism during a speech in Semnan province. Araghchi noted that the Iranian economy has been mired for years under “harsh sanctions” but added that some unnamed individuals “seek to return the country to the period before the nuclear negotiations… The administration intends to make reforms against those individuals who benefited from sanctions and currently are obstructing the results of the nuclear deal.” (Tasnim News Agency)
Casualties in Iraq and Syria
- Two IRGC soldiers killed in Syria.