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 cautioned Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi against cooperation with the U.S., while praising close relations between Iran and Iraq. President Rouhani highlighted his administration’s economic progress under sanctions.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Prime Minister Abadi to oppose U.S. interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, accusing Washington of spreading the seeds of “sedition” to undermine Iraqi unity. Khamenei called for enhanced Iran-Iraq relations and stated: "We should stand up against this [U.S.] plot and fitna [sedition] in an intelligent and careful way and we should not allow the unity of Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Arabs to be undermined in your country.”

President Hassan Rouhani reassured his domestic audience that sanctions will not impede Iran’s advancement, citing the government’s success “against stagnation and inflation.” Rouhani also highlighted the Iranian negotiating team’s progress in the P5+1 nuclear talks, claiming: “So far, we have obtained very good success...”

J. Matthew McInnis discusses Iran's efforts to establish a new framework for its national security strategy, and the regime's efforts to finesse the issue of IAEA inspections of Iran's military sites in his most recent blog post, "Did Iran's leaders just admit they are intellectually bankrupt?"

Official Statements

  • Khamenei meets with Iraqi PM. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi on June 17 in Tehran. Khamenei stressed the importance of maintaining the political and national unity of Iraq and praised the courage of Iraqi youth in fighting terrorists, stating: "The great capacities of the volunteer forces will be efficient and influential for the future progress of Iraq in different arenas." The Supreme Leader reassured Abadi that the terrorists would be rooted out of Iraq, adding:
    • "The great capacity of the volunteer forces is a reliable source of support in different arenas and extends beyond the arena of war."
    • “The past experiences of the Iraqi people regarding English colonialism and their present experience with American imperialism shows that the ill-wishers of the people of Iraq have never welcomed the emergence of a great popular force on the scene. Therefore, this popular investment should be protected."
    • "We should stand up against this [U.S.] plot and fitna [sedition] in an intelligent and careful way and we should not allow the unity of Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Arabs to be undermined in your country.”
    • "The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the unity of revolutionary fighters in Iraq. It is necessary for the people and officials of Iraq to be careful about foreign attempt to create discord…”
    • "On the one hand, the Americans are after looting the wealth of Iraq as they did so in some Arab countries in the region and on the other hand, they are trying to impose their demands the way they did so in the past. But they should not be allowed to achieve their goal."
    • Abadi expressed gratitude to the Supreme Leader: “Iran's constant support of Iraq and the close cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq shows the depth of the relations between the two countries.” (

  • Rouhani praises “successes” in nuclear negotiations. At a cabinet meeting on June 17, President Hassan Rouhani stressed “the government’s firm adherence to the guidelines of the Supreme Leader.” He stated, “We will be better-prepared for the path to prosperity; our nation should know well that the problem of sanctions will not inhibit our growth and development; it is possible the sanctions may be the cause of our moving slower, but under the conditions of sanctions, the government… succeeded against stagnation and inflation.” Regarding the nuclear negotiations, Rouhani stated, “So far, we have obtained very good success...” (


Military and Security

  • 34th Fleet departs Muscat for Indian Ocean as part of patrolling mission. The 34th Artesh Navy fleet has been conducting an anti-piracy campaign since April 8 to protect the country’s ships in the Indian Ocean, the Sea of Oman, and the Gulf of Aden. (Fars News Agency) (E)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Abdollahian speaks with the Saudi Foreign Minister on sidelines of OIC. Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al Jubeir on the sidelines of an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting addressing the situation in Yemen. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs said that any military approach is "unconstructive." In addition, he stated that "All will benefit from a constructive political approach..." Al Jubeir also addressed the need for dialogue and collective cooperation among regional countries. (Press TV) (E)


  • Ayatollah Shahroudi holds talks with PM Abadi.  Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi on June 17 in Tehran. The two discussed recent developments in Iraq and the region. (Tasnim News Agency)


Domestic Politics

  • Zarif writes piece on confronting extremism in the Harvard International Review. On Wednesday, the Harvard International Review journal published a piece by Mohammad Javad Zarif. The Foreign Minister supported a recent message by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling upon younger generations to understand the motives behind the vilification of Islam. Furthermore, Zarif referred to the recent growth of extremism, noting "There is consensus that violent extremists benefited from the chaos created in post-2003 Iraq." (Press TV) (E)


  • Khamenei appoints board of trustees for Imam Sadegh University. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced the appointment of 11 members of the board of trustees at Imam Sadegh University, located in Tehran. The appointees include Judiciary Chief Sadeqh Amoli Larijani, Assembly of Experts members Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda and Ayatollah Bagheri Kani, and Imam Sadeqh University professor Ali Rezaeian. (Raja News)


Nuclear Talks

  • Araghchi: PMD allegations are false. Before leaving for Vienna to resume talks with the P5+1, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated in an interview with state TV, “Iran wants to be exonerated from [allegations of  ‘possible military dimensions’ or PMD, to its nuclear program]; it should become clear that the PMD cases have been false….” Secretary of State John Kerry commented on Tuesday that P5+1 members are “not fixated” on the PMD issue, but rather are concentrating on Iran’s future activities. (Fars News Agency) (E)


  • Jazayeri: Iran will not let America cross our “military red lines.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri praised the history of Iran’s resistance against “hostile pressure” from America and the West. The Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy noted that this resistance means that Iran will never allow the United States and its allies to dictate Iran’s national interest or access “prohibited areas” such as its military sites. (YJC)


  • The Central Bank of Iran seeks closer economic ties with Germany. Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Chief Valiollah Seif stated that the CBI is prepared to meet with its German counterparts to discuss the prospect of mutual cooperation. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
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