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 Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Marie Donovan, with contributors Farzin Farzad and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
Key takeaway: The Supreme Leader rebuked the open letter from Republican senators to senior Iranian officials threatening to abolish any nuclear deal struck with the Obama administration. Senior Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi claimed that Israel and the “Zionists’ lobby in Congress” seek to unravel the P5+1 talks.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with the Assembly of Experts today to discuss the ongoing P5+1 negotiations and the March 9 open letter signed by 47 Republican senators warning Iran that a nuclear deal could be overturned once President Obama leaves office. Khamenei urged his negotiations team to exercise extreme caution in dealing with the U.S. because it has a propensity to “backstab” counterparts. The Supreme Leader said the letter is indicative of Washington’s internal disintegration; “… American senators officially announced if this administration goes, his [President Obama’s] commitment is null and void. Is this not the ultimate collapse of political ethics and the internal disintegration of America’s system?” Khamenei voiced renewed concerns and long-lasting skepticism about President Obama’s ability to gain congressional support for a deal. Khamenei’s remarks may open the door to reinvigorated criticism from the regime’s hardliners, who opposed the negotiations from the outset.
National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that the “likelihood” of Iran reaching a nuclear deal with the P5+1 has prompted “...the Zionist regime [Israel] and the Zionists’ lobby in Congress,” to exhaust all efforts in order to destroy the prospect of a final deal.
Supreme Leader: senators’ open letter indicative of collapsing American political ethics. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed members of the Assembly of Experts on March 12 and congratulated Chairman-elect Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi. The Supreme Leader urged Iran’s negotiations team to exercise extreme caution in the P5+1 nuclear talks and to be vigilant about U.S. duplicity. Khamenei also rebuked the March 9 open letter signed by 47 Republican senators warning Iran that a nuclear deal could be scrapped once President Obama leaves office:
- “In the letter, they said they want to teach their rules to Iran… We do not need to learn from them.”
- “All countries in the world—in accordance with generally accepted international relations—remain committed to its obligations [even] after changing administrations.”
- “But American senators officially announced if this administration goes, his [President Obama’s] commitment is null and void. Is this not the ultimate collapse of political ethics and the internal disintegration of America’s system?”
- “America always adopts a harsher and more aggressive tone whenever the deadline for reaching a comprehensive deal approaches.”
- "The team assigned by President [Rouhani] for the negotiations constitute good, reliable and sympathetic individuals who are trying to secure the country's interests. This is part of their ploys and tricks.”
- “Of course, I am concerned because the other side is into deception, trickery and backstabbing.”
- Khamenei responded to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3: “This Zionist clown addressed American officials—to deny any role in [supporting terrorists] accusing Iran of supporting terrorism, which is simply ridiculous.”
- “The weak remarks made by Americans in recent days are ludicrous, cheap, and disgusting. Americans and their allies in the region create the most evil terrorists, namely ISIS and others like it and they continue to support them…” (Khamenei.ir)
Boroujerdi: “likelihood” of a deal “has increased.” National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi discussed the open letter to senior Iranian officials: “Considering that the likelihood of a [nuclear] agreement has increased, both the Zionist regime [Israel] and the Zionists’ lobby in Congress are working so this will not occur.” Boroujerdi also stated, “Some American characters have declared that it is regrettable the Iranian foreign minister knows more about the constitution of this country [the U.S.] rather than the 47 American senators, and they prefer the legal reasoning of the foreign minister over the 47 American senators’ letter.” He stated, “The content of this letter is such that the American press political circles have ridiculed it.” (Mashregh News)
- Ayatollah Yazdi criticizes comparison to “other” elections. Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi criticized comments made that the competition in the Assembly elections is similar to other elections and said, “Contrary to what some imagine, the Assembly of Experts is a council of religious scholars,” adding that all of the members support religion, faith and trust. He added that the elections have always taken place sincerely and peacefully and are not inclined toward partisanship and factionalism. (Mehr News)
Military and Security
Firouzabadi congratulates new LEF Commander. Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi commended Brig. Gen. Hossein Ashtari on his appointment as Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander. Firouzabadi stated that he hoped Ashtari would be “successful” in “enhancing the security and welfare of the people of Iran, and the preservation of Islamic values.” Ashtari replaced Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, who became LEF Commander in 2005. (Defa Press)
Artesh Command and Staff College: we have exchanged students with Russian and China. Artesh Command and Staff College (DAFOOS) Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Amir Hossein Valivand stated “Exchange of students has nothing to with religion; rather, [we can exchange students with] any country with which we have a treaty of friendship…we have sent students to China and Russia, and we are open to their students in the future.” He indicated that courses are “currently conducted….only in Farsi” but that the College is “looking to create an English Department.” Valivand noted that in the last year, Iran and Pakistan have exchanged students and collaborated “in the educational arena.” He stated that “in the future, students from [the Artesh Command and Staff College] will be sent to Pakistan, Sri Lank, and Oman.” (Fars News Agency)
Tehran and Sana'a sign economic deal. Mohammad Abdul-Salam signed several agreements on economic cooperation with Tehran in order to meet the country’s urgent need in the electricity and oil sector. The spokesman for the al Houthis political wing Ansar Allah added that in addition to trade and economic cooperation, Iran’s experiences and facilities will be utilized in several ways. (Fars News Agency)
- Grand Ayatollah Hamedani discusses subsidies. Grand Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani stated, “We have said many times that subsidies are a part of the Treasury, and those who have financial power are forbidden to use it, but do not act on these issues; if people’s lawyers were united together in the Parliament, the government would act on their advice and approvals.” Hamedani also said, “Economic revolution is our discussion today… [the economy] is connected to the life of the people…” (Fars News Agency)