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: The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) reiterated the Supreme Leader’s red line on IAEA-led inspections of Iranian military sites, ahead of tomorrow’s P5+1 nuclear negotiations.
AEOI Deputy Head Asghar Zare’an stressed Iran’s determination to safeguard national security, stating that access to Iranian nuclear sites will be “managed” in order to prevent IAEA inspectors from visiting “any place and anything” that could “endanger the country's national security and sovereignty power.” Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, meanwhile, traveled to Vienna Austria for a fresh round of deputy and expert level nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. The Supreme Leader’s insistence that military site inspections and access to Iranian nuclear scientists are red lines continues to be the focal point of negotiations.
AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis shed light on Iranian grandstanding on redlines and how the leadership is coming to terms with the concessions needed to reach a nuclear deal in his most recent blog “Iran in knots over inspections, interrogations, and Western spies.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Abdollahian: Iran prepared to dispatch aid in coordination with ICRC. Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Iran is prepared to provide the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with humanitarian aid and facilities. Abdollahian added: "It is unacceptable that wounded Yemeni [civilians]… are deprived of the right to access medical aid…” (Fars News Agency) (E)
Nasrallah praises revered Iranian Grand Ayatollah. Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech to commemorate the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Bahjat, a highly revered Shi’a scholar at the Seminary of Qom, Iran. Nasrallah praised Grand Ayatollah Bahjat for his great wisdom and scholarly work. Nasrallah also said that Iran’s Islamic Revolution “opened unprecedented doors for Muslim youth.” (Alef)
Zarif to attend security summit Thursday in Moscow. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit on June 4 in Moscow. Iran has been an observer member of the SCO since 2005, and is in the process of applying for full membership. Notably, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that one condition of membership is ensuring that "…the applicant is not under UN sanctions." (Tabnak)
Oil Minister to meet with the President of Russian Lukoil. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh will meet with Vagit Alekperov, the President of the Russian "energy giant” Lukoil on the sidelines of Friday's 167th Ordinary OPEC Meeting in Vienna. (IRNA) (E)
IRGC issues statement ahead of anniversary of Khomeini’s death. The IRGC issued a statement ahead of the June 4 anniversary of the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and June 5 anniversary of the 1963 demonstrations protesting Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s arrest of Khomeini. The statement partially reads: “Heirs to the school of Khomeini the Great will make a hard, hellish, and overwhelming response to the adventurers in the field of military threats [the West].” (Defa Press)
- Zarif: Returning to the ideas of Imam Khomeini can yield tolerance. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed the 9th Conference of Imam Khomeini and Foreign Policy that the violence in the world requires a return to the "…thoughts and ideas of such great peace-seekers as...Imam Khomeini." Zarif also stated at the conference, which occurred two days before the anniversary of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s death, that the ideas of "…Imam Khomeini can yield the most informative lessons of tolerance and rejection of violence for every individual." (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- Larijani: “The ‘resistance economy’ is the only key to development.” Following a joint session of the governor and parliamentary members of East Azerbaijan province, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “The ‘resistance economy’ is the only key to the development of the country.” He also said, “In the current situation wherein there are a large number of half-finished projects, there must be suitable planning for the transfer of these projects to the private sector.” (Mashregh News) (Fars News Agency)
Nuclear talks set to resume tomorrow. International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi and European and American Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi will lead the Iranian delegation in the P5+1 negotiations on June 4 in Vienna Austria. (YJC)
- AEOI: Iran only permits “managed access” to nuclear sites. Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Asghar Zare’an stated: “All accesses to the nuclear centers are managed, and it will not be so that they [IAEA inspectors] visit any place and anything and endanger the country's national security and sovereignty power.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
Military and Security
- Esmaili: we are prepared for “all forms of air threats” against nuclear facilities. Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili stated, “Through tactical development, this base [Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base] observes…all intrusive passages, and has withdrawn the possibility of any encroachment by the enemy.” The Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base Commander also stated, “In the defense of the country’s nuclear facilities…. by God’s grace we have prepared completely against all forms of air threats.” (Defa Press)