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: Senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi stated that the nuclear negotiations' progress “is not what we expected.” Officials from Iran, Iraq, and Syria will hold a trilateral meeting in Baghdad in the near future.  

Prior to traveling to Luxemburg to meet with representatives from the P5+1, International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated that progress in the nuclear negotiations thus far “is not what we expected.” He also stated that the June 30 deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement “is not final for us,” and indicated that Iran would “talk for a few more days” if necessary.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced that a trilateral meeting between Iran, Syria, and Iraq will occur in Baghdad in the near future. Fazli said that a central topic of the meeting will be the “continued ‘resistance front against Israel.'” 

Following the Artesh Navy 34th Fleet’s recent return to Bandar Abbas, the Artesh Navy 35th Fleet departed Iran on June 22. The Artesh Navy 35th Fleet, composed of support ship Bandar Abbas and destroyer Alvand, will purportedly travel to the Gulf of Aden, the Bab el Mandeb Strait, and the Red Sea, among other destinations.

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis discusses Iran’s efforts to establish a new framework for its national security strategy, and the regime’s attempts 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

  • Zarif: “Differences remain in nuclear talks.” After arriving in Luxembourg for meetings with members of the P5+1, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that “all negotiating teams are refraining from the claims and posturing made outside of the international framework, so that a good deal can be possible.”  Zarif added that he will discuss the crisis in Yemen and the situation in Syria during his meetings today with his French, German, and British counterparts. (IRIB)

  • Fazli: Muslim countries have a duty to fight terrorism. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli met with his Syrian counterpart, Major General Mohammad Ibrahim al Sha'ar, in Tehran to discuss security matters. In addition, Fazli emphasized that all Muslim countries in the region have a duty to fight terrorism by maintaining unity and coherence. Furthermore, Fazli and Sha’ar signed a security accord during the meeting to enhance cooperation against ISIS. (Press TV) (E)

  • Araghchi: “Deadline is not final for us.” International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi spoke to reporters about the progress of the nuclear negotiations before leaving for Luxembourg today. Araghchi claimed that the progress made so far “is not what we had expected.” He reiterated that the June 30 deadline to reach a final agreement “is not final for us;” he stated that “…if it is necessary for us to talk for a few more days, we will do so.” He stressed that his priority is “coming to an agreement that will be acceptable to the Iranian people…and in which sanctions will be removed and Iran’s nuclear program will continue to grow and expand.” (Tabnak)

Military and Security

  • Esbati: “The National Information Network must be implemented.” Brig. Gen. Behrouz Esbati discussed cyber security, censorship, and the implementation of the “National Information Network,” commonly known as the National Internet, during an interview with Defa Press. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Cyber Base Commander praised the Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) as being a good model for formulating cyber and internet policy. Esbati contended, however, that the infighting between the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and the SCC was detrimental to the actual execution of cyberspace policy. (Defa Press)

  • Pourdastan: “Adversaries do not even dare to get near Iran’s borders.” During a cultural ceremony on Sunday, Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan warned enemies that the country has “prepared armed forces” to protect against possible military attacks. Pourdastan was likely looking to retract his May 24 comments in which he stated that “terrorist and takfiri [heretic] forces are near our borders.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

  • Security forces disband Ansar al Forqan terrorist group in southeastern Iran. Security forces in conjunction with the IRGC “destroyed the Ansar al Forqan terrorist group in Qasr Qand and Sarbaz, Sistan va Baluchistan province.”  Fars News reported that the group “was linked to” the Jaish al Adl and al Nusra Front terrorist organizations, and was formed in December 2013 in Sistan va Baluchistan province. (Fars News Agency) (E)

  • Esmaili: Top priority is defending the airspace. On Monday, Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili spoke on the sidelines of a meeting in Isfahan. The Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base Commander claimed that despite international sanctions, Iran has the capability to control its airspace. (Defa Press)

  • 35th Fleet to travel to Gulf of Aden and Bab el Mandeb Strait. The Artesh Navy 35th Fleet, composed of support ship Bandar Abbas and destroyer Alvand, departed Iran on June 22 following the return of the Artesh Navy 34th Fleet to Bandar Abbas. The Artesh Navy 35thFleet will purportedly travel to the Gulf of Aden, the Bab el Mandeb Strait, and the Red Sea. (Press TV) (E) 

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Trilateral meeting between Iran, Syria, and Iraq to occur in Baghdad. On Monday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced during a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Major General Mohammad Ibrahim al Sha'ar that a meeting of officials from Iran, Iraq, and Syria will occur in the near future in Baghdad. The officials will discuss counter-terrorism measures as well as the continued "resistance front against Israel," and will hopefully be a prelude to holding a session of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

  • Iran and Russia discuss withdrawal of S-300 lawsuit. Iran and Russia “are negotiating” the “cancellation” of the former’s 2011 $4 billion lawsuit against Russia. Iran filed a lawsuit against Russia when former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev refused to uphold a 2007 contract to deliver five S-300 air defense systems.  In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on their delivery. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)

  • Abdollahian held phone call with Russian counterpart. On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov. The two voiced support of the current Geneva talks on Yemen, while underlining the necessity to immediately end military operations within the country. In addition, Abdollahian urged for international action in stopping the spread of terrorism in Syria and Libya. (Fars News Agency) (E)

Nuclear Talks

  • Zarif travels to Luxembourg for nuclear talks.Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Luxembourg today to meet with E.U. Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi will join Zarif in Luxembourg. (Mehr News) (E)

  • Rouhani and Larijani discuss nuclear talks. At a joint Parliament-Cabinet meeting, President Hassan Rouhani stated, “This important work [of the nuclear negotiations] has and will progress within the framework of the guidelines of the Supreme Leader, the Supreme National Security Council, and the Constitution.” Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “I hope Iran’s nuclear talks with the P5+1 arrive at a desirable result; we must all try to support the foreign minister and the negotiating team.”  (

Domestic Politics

  • Ahmadinejad failed to appear at Judiciary hearings. Chairman of the Article 90 Parliamentary Commission Mohammad Ali Purmokhtar stated the Judiciary has summoned former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a number of occasions to hearings related to the previous [2008-2012] “Parliament’s complaints against the former president.” The Parliament’s complaints included Ahmadinejad’s “failure to submit a statute of the Oil Ministry to the Parliament” and as well as his “failure to pay the Metro’s budget despite Parliament’s approval.” Ahmadinejad has failed to appear at any of the hearings. (Tabnak)

  • Qalibaf criticizes Rouhani administration’s “inaction and mismanagement.” During a memorial service for Iranian scientist and former Defense Minister Mostafa Chamran, Mayor of Tehran and former presidential candidate Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf stated, “…today, we suffer more from inaction and mismanagement than pressure from the enemy.” (Mashregh News) 


  • Larijani highlights commercial class’s relationship to the Islamic Revolution. Speaking at the National Conference on Trade, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that, “The ‘bazaar’ [term broadly referring to Iran’s commercial class] has never been separated from the [Islamic] Revolution and the clergy, and has been a major supporter of the [Islamic] Revolution; however, unfortunately, left currents [in the bazaar] have tried to ignite distrust.” He also stated that, “In our country, especially in the last three decades, leftist currents were formed which deepened the conflict between the nation and the bazaar; with Marxist theories, they tried to ignite conflicts.” (Mehr News)

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