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: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that negotiations began after the U.S. sent a “middle-man” to him to say that it wanted to recognize Iran as a nuclear power and lift all sanctions within six months. He highlighted immediate lifting of economic sanctions and the continuation of research and development during the time period limiting enrichment as his red lines for a final nuclear deal.
In a speech to government employees on June 23, Supreme Leader Khamenei highlighted four key red lines for a final nuclear agreement. The first was that Iran would not accept a “long-term limitation [on enrichment] of 10-12 years;” the second, that there will be no limitations “on [nuclear] research, development, and construction” during the period limiting enrichment; third, that U.N. Security Council, Congress, and U.S. government economic sanctions must be removed “immediately after the signing of the agreement;” fourth, that there will be no inspections of military sites, interviews with Iranian scientists, or other “unconventional” inspections. Khamenei also spoke on the ‘resistance economy’ model. He stated that self-reliance in the resistance economy “does not mean isolationism, but rather a reliance on internal capacities and capabilities, with a view to the outside.”
Iranian lawmakers passed a resolution that requires any nuclear agreement to remove all sanctions the day a final agreement is reached, ban access to military facilities, and not contain limits on nuclear research. The Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht claimed that Parliament lacked the constitutional authority to intervene on the nuclear issue.
Fourteen Sunni tribal leaders traveled to Tehran in order to request military assistance from the Iranian government. Iranian officials reportedly agreed to supply them with weapons and economic aid.
Parliament agreed to vote Wednesday whether to impeach Education Minister Ali Asghar Fani.
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?"
Supreme Leader highlights research and development during discussion of red lines. In a speech on June 23, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed red lines in the nuclear deal, the negotiations, and the resistance economy. He stated,
- On his red lines: Khamenei outlined four red lines for a final nuclear deal. He stated that the first was that “We will not accept a long-term limitation [on enrichment] of 10-12 years and we have told them a smaller amount of years would be acceptable.” He stated that the second red line is that there will be no limitations on “[nuclear] research, development, and construction” during the period limiting enrichment. The third red line is that the removal of economic sanctions, whether by the U.N. Security Council, Congress, or the U.S. government, must be removed “immediately after the signing of the agreement” and that all remaining sanctions must be removed after a “reasonable time.” The fourth red line is no inspections of military sites, interviews with “Iranian individuals” [scientists], or “unconventional” inspections.
- On the negotiations: “The topic of negotiations with America is related to the previous administration and is related to the sending of middlemen to Tehran in order to request talks. At that time, one man came to me as middle man and said that America had requested that he come to Tehran and propose the requests of the Americans for the negotiations. The Americans had told this middle man we want to recognize Iran as a nuclear power and solve the nuclear issue and lift all sanctions in the span of six months. Of course I told this middle man that I do not trust Americans and their words but by sending this man, I decided to test this problem one more time and the negotiations began.”
- “In the course of the negotiations, the Americans had changed the six months which had been promised for the removal of sanctions to one year; the Americans extended the talks and even threatened to add even more sanctions…”
- On the U.S. demands: “Reading the demands of the Americans shows that their goal is the complete upheaval of Iran’s nuclear industry, the destruction of the nuclear goals of the country, and changing Iran’s nuclear program into a meaningless picture.”
- “In addition to trying to destroy the nuclear industry and depriving Iranians of the various benefits of this industry, [the Americans] intend to keep the pressure and the sanctions [on Iran] in one way or another.”
- “If the Americans are able to achieve their goals, they will have achieved a great victory because they have made the freedom-loving nation of Iran surrender and they will have defeated a country that could have other a model for other countries and all of their bargaining is for achieving this very goal.”
- On the resistance economy: “In recent years, officials have done good work at their own levels and abilities; however, the issue of the resistance economy must be followed and fulfilled using all of the powers and capacities of the country.”
- “Stressing that…the focal point of the resistance economy model is [self-reliance] [daroonzaei, lit. “endogeneity”] and an internally-oriented viewpoint,” Khamenei stated: “This [self-reliance] does not mean isolationism, but rather a reliance on internal capacities and capabilities, with a view to the outside.”
- “Stressing that the development of policies of the resistance economy is the product of collective wisdom and long consultations,” the Supreme Leader stated: “After the [government]’s] [transmission] of these policies, many economic experts have confirmed it, and now, the resistance economy is entering into the mainstream economic literature and culture of the country.”
- The “…outdated [economic] model is based on looking to the outside; the economic resistance model, however, is a progressive model and relies on internal capabilities.”
- “It is possible some think in this way- [namely,] that the economic resistance model is the optimal model; however, it is not possible to realize [an optimal economic model]; …I categorically say that in the country’s current situation and considering existing capacities, the implementation of the resistance economy model in the country’s current situation is completely possible.” (Khamenei.ir) http://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=30041
Zarif: Failure in achieving final deal not "the end of the world." Mohammad Javad Zarif told The New Yorker that if the nuclear talks do not produce a final deal, "it won't be the end of the world." The Foreign Minster added that a failed deal is worse for the U.S., which would "have lost a major opportunity, probably unique." For Iran, Zarif stated, “It’s not about nationalism or chauvinism. It’s simply about having a historical depth.” (Press TV) (E) http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/06/23/417154/Iran-nuclear-talks-Foreign-Minister-Mohammad-Javad-Zarif
Hamedani: “Syria is Iran’s strategic depth.” Commenting on the progress of the Islamic Revolution, IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani claimed that “the Islamic Revolution is developing; we must find and observe its affects.” The Advisor to the Commander of the IRGC added that “Events in Sudan, Egypt, Africa, Libya, Turkey and others need to be evaluated in order to see the development of their respective nations and the Islamic Revolution…” Regarding the Syrian conflict, Hamedani noted that “the enemy is targeting Syria” in order to damage Iran’s influence in the region. (Basij Press) http://basijpress.ir/fa/news-details/49337/
Golpayegani underscores collapse of ISIS. The Supreme Leader's Chief of Staff Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani told reporters in Tehran that "ISIS is failing, collapsing, and being annihilated." (IRNA) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940401000592
- Velayati: Upcoming trilateral meeting with Iraq and Syria will be a milestone. While meeting with Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al Shaar, the Supreme Leader’s Foreign Policy Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati stated, “an important development” will occur in the relations between Iran, Syria, and Iraq. On Monday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani announced that the “three countries, which are alongside one another in the ‘resistance front against Israel,’ and are fighting terrorism, violence, and extremism,” will attend the meeting. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/779013
- Velayati praised Kurdish effort against ISIS. Speaking on the sidelines of his meeting with al Shaar, Velayati stated, “We see that the Kurds have stepped onto the scene and are fighting against the ISIL; and they will finally win.” (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940402000638
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Ashtari: The LEF is ready to assist Syrian security forces. During a meeting with Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al Shaar, Hossein Ashtari announced that Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) are prepared to increase cooperation with Syria. The LEF Commander noted that "given the capabilities of Iran's police, especially in fighting organized crimes, combating terrorism, and scientific investigation for discovering crimes in the real world and cyberspace, we are ready for any kind of cooperation with Syria including training and exchanging experience.” (ABNA) (E) http://en.abna24.com/service/iran/archive/2015/06/23/696897/story.html
Iraq tribal leaders visit Iran. A 14 member delegation of Sunni tribal leaders visited Iran to seek assistance in the fight against ISIS. The delegation reportedly requested weapons and equipment from the Iranian government. Al Sumaria News quoted one tribal leader as saying "the Iranian side underlined support for the Iraqi tribal leaders and promised to supply them with the financial and economic aid and arms through the central government.” (Fars News Agency) (E) http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940402000527
Danaeifar: Tehran will continue to support Iraq and its fight against ISIS. Hassan Danaeifar discussed security cooperation with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al Jabouri during a meeting in Baghdad on June 22. The Ambassador to Iraq reiterated that Tehran will not stop supporting Iraq until the eradication of terrorists. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/778847
- Abdollahian supporting the U.N. efforts to resolve Yemen crisis. Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated on Monday that Iran supports U.N. efforts to mediate a resolution on Yemen. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs added that the crisis could only be solved through political negotiation and dialogue, rather than airstrikes. (ABNA) (E) http://en.abna24.com/service/iran/archive/2015/06/22/696738/story.html
Nobakht: Parliament’s resolution is unconstitutional. The Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht claimed that Parliament’s resolution changing the nuclear framework conflicts with Article 176 of the constitution. Under Article 176, only the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has the authority to coordinate security policy. Nobakht stated that “this issue is not delegated to either the legislative or the executive branches of government.” (IRNA) http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81656583/
Parliament to vote on impeachment of Education Minister Wednesday. According to parliamentarian Mohammad Hossein Farhangi, a number of legislators have drawn up a petition to impeach Education Minister Ali Asghar Fani on Wednesday for failing to convince the lawmakers about his performance as minister. The petition accuses Fani of being unable “to attract the administration’s attention to the importance of education and training." The constitution allows Parliament to impeach a minister when they deem it necessary. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/779444
Conservative members of Parliament oppose impeachment of Education Minister. Several lawmakers from the Principalist faction, including Tehrani Parliamentarian Elias Naderan, strongly opposed impeaching Education Minister Ali Ashgar Fani. They contend that “mismanagement is not the problem with the Education Ministry.” Mashhad Parliamentarian Amir Hossein Ghazi Zadeh Hashemi told reporters that “in the current [political] conditions, impeaching the Education Minister is not the priority.” (IRNA) http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81657149/
- Parliament passes resolution on nuclear agreement. Iranian lawmakers approved a plan aimed at “preserving Iran’s nuclear rights and achievements.” The law requires any final deal to include “the immediate and complete lifting of sanctions,” and must not require inspections of military sites, interviews with nuclear scientists, or any limitations on nuclear research and development. Parliament passed the bill with 213 votes in favor, 10 against, and 6 abstentions. (Mehr News) (E) http://en.mehrnews.com/news/108119/Parl-passes-nuclear-bill
Nuclear talks continue in Vienna. Expert-level nuclear talks continued Tuesday in Vienna, Austria. (YJC) http://www.yjc.ir/fa/news/5241550/%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B2%D9%86%DB%8C%E2%80%8C-%D9%87%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%87%E2%80%8C%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D8%B7%D8%AD-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B4%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86
- Larijani urges the P5+1 to be bound to the primary agreements reached in the nuclear talks. Ali Larijani stated that the P5+1 members should be bound to the previously accepted agreements, and that the excessive demands by the P5+1 could sabotage the process of the nuclear talks. The Parliament Speaker continued by stating that the country will not give up its right for peaceful use of nuclear energy. (IRNA) http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/81642427/
- Velayati: Nuclear agreement must be approved by Parliament before implementation. Ali Akbar Velayati stated on the sidelines of a meeting with the Syrian Interior Minister that Parliament must approve any nuclear agreement before its implementation, including instances of Iran joining any protocols. In addition, the Supreme Leader's Foreign Policy Advisor expressed his support for continuing talks and hopes to expand on Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities without limitations. (Mehr News) (E) (Mehr News) http://en.mehrnews.com/news/108127/Parl-must-approve-Iran-s-signing-to-any-protocol http://mehrnews.com/news/2785431/%D9%BE%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%86-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%B1-%D9%BE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AA%DA%A9%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%B5%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%A8-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%A