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: IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami's comments on the Yemeni people mark an escalation in IRGC rhetoric on the importance of the Yemeni conflict.
IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami stated, “The Yemeni people are more oppressed than the Palestinian people.” Salami’s comments indicate Iran’s commitment to supporting the al Houthi movement and an escalation in IRGC rhetoric on the importance of the Yemeni conflict.
Ali Akbar Velayati praised China’s joint exercise with Russia last month in the Mediterranean Sea as “right for China, as a great power.” He also praised China’s position in the nuclear negotiations as “more moderate.”
President Hassan Rouhani called for the establishment of a “completely secure banking system” to prevent money laundering as part of his administration’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Rouhani also stated that Parliament “is expected to speed up passing the money laundering bill.”
An Iranian cargo ship dubbed “Arezou” (Wish) carrying aid supplies for relief efforts in Yemen left Khomeini Port in Khuzestan province on May 6. Iran, meanwhile, unveiled a new shipping line in the Caspian Sea which will make six trips from Iran to Russia and Kazakhstan every month.
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.”
Rouhani stresses need to fight money laundering. President Hassan Rouhani held a cabinet session on June 7 to promote government transparency. Rouhani stated:
- “Unfortunately, banking sanctions against Iran empowered unofficial trade that has been used in some cases for money laundering.”
- “A completely secure banking system for official and legal activities… [that] is extremely insecure for illegal activities must be established so that no one can abuse the banking system for money laundering.”
- Rouhani urged officials to utilize legal measures to strengthen financial transparency and said that the “government and judiciary have to cooperate in this regard and the Parliament is also expected to speed up passing the money laundering bill.” (President.ir) http://president(.)ir/fa/87497
Salami: U.S. using Yemen to "regain their hegemony." IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated:
- "The Yemeni people are more oppressed than the Palestinian people and the Saudi attack against Yemen is the most stupid war in history." In addition, Salami referred the Yemeni crisis as an "American plot" to "put pressure on Islam...to regain their hegemony." But he insisted the "Yemeni people's resistance against the invaders will continue to win."
On nuclear talks: Salami stated that Americans will not compromise easily as they are "unjust and merciless in general." However, Salami noted that Americans are acting "polite" at the negotiations as a result of them knowing "that it is not possible to talk with Iranians with the language of threat..." (Sepah News) http://sepahnews(.)com/shownews(.)Aspx?ID=cde5c9f7-4aeb-4390-a338-e2a623db0063
Larijani calls for measures to move economy out of stagnation. At the beginning of a Parliamentary session on June 7, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “One of the major problems in the manufacturing sector is stagnation; it is necessary that Parliamentary Commission of Industry and Agriculture, by inviting various industrial and agricultural officials and banks, make this work [fighting stagnation] a priority, and resolve manufacturing problems.” (Defa Press) http://www(.)defapress.ir/Fa/News/47837
Kazemeini: we arrested “counter-revolutionaries” attempting to enter Iran. IRGC Sarallah Base Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini stated that “teams from takfiri and counterrevolutionary groups” were arrested trying to enter Iran’s eastern and western borders. Kazemeini, who is also the IRGC Mohammad Rasoul Allah unit (Greater Tehran) Commander, stated that “due to the high cost of direct military intervention, imperialistic countries… pursue their military objectives in the form of proxy wars.” (Defa Press) http://www(.)defapress.ir/Fa/News/47918
Velayati supports Chinese global presence. The Supreme Leader's Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati gave an interview on Monday with Chinese media outlet South China Morning Post and stated:
- On China's growing maritime force: "It is right for China, as a great power, to do that [in hosting a joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea last month with Russia]. You see the United States is also sending its military vessels everywhere.”
- On Iranian export shipments: "We have to support the shipment of goods between Iran and other countries. The same right applies to China. It is the right of a country to defend its own shipment of goods."
- On energy trade: "There is no ceiling for the volume of oil and gas we are going to send to China. It depends on the demands of the Chinese companies."
- On nuclear talks: "China and Russia had a moderate position in the negotiations. If the Chinese position is more active, it will affect the continuation of the talks positively." (IRIB) http://www(.)iribnews.ir/NewsText.aspx?ID=549402
- Velayati meets with UN diplomat in Lebanon. Ali Akbar Velayati met with the Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN Sigrid Kaag on June 8. The two sides discussed regional issues, specifically Lebanese affairs. (YJC) http://www(.)yjc.ir/fa/news/5225673/%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%86%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D9%84-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%84-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF
AEOI: Iran will not permit intrusive all-access inspections. Behrouz Kamalvandi expressed Iran’s concerns over the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, claiming that the safeguards measure can be abused to access Iranian nuclear and non-nuclear facilities. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman stated: "Neither Iran nor any other sovereign state would accept… [IAEA visits to] any place at any time...” Kamalvandi also dismissed talks about interviewing Iranian nuclear scientists, adding: "We don’t have anything under the title of interrogation and interview with the scientists or something like that in the [IAEA] safeguards [agreement] or the [Additional] Protocol." (Fars News Agency) (E)http://english.farsnews(.)com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940318000411
Larijani: steps taken on nuclear talks. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated "the Geneva agreement was interim, we took a small step and they [the P5+1] also took a step forward." In addition, he said "I think the negotiating team must be patient and have careful consideration to all the agreements." (Mashregh News) http://www.mashreghnews(.)ir/fa/news/425703/%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%DA%86%D9%88%D8%A8-%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%D9%85%D9%81%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%88%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF
- Ravanchi: Nuclear talks not under time pressure. Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi met with the Chairman of European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok on June 7 in Tehran. Ravanchi stated that "If the opposite [negotiating] team does not come up with excessive demands, the negotiations will lead to a result by the deadline." Ravanchi called on the P5+1 “to adhere to previous agreements and achieved understandings." He also stressed the importance of exchanging Parliamentary delegations from both regions "in creating mutual understanding... and to cooperate with Europe on issues such as terrorism and extremism, regional security, trade, and energy." (Tabnak) http://www.tabnak(.)ir/fa/news/506815/%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%86%DB%8C%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%AA-%D9%81%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%85
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Zarif meets with EU Parliament delegation. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with delegates from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on June 7 in Tehran. Both sides discussed EU-Iran relations, regional crises, and the ongoing nuclear negotiations. Zarif criticized the West for its ineffective policies in the Middle East and called for a comprehensive campaign against terrorism that is inclusive, underlining Iran’s commitment to regional security. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) (EU Parliament) (E)http://en(.)mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&pageid=1997&newsview=343990http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20150607IPR63501/html/Elmar-Brok-in-Iran-Visit-is-strong-signal-EP-is-committed-to-build-trust
French Parliament delegation arrives in Iran. Delegates from the French Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee are scheduled to meet with Iranian officials on June 8 in Tehran to discuss bilateral relations. (Mehr News) (E) http://en.mehrnews(.)com/news/107760/French-Parl-delegation-arrives-in-Tehran
- Iranian aid ship headed to Yemen. The humanitarian cargo ship dubbed “Arezou” (Wish), left Iran’s Khomeini Port in Khuzestan province on May 6. Saadullah Abdollahi, the Director of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Khuzestan, said the ship contains 8,000 tons of rice and 1,000 tons of sugar. (Kayhan) http://kayhan(.)ir/en
- Rezaei: three branches of government are banned from entering political and electoral blocs. Mohsen Rezaei highlighted Iran’s concerted effort to strengthen electoral integrity. The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary stated that the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government are prohibited from supporting or advocating for a particular faction. (IRIB) http://www(.)iribnews.ir/NewsText.aspx?ID=546198
Military and Security
Izadi: The “security school” of Iran can be a “service to humanity.” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces IRGC Maj. Gen. Mostafa Izadi stated, “In security issues, in order to further the objectives of the [Islamic] Revolution, we must move towards the theorization of security; we can offer the security school of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a service to humanity; our path is the path of the [Islamic] Revolution and the path of the [Islamic] Revolution is a path of guidance and strengthening…” Izadi also stated, “Now, the IRGC has launched the Sustainable Security Center; by now, the center has published sixty projects and thirty book titles.” (Defa Press) http://www(.)defapress.ir/Fa/News/47799
- Haidari: The Artesh Ground Forces have self-propelled Howitzers. Artesh Ground Forces Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Kiomars Haidari stated, “Some Artesh Ground Forces armored units are now in possession of self-propelled Howitzers.” (Defa Press) http://www(.)defapress.ir/Fa/News/47826
- Iran unveils Caspian shipping line. The shipping line will make six trips from Iran to Russia and Kazakhstan every month, with a transportation capacity of 18,000 to 36,000 tons of goods per week. (Press TV) (E) http://www(.)presstv.com/Detail/2015/06/06/414655/Iran-Caspian-Shipping-Trade