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 Alice Naghshineh. 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: Outgoing Assembly of Experts Chairman Mohammad Yazdi downplayed the significance of several prominent hardliners’ failure to retain their seats in the Assembly of Experts.

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi downplayed the changes to the Assembly of Experts’ make-up as a result of the February 26 elections for the body, which is charged with selecting the next supreme leader. Yazdi told current Assembly members that “97 percent” of the new Assembly of Experts, which will hold its first session in May, “are like-minded.” Yazdi, along with other prominent hardliners such as Ayatollah Mohammad Mesbah Yazdi, lost his seat in the Assembly during the elections.

Russian news outlets reported that Russia will ship the first delivery of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran in August or September.

Matthew McInnis discusses Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s decision-making following the elections and explains five steps the Iranian leader may take to shape the resulting political arena in his latest blog post, “After Iran’s elections, the Supreme Leader’s next steps.”


Domestic Politics

  • Yazdi downplays Assembly of Experts changes. Mehr News Agency reported that outgoing Assembly of Experts Chairman Mohammad Yazdi congratulated successful candidates in the fifth Assembly of Experts during the final session of the fourth Assembly of Experts on March 10. Yazdi told the current Assembly members that “97 percent of the representatives [who will be in] the fifth Assembly of Experts are like-minded. They believe in velayat-e faqih [the guardianship of the jurist], based on the foundations of the religious jurisprudence in which we believe.” Yazdi and several other prominent hardliners lost their seats during the February 26 elections. (Mehr News Agency)
  • Emami Kashani reiterates Khamenei’s call for a “revolutionary” next supreme leader. Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani repeated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s March 10 comments that the next supreme leader must be “revolutionary,” stating, “He [Khamenei] said… that you must be careful when choosing someone to lead after me; he must be committed to the revolution, the nation, and the country’s scientific advancement.” The interim Tehran Friday prayer leader also repeated the Supreme Leader’s advice regarding the three most important duties of state officials, namely “the resistance economy, scientific acceleration… and the country’s independence from foreigners’ influence.” (Defa Press) (IRIB)
    • Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda, the Mashhad Friday prayer leader and recently-appointed representative for the Supreme Leader in Razavi Khorasan province, also reiterated the importance of the Supreme Leader’s “three fundamental duties for state officials” during his Friday prayer sermon on March 11.(Basij News)

Military and Security

  • Russia to ship S-300 systems to Iran in August or September. Iran news outlets cited Russian media reports that Russia will deliver the first shipment of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran in August or September of 2016. (Defa Press)
  • Deputy foreign minister praises missile capabilities as critical to nuclear negotiations. Mashregh News published comments by Abbas Araghchi under the headline “Iran’s missile power led the great countries to negotiations.” The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs stated, “The great countries came to the negotiating table when they realized it was hopeless to threaten Iran. If they could have taken out our nuclear facilities with a military strike, they would not have negotiated.” Araghchi’s comments underscore President Hassan Rouhani and his administration’s continued show of support for the development of Iran’s missile program. (Mashregh News)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Rouhani’s chief of staff meets with British officials. Mohammad Nahavandian met with British officials, including Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and National Security Advisor Sir Mark Grant, in London on March 10. Iranian media emphasized Hammond’s insistence on resuming Britain’s “financial and banking institutions in Iran” during a discussion on expanding bilateral ties after the nuclear-deal. (Press TV) (E) (IRNA)



  • Export-Import Bank of China to fund Iranian projects. The director for international affairs at Iran’s Tejarat Bank announced that Tejarat Bank and the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on financing Iranian petrochemical and telecommunication projects. He also announced that China’s EXIM Bank will “insure a substantial proportion of Iran’s exports and imports.” (IRIB) (Press TV) (E)
  • Economic Commission member defends emergency budget. Parliamentary Economic Commission member Iraj Nadimi emphasized the need to pass the emergency budget, stressing that it “will not have negative effects on the economy.” The emergency budget is expected to provide the government with short-term relief while it moves toward the creation of an annual budget. Parliament is scheduled to review the emergency budget on March 14. (ISNA)
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