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 with 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: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed America’s implementation of the nuclear agreement and stated, “If they tear up the JCPOA, we will set it on fire.”
Supreme Leader Khamenei asserted that Iran will not be the first party to violate the nuclear agreement during remarks delivered at a meeting with government and military officials, including President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. Khamenei referred to “American presidential candidates threatening to tear up the JCPOA” and stated, “If they tear up the JCPOA, we will set it on fire.” He added that America’s differences with Iran are over “the existence of the Islamic Republic and cannot be solved through negotiations.”
Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi told reporters that Iran has finalized a deal with Boeing for new planes but added that details will be announced “within the coming days.” Reuters reported that Iran has reached a “tentative understanding” with Boeing for the purchase of 100 planes. U.S. airplane manufacturers had previously been forbidden from selling planes to Iranian airlines under international sanctions. This deal follows Iran Air’s agreement to purchase 118 commercial aircraft from Airbus in January.
Iranian media reported the deaths of two Iranians in Syria. One of them was attached to the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade.
- Matthew McInnis analyzes President Hassan Rouhani’s ability to push through economic reforms in “Will Rouhani have a tough road to re-election?”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Supreme Leader: “If they tear up the JCPOA, we will set it on fire.” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, and other civil and military officials on June 14. Khamenei stated:
- “Both the opponents and proponents of the JCPOA exaggerate… What I say is not related to [our] brothers who have labored, but rather to the opposing side… The JCPOA is porous, causing the enemy to exploit it.”
- “We will not violate the JCPOA... The American presidential candidates are threatening to tear up the JCPOA. If they tear up the JCPOA, we will set it on fire.”
- “The Americans have not carried out an important part of their obligations, but we have completed prerequisites - we have shut down 20 percent [uranium] enrichment and the Fordow [enrichment facility] and the Arak [heavy water reactor].”
- “The agenda of the enemy today is to stop or eliminate the capabilities of the Islamic Republic or at least to prevent their growth… I have repeatedly reiterated that the country must grow in power and that we must promote our capabilities. If we increase them, we can then tell the people to relax.”
- Khamenei added that America’s differences with Iran are over “the existence of the Islamic Republic and cannot be solved through negotiations.” (Press TV) (E) (Leader.ir) (IRIB) (Farda News)
Zarif: The U.S. should do more to encourage business with Iran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called upon the U.S. to “play a much more active role” in removing the “psychological remnants” of international sanctions against Iran. He added that the U.S. “has only removed sanctions on paper.” (Mehr News Agency)
- Rosatom set to begin construction on second and third units of Bushehr plant this year. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosatom, announced that Rosatom will begin construction on the second and third units of the Bushehr nuclear power plant during the current calendar year. (ISNA) (E)
Akhoundi: Details on Boeing deal to be announced “within the coming days.” Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi stated that Iran has finalized a deal with Boeing to purchase new planes. Akhoundi added that “details on the agreement with [Boeing] will be announced within the coming days.” (Mehr News Agency) (Press TV) (E)
- Iran’s oil production nears four million barrels per day. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told Parliament that Iran’s oil production now exceeds 3.8 million bpd and that petrochemical exports as a whole increased 46 percent from 2013 to 2015. Zanganeh added that many petrochemical projects will be pursued in 2016 and the first half of 2017 that will increase export revenue by $5.6 billion. (IRNA) (Fars News Agency) (E)
Combatant Clergy Society spokesman calls for principlist unity in presidential elections. Hojjat ol Eslam Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam discussed the 2017 Iranian presidential elections and the possibility of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s candidacy during an interview on June 14. The spokesman for the conservative Combatant Clergy Society called for principlists to form a think tank to help select a single principlist candidate to run against centrist president Hassan Rouhani. Mesbahi Moghaddam seemed to dismiss his own strong criticism of Ahmadinejad in May, when he asserted that Ahmadinejad cannot “manage a country like Iran,” by stating during the interview that Ahmadinejad could be the principlists’ choice for the presidential election. Mesbahi Moghaddam added that his “only goal now is explaining and defining a mechanism for the principlist faction in the presidential elections, so I do not have a specific opinion about [Ahmadinejad].” Disunity among principlists contributed to their defeats in the 2013 presidential and recent parliamentary elections, particularly due to disagreements over which candidates to endorse formally and the refusal of candidates whom principlists did not endorse to withdraw from the race. Rouhani’s chances for reelection would become more difficult if principlists do manage to unify behind a single presidential candidate.
- Mesbahi Moghaddam also left open the possibility that he may submit his own candidacy for the presidency. He stated that while he personally has no intention of running for the presidency, “if the principlist consensus is on me, then that is another issue.” (ILNA)
Casualties in Iraq and Syria
- Two Iranians killed in Syria.
- Five foreign fighters buried in Qom. Of the five, three belonged to the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade and two belonged to the Pakistani Shia militia Zainabiyoun Brigade. (Defa Press)