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: Hamid Baghaei, a former Vice President under Mahmoud Amadinejad, was arrested on Monday. Former LEF Commander Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam referred a case against subsidiary companies of the LEF Cooperation Foundation to the Judiciary.

Iranian officials arrested Hamid Baghaei, a former Vice President under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on June 8. Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher-Nobakht claimed that the charges against Baghaei have not yet been released. Baghaei’s arrest follows the January sentencing of Mohammad Reza Rahimi, a first Vice President under Ahmadinejad, to five years in prison on corruption charges as part of the Rouhani administration’s vocal anti-corruption campaign.

Law Enforcement Forces [LEF] Spokesman Montazer al Mahdi stated that “surveillance systems” reported “deviations…in the subsidiary companies” within the Bonyad Taavon NAJA [LEF Cooperation Foundation] last year. Al Mahdi then stated that Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, LEF Commander at the time of the report of the deviations, “filed a case in this regard,” which was subsequently “entrusted to the Judiciary.” Judiciary Spokesman Hojjat al Eslam Mohsen Ejei denied that the LEF has arrested Ahmadi Moghaddam or his son in connection with the case.

In response to Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdstan’searlier comments regarding ISIS presence and Iran’s borders, IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour stated, “We have no concerns about ISIS threats.” He reiterated earlier comments from Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi that Iran will destroy any ISIS militants within 40 kilometers of Iran’s borders. 

Official Statements

  • Saidi: the Islamic Revolution’s current borders reach Bab el Mandeb and Mediterranean coast. Hojjat al Eslam Ali Saidi discussed the ongoing nuclear negotiations and Iran’s global influence. The Supreme Leader’s Representative to the IRGC highlighted Iran’s growing regional footprint, stating that at the time of the Islamic Revolution, Iran’s borders were Haj Omran (in Iraq’s Arbil Province) and Shalamcheh (in Khuzestan Province, Iran). He praised Imam Khomeini for replacing nationalist ideology with Islamic principles and revolutionary values, which helped Iran consolidate its power to export the Islamic Revolution. Saidi also cautioned the Iranian negotiating team against compromising national interests in the P5+1 talks, adding:
    • “They [the P5+1] should have accepted our right of enrichment within the framework of the international regulations, instead it was used as a pretext for other issues…”
    • "It is clear… that they [the P5+1] are pursuing other goals… to find out our military secrets.” (Raja News) (Fars News Agency) (Fars News Agency) (E)http://www(.) http://www(.) http://english(.)
  • Pakpour: “We have no concerns about ISIS threats.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour said that “The armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran do not allow such threats.” The IRGC Ground Forces Commander also reiterated that the Iranian armed forces are determined to destroy any ISIS militants within 40 kilometers of Iran’s borders. (Press TV) (E)  http://www(.)presstv(.)com/Detail/2015/06/09/415009/Iran-IRGC-Mohammad-Pakpour-Ground-Forces-Ahmad-Reza-Pourdastan-ISIL
  • Safavi cautions enemies against confronting Iran. Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said that Iran is currently moving towards a more stable security situation and that “enemies must know that they cannot confront our nation.” In describing regional developments, Safavi noted that one can see the “school of resistance” [maktab-e moqavemati] that has been forged in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. Safavi added that “it is clear that, by the will of god, countries like Yemen will reach freedom and independence and the Saudis will be decisively defeated in their announced goals.” (Sepah News) http://sepahnews(.)com/shownews(.)Aspx?ID=14d5704b-b223-48db-a07b-d6f914d50b77
  • Pourdastan blames the U.S. for rise of ISIS. Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said that after the September 11th attacks, the U.S. embarked on a strategy to defeat and contain Iran by occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. Pourdastan stated that the Americans were unable to oppose Iran and changed their strategy, instead focusing on inciting sectarian tension that led to the creation of ISIS. Pourdastan added that ISIS and Jabhat Al Nusra are operating in Iraq and Syria under U.S. supervision. (ABNA) http://fa(.)abna24(.)com/service/iran/archive/2015/06/09/689089/story(.)html


Domestic Politics

  • Former VP under Ahmadinejad arrested. Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher-Nobakht stated that the formal charges against former Vice President Hamid Baghaei are not going to be announced at the current moment. (ISNA) http//isna(.)ir/fa/news/94031910762/%D9%82%D9%88%D9%87-%D9%82%D8%B6%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%AC%D8%B2%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85
  • LEF discusses LEF Cooperation Foundation corruption case. At his first press conference on June 8, Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Spokesman Montazer al Mahdi said that “deviations in…the subsidiary companies” of the Bonyaad Taavon NAJA [LEF Cooperation Foundation] occurred in 2014-2015. Al Mahdi stated that surveillance systems reported the “deviations” to then-LEF Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, who then “filed a case in this regard.” Al Mahdi stated that “…eventually, the case was entrusted to the Judiciary.” Judiciary Spokesman Hojjat al Eslam Mohsen Ejei also denied that the LEF has arrested Ahmadi Moghaddam or his son “…in connection with the Bonyad Taavon [NAJA] case.” (IRNA) http://www(.) (YJC) http://www(.) (Raja News) http://www(.)


Nuclear Talks

  • AEOI calls for closure on IAEA investigation of Iran’s past nuclear activities. Behrouz Kamalvandi responded to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s June 8 remarks on the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman stressed the need for the IAEA to close the PMD case, stating: "After years of continued cooperation… it is time for the IAEA and… [the P5+1]… to come to this understanding that this exhaustive and worn-out issue should be closed." (YJC) http://www(.)yjc(.)ir/fa/news/5226605/%D9%BE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AA%DA%A9%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%82%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%86%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%88-%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B2-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85pmd-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B9%DB%8C-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82%DB%8C
  • Araghchi: any deal reached will not be permanent. Abbas Araghchi dismissed U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s claim that a nuclear deal with Iran “will not expire.” The International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister rejected Blinken’s June 8 statement as false, adding that if an agreement is reached it will have an expiration date. (Tabnak) http://www(.)tabnak(.)ir/fa/news/507428/%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AE-%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%DA%86%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B8%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%86-%DA%A9%D8%B1%DB%8C
  • P5+1 nuclear talks will resume tomorrow. Deputy-level negotiations are scheduled to resume on June 10 in Vienna, Austria. (Mehr News) http://en(.)mehrnews(.)com/news/107800/Deputy-FMs-to-resume-N-talks-tomorrow

Military and Security

  • 34th Fleet thwarts pirate attack in Gulf of Oman. The Artesh Navy 34th Fleet reportedly stopped a “pirate attack against an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.” (Defa Press) http://www(.)defapress(.)ir/Fa/News/48008 
  • Fadavi: IRGC Navy can operate throughout Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi stressed the readiness of the IRGC Navy to operate wherever necessary in the Persian Gulf. He reiterated that "nowadays, the IRGC Navy is strongly enforcing Iranian sovereignty in the Persian Gulf, and no power is able to infringe upon these areas." Fadavi also added that the capabilities of the IRGC Navy are advancing and its naval forces will soon be at the culmination of their military strength. (Sepah News) http://sepahnews(.)com/shownews(.)Aspx?ID=286ff529-68ee-4276-8ba1-3b26ac76cc75



  • Governor of Qom province meets with Chinese investors. Governor General of Qom province Hojjat al Eslam Mohammad Salehimanesh met “with a group of investors from the Chinese firm Sarmak,” and “said that the Chinese company is ready for cooperation with Qom province officials.” Salehimaneh especially highlighted the possibilities for solar energy generation in Qom province. (Kayhan) http//kayhan(.)ir/en/issue/317/4
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