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 the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. 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
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini neither confirmed nor denied the presence of IRGC Quds Force in Iraq and rejected cooperation with the U.S.:
- “I do not deny this matter and of course do not confirm it, because I am not in a position to do so. But we are implementing [existing] agreements between Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq [that are] within the legal international framework.”
- “If the Iraqi government formally requests aid from us, we will not hesitate and will aid our neighboring country within the legal international framework.”
- “The Americans want to be in Iraq next to Iran at any cost. As Iran is aware of the White House’s behind-the-scene plan, it will never be placed next to America.”
- “Western powers, with the aid of Saudi Arabia and some regional countries, have and are providing material and financial support to terrorist groups in Syria. The White House is presently seeking to use ISIL against a weak government in Iraq so it can continuously take concessions from them.”
The ambassadors of Iraq and Syria to Iran Mohammad Majid al Sheikh and Adnan Mahmoud held a joint press briefing in Tehran. Al Sheikh denied the presence of Qassem Suleimani in and discussed Iranian support of Iraq. He also discussed Iraqi cooperation with Russia and the U.S. and responded to King Faisal’s statements that Iraq should avoid hostility with Saudi Arabia:
- “Just as I said we do not need the arms, manpower, and financial support of any country. You yourselves said that your sources are the media, and I said these media outlets are mercenaries. Neither commander Suleimani, nor anyone else is present in Iraq. [The media] wants to create sedition between neighboring countries in the region, particularly between Iran and Iraq.”
- “Iran has a large role in supporting Iraq. Iranian officials have had many contacts with the embassy regarding the defense of holy shrines. The Iranian people are prepared to support the shrines.”
- “As you know, we have a long-term strategic agreement with America. Based on this agreement, we can request America’s aid in the case of any foreign invasion. It is on this basis that we have requested aid from America [and] nothing else. America has committed itself to providing this aid.”
- “Iraq has not asked for any country’s support. We only wanted to act based on agreements. We are prepared to cooperate with any country and have no limitations in this regard. We have cooperated with Russia, as well.”
- “The message of the senior clergy has a great role in the unity of the Iraqi nation. A large number of the Iraqi people are Shi’a and there is no difference between them and the minorities in this country. Iraq’s present situation is good and is improving.”
- The Special Representative of the Iran and Iraq Economic Expansion Headquarters in Khuzestan Province Ali Reza Sheikh Robat met with Iraqi local representatives and merchants in Chalamcheh and announced Khuzestan's preparedness to provide essential goods to the city of Basra.
Representative of the Supreme Leader in the Supreme National Security Council Said Jalili addressed the "Answer" gathering in Tehran and said that Iraqi unity will lead to the defeat of the "vicarious mercenaries":
- "Alongside force and deception, the Americans showed that they seek the most unjust concessions for themselves. They claimed to defend human rights, just as they exported weapons to Iraq's Baathist regime during the Imposed War [Iran-Iraq war] they seek to intensify their presence in the region again with the excuse of confronting [terrorists] by equipping [them]."
- "Their democracy is a lie. They seek to obstruct the strength of pure Islam by using various methods such as the  sedition and confronting democracy in Iraq. This is while the tactic of dividing Shi'a and Sunni and Arab and non-Arab has become shabby."
- "The unity that Shi'as and Sunnis and Kurds and Arabs will have in Iraq will impose such a blow to these vicarious mercenaries that they will be unable to think of such things any place else in the world."
- Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari and Artesh Commander Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi did not attend the “Answer” gathering in Tehran today on the account of a SNSC meeting. IRGC Hazrat-e Mohammad Rasulollah Unit (Greater Tehran) Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini gave an address at the event.
- According to Ahlul Bayt News Agency, thousands of members from the recently-formed “Sara Ya as-Salam” (SYS) brigades marched across Iraqi cities yesterday per the request of Sadrist Movement Leader Muqtada al Sadr as a show of strength against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). Sadr reportedly requested the formation of these brigades to protect Muslim and Christian religious sites. Members reportedly marched in the al Sadr suburb of Baghdad and the provinces of Najaf, Karbala, Misan, Kirkuk, Waset, Zi Qar, and al Muthani.
- Al Ahrar parliamentary faction member Hakem al Zameli claimed that the “Muqtada One” missiles, reportedly first unveiled on Saturday, are “one hundred percent made in Iraq” and that they are “absolutely not imported.”
- In Diyali province the Free faction related to the Sadrist Movement reportedly announced that more than 4,000 supporters of the movement have participated in SYS marches. The faction announced that all participants are fully prepared to defend holy sites.
- Head of the Imam Husayn Shrine Protection Section Fazel Awaz has reportedly announced that a second group of 400 volunteers have joined military forces in the fight against ISIL and that a third group from the shrine will be dispatched soon. Volunteers will receive ten days of military training and are between 17 and 80 years old.
- Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani reportedly announced that any Iraqi killed while defending the homeland is considered “a first-rate martyr.”
- An unnamed source reportedly told ABNA that Hojjat al Eslam Mohammad Bagher Sistani, the second son of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, is presently in Samarra alongside volunteers to defend Shi’s sites.
Senior Qom cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani issued a message to Iraq: “The invasion of ISIL and any group that opposes Muslims is an invasion of and attack against Islam. It is mandatory for Muslims to defend Islam with all [their] strength and means…Be certain that the victory of Muslims over Arrogant [Western] powers and the Zionist realm is guaranteed.”
- Qom Religious Seminary Teacher Society issued a public statement praising Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s fatwa urging Iraqi volunteers to take up arms against ISIS: “The terrorist and criminal acts by the takfiri group ISIS against the Iraqi people is taking place while the international community along with the self-proclaimed human rights advocates has remained completely silent.”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader in Kurdistan Province Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hosseini Shahroudi praised the Iraqi Sunni clergy’s affirmation of Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s call to jihad:
- “Just as the Supreme Leader emphasized Iraq does not need foreign aid to resolve its internal matters. The people of this country, by relying on God and unity, will expel seditions one after another.”
- “Ayatollah Sistani’s fatwa to confront terrorist groups and the awareness of Iraqi Sunni ulamas regarding this legal fatwa changed the equation in Iraq.”
- “Leader of Iraqi Sunnis and Sunni ulamas sagaciously announced that Ayatollah Sistani is the leader of all Muslims and not only the leader of Iraqi Shi’as, which prevented the expansion of sedition in Iraq.”
- Cultural Advisor to the IRGC Commander Hossein Saffar Harandi, addressing the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) Naval Industries Organization political seminar, called Iran a “super power” and praised Syria’s military industrial achievements during the conflict:
- “In the operational of Syria we saw that the enemies’ equipment, outwardly appearing to be miracle makers, were completely ineffective against the faith and self-believing capacities of the Syrian nation.”
- Saffar Harandi also criticized domestic advocates of aligning with super powers as the only way of achieving power and said: “The Iranian nation is a super power. If we take advantage of internal capacities, determined will, and strong faith the enemies will retreat every time we face them.”
- Artesh Navy Forces (ANF) Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Head of the ANF Jihad and Self-Sufficiency Organization Admiral 2C Ali Gholam Zadeh, and Science and Technology Deputy to the President Suirena Sattari discussed cooperation between naval forces and the administration:
- Sayyari raised the necessity to upgrade equipment and officer training programs for operations in the oceans and said “we must have heavier destroyers and battleships the more we seek to advance in open waters. We possess the capability to construct such battleships inside the country, but it requires the administration’s support.”
- Gholam Zadeh stated “We must advance with the world’s naval technologies, and this needs the support of the administration.”
- Sattari announced that the administration will support knowledge-based companies and the private sector to develop the navy.
- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi announced the completion of refueling the Bushehr nuclear facility and said that the plant will be integrated into the national power grid at full capacity within a few days.
- Salehi will travel to Moscow in August to finalize a deal regarding construction of new nuclear power plants in Iran. Russia also plans to build two new energy blocks for Bushehr by the end of the year.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed the Iraqi crises and said “What is happening is a foreign conspiracy to suppress a strong presence of the Muslim world in the regional and international arena… Islamic countries must be vigilant so the enemy cannot sow seeds of discord among them.”
- Zarif also addressed Iran’s Human Rights Headquarters and said “The West has narrowly focused on human rights in order to undermine [Iran’s] might.”
- Head of the Nuclear Industry Passive Defense and Crisis Management Committee Asqar Zarean announced the holding of a drill in Isfahan’s nuclear region tomorrow “with the goal of confronting potential measures by foreigners, radiation incidents, any critical and emergency situations, and potential penetration [aimed at] industrial and physical sabotage.” The Isfahan Governor’s office and 25 provincial bodies will participate in the exercise.
- The Tehran Stock Exchange is continuing its downward spiral reportedly in anticipation of fundamental transformations in political and economic conditions.
- Lebanese Hezbollah reportedly buried member Hossein Badi, killed in Syria “defending the Seyyed Zeynab shrine.”