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: President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent seizure of Iranian frozen assets.
The ICJ lawsuit addresses the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing the victims of terrorist attacks attributed to Iran to collect almost $2 billion in Iranian frozen assets. President Rouhani vowed to “pursue this case until its conclusion.” It is unclear how the U.S. will respond. The U.S. hasaccepted the ICJ’s jurisdiction only intermittently since 1985.
IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour announced that the IRGC killed 12 “terrorists” during operations in northwestern Iran, which has a large Kurdish population. Although Pakpour did not specify the identity of the “terrorists,” a member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK) told the Associated Press that they belong to the DPIK. The casualties mark an uptick in clashes recently between Kurdish Iranians and the IRGC in northwestern Iran. The IRGC Ground Forces also claimed on June 13 that it killed five members of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulec announced that the EU has removed Iran Air from its blacklist and will allow “most aircraft from Iran Air back into European skies.” The EU had previously permitted only a handful of Iran Air’s aircraft in Europe due to safety concerns surrounding Iran’s use of antiquated aircraft. Iran’s airlines have moved aggressively following the nuclear deal’s implementation to modernize their fleet. Iran Air announced that it reached an agreement with Airbus to purchase 118 commercial aircraft in January. Iran has also reached a “tentative understanding” with Boeing on the purchase of commercial aircraft. Significant hurdles remain before these agreements can be finalized, however, including export licenses issued by the U.S. government.
- 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
Rouhani: We have sued U.S. over seized assets. President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing the victims of terrorist attacks attributed to Iran to collect almost $2 billion in Iranian frozen assets. Rouhani added that Iran “demanded the condemnation of Washington’s anti-Iranian efforts and compensation for damages” and promised to “pursue this case until its conclusion.” Rouhani also referenced the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon, stating, “It is not clear what the Americans did in Lebanon and how this is related to Iran.” (ISNA)
Kamalvandi: Iran can return to the pre-nuclear-deal state “with surprising speed.” Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi claimed that Iran can “return to the previous state [i.e. prior to the nuclear deal] with surprising speed, if necessary.” Kamalvandi added, “Since the beginning, we have foreseen measures for return scenarios, and if needed, we are ready to create conditions rapidly that will certainly surprise the other side.” Kamalvandi stressed that if Iran decides to return to its “pre-nuclear-deal state,” it would be because the other side failed to comply with its obligations. (Fars News Agency) (E) (Mehr News Agency)
- Foreign ministry condemns Bahraini government. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari criticized the Bahraini government for deciding to suspend the largest Shia political group in the country, al Wefaq. Ansari noted that this approach will only “complicate the domestic crisis in the country.” Bahraini officials have repeatedly claimed that Bahraini Shia leaders are under Iranian influence. (Press TV) (E)
Military and Security
- IRGC Ground Forces clash with militants in West Azerbaijan province. IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour told reporters that IRGC Ground Forces destroyed two “terrorist teams” and killed nearly 12 “terrorists” during operations in northwestern Iran. He stated that three IRGC soldiers were also killed in the fighting. Although Pakpour did not specify the identity of the “terrorists,” a member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK) told the Associated Press that they belong to the DPIK. (Mehr News Agency)
- Iran looking to jointly produce commerical planes with Russia. Minister of Industry, Mining, and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh announced that Iran is currently negotiating with Russian officials over jointly producing Sukhoi Superjet 100 commercial airplanes. Nematzadeh added that talks between Iran and Russia are “underway” but that no deal has been finalized yet. (Press TV) (E)