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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton with contributors Ken Hawrey and Shayan Enferadi. 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 urged the Judiciary to investigate instances of Iran’s “violated rights in connection to sanctions,” including the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling permitting the seizure of $2 billion in Iranian frozen assets.
Khamenei met with Judiciary officials including Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani on June 29. He denounced the Supreme Court ruling as “based on illusionary pretenses and baseless charges” and stated that Iran’s “violated rights… must be investigated by the Judiciary on the international stage.” President Hassan Rouhani announced in mid-June that Iran filed a complaint against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice over the asset seizure.
A member of the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade who died in Syria was buried in the northern province of Alborz.
- Marie Donovan discusses how the Supreme Leader’s appointment of IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri as head of the Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) may signal Khamenei’s intention to give the AFGS a more significant role in coordinating the armed forces’ increasing joint activities abroad in “Supreme Leader signals possible enhanced role for Armed Forces General Staff.”
- Matthew McInnis analyzes Iran’s prospects for success in its regional conflicts in “How the Middle East looks to Iran one year after the deal.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Khamenei urges Judiciary to pursue U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani and other Judiciary officials on June 29. Khamenei criticized the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling permitting the seizure of $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets as “based on illusionary pretenses and baseless charges” and stated, “The denial of the Iranian nation’s rights due to sanctions must be investigated by the Judiciary on the international stage.”
- Khamenei also also emphasized “the healthiness of the Judiciary” and vowed that corruption will be treated “seriously and decisively.” His remark is likely in response to recent criticism of the Judiciary by Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, a former parliament speaker and the current head of the Supreme Leader’s inspection office. Nategh Nouri had alluded to the issue of bribes in the Judiciary and questioned the Islamic values of the Judiciary itself during his remarks. (Asr Iran) (Ana)
- Rouhani orders executives of four banks to be fired over salary scandal. An “informed source” stated that Economy and Finance Minister Ali Tayyebnia fired the heads of four public banks -- Mellat, Saderat, Refah, and Mehr Iran -- following an order from President Hassan Rouhani. They were fired in connection to an ongoing scandal in which leaks revealed that certain government employees have been receiving benefits including exorbitant salaries far above the legal cap. The source stated that more information on Tayyebnia’s changes will be released next week. Some outlets reported that the head of Bank Saderat resigned, but state-run news outlet IRNA reported that he was instead fired alongside the heads of the other three banks. (IRNA) (IRNA) (Asr Iran)
Military and Security
- Former government official: New AFGS head’s appointment means new threats will take priority. Mehdi Mohammadi, a former deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and a former politics editor of the hardline newspaper Kayhan, discussed the significance of IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri’s appointment as the new Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) chief. Mohammadi wrote that “while fundamental procedures will not change,” Bagheri’s appointment nonetheless signals that “new threats, including the cyber threat, will be given priority” in the AFGS. He added that external operations including those of the IRGC Quds Force will be “pursued more forcefully” in addition to intelligence operations. Mohammadi first made the comments in a Telegram post, which were later re-published by news outlet Alef. (Alef)
Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base commander: Iran to unveil new missile system by March 2017. Khatam ol Anbia Air Defense Base Commander Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili stated during a press conference that Iran will unveil a new missile system by the end of the Persian year (March 2017). Esmaili added that “the new missile system will be demonstrated for any enemy that shows its claws and teeth to [Iran].” (Defa Press) (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- IRGC releases statement on Quds Day. The IRGC called Palestine the most important issue facing the Muslim world and reiterated that Israel is the region’s and the world’s foremost enemy in a statement released June 30. The statement called upon all Iranians to participate in Quds Day on July 1 to show support for Palestine. (Sepah News)
Casualties in Iraq and Syria
- Afghan Shia militia member killed in Syria. Afghan national Hakim Azizi, who was a member of the Fatimiyoun Brigade, was killed in Syria by “takfiris.” He was buried in Alborz province on June 30. (Fars News Agency)