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 and Marie Donovan, with contributor Ryan Melvin.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 pledged Iran’s continued support for Syria, while Tehran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Hossein Danaeifar denied a report claiming 15 Iranian advisors were killed on June 1 in Iraq.
President Rouhani expressed the Islamic Republic’s vow to defend the government and people of Syria, highlighting Tehran’s unwavering support amid deteriorating circumstances for the Syrian regime. Rouhani stated: “Since the beginning of the conspiracy against the government and people of Syria, Tehran has not forgotten [and will never forget] its moral and humanitarian duty to the Syrian people…”
Iranian Ambassador Hossein Danaeifar, meanwhile, denied a BBC Persian report claiming that an ISIS suicide attack killed 15 Iranian military advisors north of Fallujah.
AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis discussed the fall of Ramadi, increasing pressure on Bashar’s al Assad’s Syrian regime, and the ongoing conflict in Yemen in his most recent blog “Iran doubles down in the fight for the Middle East.”
Salami: the enemy only understands the “logic of power.” At the opening ceremony of a cultural center “in commemoration” of several IRGC members killed in a November 2011 blast at an IRGC base, including IRGC Maj. Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, Deputy IRGC Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated, “…Tehrani Moghaddam…knew that they… [the Westerners] only respect the logic of power and not the power of logic.” Salami also reiterated that “the era of bullying and coercion against Iran is over.” Salami also stated, “America must understand that its power is declining, and the country of Iran has decided that it [will] defend its dignity, independence, freedom, and credibility to the end.” (Sepah News) (Fars News Agency)
Rezaei denies rumors of transition to AFGS. In response to rumors of Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei’s “appointment to the Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters,” Rezaei’s official website published a statement denying a “transition to the Armed Forces.” The statement emphasized Rezaei’s earlier claims that he wants to offer up his services and experiences. (Rezaee.ir)
Shamkhani: Syria is the front line of defense for Muslim lands. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with Syrian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Jihad al Laham in Tehran:
- On Syria: "Syria is the front line of defending Muslim lands against the Zionist regime" and the increase of "uncontrollable" terrorism. The only way to confront the terrorism is by "dialogue and cooperation between Islamic countries..."
On the West: "America and [its] regional allies are formally and publically...training and equipping terrorists." Shamkhani also stated that if the West is creating regional crises “to provide security for the Zionist regime, the [West] is certainly making an irreversible miscalculation." (YJC)
- Firouzabadi: we will destroy ISIS if it comes within 40 kilometers of our borders. Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi stated, “…ISIL is no threat to us, and we are determined to annihilate it if ever ISIL’s footprints span to [the] area 40km…from our borders.” Firouzabadi also indicated that earlier comments from Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan regarding ISIS presence and Iran’s borders had been misinterpreted, and stated: “We never had ISIS at our borders.” [On May 24, Pourdastan stated: “The terrorist and takfiri [heretic] forces are near our borders. It was at this time last year that the Armed Forces General Staff announced to us that there are terrorists in Jalawla and Saadia, and their next step was Khanaqin, that they wanted to come to our country.”] (Sepah News)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Rouhani: Iran will continue to support the Syrian nation. President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Tehran’s commitment to supporting the government of Damascus in a meeting with Syrian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Jihad al Laham on June 2. Rouhani criticized “certain regional countries” for using terrorists as part of a strategy to destabilize Syria, stating:
- “Thankfully… after four years of resistance and struggle the enemies of Syria have come to realize that their dreams of gaining dominance over Damascus in just a few months were hollow ones.”
- “Since the beginning of the conspiracy against the government and people of Syria, Tehran has not forgotten [and will never forget] its moral and humanitarian duty to the Syrian people…” (President.ir)
Velayati warns the U.S. and its allies that the resistance movement will continue. Ali Akbar Velayati also met with the Syrian Parliament Speaker on June 1 in Tehran. The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor criticized the U.S. for exacerbating the ongoing Syrian crisis, claiming: “America… [and its regional allies] plan to break the chain of resistance [forces in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine] and prepare a safe environment for the Zionist [Israeli] regime, which is a dream that will never be fulfilled.” (Tasnim News Agency)
Ambassador to Iraq denies BBC report stating fifteen Iranians killed in Iraq. Hossein Danaeifar denied a BBC Persian report that 15 Iranian forces were killed by an ISIS suicide attack on a Federal Police Base between Fallujah and Samarra in al Anbar province. Deputy Interior Security Minister Hossein Zolfaqari further elaborated and stated the report was "unconfirmed" and based on what they "track through our embassy...is not true." (ABNA)
EU Parliamentary delegation travels to Iran. EU Parliamentarians are scheduled to arrive in Tehran, on June 6, to meet with senior Iranian officials and promote enhanced EU-Iran relations. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- Memorandum of Understanding signed with India. On the sidelines of the World Forum of Central Securities Depositories (WFC), the Central Securities Depository of Iran (CSDI) and the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) "on cooperation between the two countries' capital markets." (Kayhan) (E)
Military and Security
Security preparations underway for celebrations of the anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s death. IRGC Hazrat-e Mohammad Rasoul Allah Unit (Greater Tehran) Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini stated, “A group of Yemeni people and veterans, including special guests” will attend ceremonies commemorating the June 3 anniversary of the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Kazemeini stated that “arrangements” have been made to ensure the borders are “strictly controlled.” Kazemeini also stated the goal is to prevent the “infiltration of terrorists into the country.” (Tabnak) (Defa Press)
- Firouzabadi: the Supreme Leader shielded the Artesh from dissolution. Ahead of the June 3 anniversary of the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi stated, “At the beginning of the victory of the [Islamic] Revolution, Imam [Khomeini] ordered the formation of the IRGC in order to protect the achievements of the Islamic Revolution; and, against those who chanted for the dissolution of the Artesh, defended the Artesh and kept it.” (Defa Press)
- Rosatom plans to build second nuclear facility in Bushehr. Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation announced that it will help the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) construct the second nuclear power plant in Bushehr province. Rosatom and the AEOI reached an agreement in March 2014 to construct “at least two more” nuclear power plants in Bushehr. (Fars News Agency) (E)
- Chinese trade delegation seeks investment opportunities in Iran. A group of senior Chinese economic officials arrived in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on June 1 to discuss potential economic agreements between Tehran and Beijing. (Press TV) (E)