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 Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To subscribe to this daily newsletter, please visit this page, fill out the "New Subscribers" section, and check "Iran News Round Up" listed under "Projects.
(E) = Article in English



  • Nikahang Kowsar releases his interview with Hamid-Reza Forouzanfar, grandson of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who discusses the Supreme Leader's personality, his household and the Office of the Supreme Leader:
    • "I have participated at the wedding parties of all four sons of Mr. Khamenei, in men's section... but of course there was also a party in the women's section. Based upon information we got from our family, each wedding party was different. For example, Mostafa's wedding was a completely clerical wedding but during later weddings, the atmosphere gradually opened the degree that one of my relatives said 'I don't have the courage to allow my daughter to wear what the daughters of the Lord wear in the female section.' You see, this may very well be gossip, but in reality shows a change in the view which is not necessarily bad... They are violently leaning towards the modern atmosphere of today's Tehran... The youngest son of Mr. Khamenei, Meisam, married a girl from a wealthy bazaar family and you know that in wealthy families, affairs are different."
    • "He [Khamenei] has changed from a grand uncle who would show love to all the children of the family and listen to all and make fun and not forget anyone to someone without patience. Where he used to sit one hour he now sits ten minutes. His contacts have become very limited, he looks [at the family] from high above, does not have the patience and may not even accept the kind of debates between the sons [within the larger family]... In practice the contacts are severed... Mr. Khamenei's lack of patience and temper may be due to his age, but it may also be due to the family gatherings. If something is said it may not be as harsh as the way it is formulated in society, but certainly it will not pass unheard. Mr. Khamenei can't tolerate it. The thought or the possibility that I should ask Mr. Khamenei a logical question is zero because I would be dealt with so angrily and harshly that I would repent asking the question... They will not be imprisoned but they will be purged. I have not seen cases of imprisonment, but Mr. Khamenei does not tolerate any oppositional statement or any statement which does not approve of him. Everything must approve of the thought which is Mr. Khamenei's..."  
    • Comments made in an article titled: "Khamenei's behavior today is the result of his humiliating youth."
      • "My grandmother [is the source of my information about Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] and there were also other sources. My grandmother is the oldest person alive in the Khamenei family. Older than Seyyed Mohammad and Seyyed Ali."
      • "He did not suddenly become the way he is. What Mr. Khamenei is today is the result of a gradual process throughout the years. We saw the changes and it was completely clear and apparent during the past 20 years that we visited him. Definitely it was rooted in childhood. His rivalry with his brother Mohammad must be taken into account. Mohammad Khamenei was a cheeky boy who went to the cinema, and who dressed fashionably whenever the family looked the other way... Mohammad was always the one blamed. Ali on the other hand was keeping up appearances, duplicitous and a hypocrite. In order to endear himself to his father, he would do many things which even angered the other family members. He grew up in a garrison-like atmosphere where people were divided into 'good guys' and 'bad guys,' meaning you are good because you do whatever your father wants, and you are bad because you engage in mischief... At school Mr. Khamenei had a vision problem without himself or the school knowing it he once told us all. He even saw the other side of the street badly until one day when passing by an optician and put glasses on. He said: 'The atmosphere cleared up for me, it was as if I was reborn.' Imagine how much someone with weak eyes would have been ridiculed. Imagine if he was called 'butterfingered,' humiliated and his self confidence was questioned. This is what happens."
      • "Mr. Khamenei always wanted to take part in literary and intellectual salons in his youth which was always resisted by his family... He never finished his high school and at some point he had to go to the seminary. A human being with his feet in the air... He has no academic knowledge, whatever he knows is something he has heard. He also suffers from not pursuing such pursuits and at the same time he does not want to let everyone know... He always speaks as if he is an expert on the issue, but if there is someone more knowledgeable, he finds out that this is not education. His dormant interest was quashed in his childhood because the father did not approve of it. His only reference to world literature is always Victor Hugo's The Miserable and he is the enemy of [the author] Ahmad Mahmoud and [poet] Ahmad Shamlou…
      • Nik-Ahang Kowsar: "Do you see Mr. Khamenei affected by various elements... such narcotics?" Forouzanfar: "Yes, from early youth."
      • "From my viewpoint, Mr. Khamenei could not tolerate the complex of being number two... The complex goes: 'Mr. Hashemi [Rafsanjani] has made me Leader, but I can't tolerate a popular strongman such as Hashemi Rafsanjani. Therefore, I plan a scenario where he will gradually fade away."         
    • Comments made in an article titled: "Wealth, Power and Political Relations in the Khamenei Family":
      • "The name on my ID is Hamid-Reza Forouzanfar, but in family they call me Masoud, which is dictated by tradition [of the Khamenei household], for example I know that Masoud [son of Ali Khamenei] is Mohsen... I am friends with Masoud, and Meisam along with Hamed Khamenei, the son of Mr. Khamenei's brother. I was considered second class family, I was grandson of the sister, and the relationship they have with first class family [members] is slightly different with more distance family members."
      • "The household has become very departmentalized and there are a group of people who give news and information, the accuracy of which we can doubt or not, to the household upon which decisions are made. Meaning that the household had a very closed structure and no one could enter the inner circles..."
      • "The more feedback we [Forouzanfar's part of the Khamenei family] received from outside, the tighter the atmosphere of the household became for us. I don't remember ever having entered direct discussions with Mr. Khamenei. This was not possible. If there was any conversation it was with Mostafa, with Mojtaba, with Masoud or even with Meisam. Meisam would intervene less than others in such [political] instances. Discussions were at the level of exchanges of views and sometimes they became heated. I have heard that after the Green Movement erupted and answering the question: How have oyu treated the people's children? How are you are treating the gentlemen Mousavi and Karrubi? Are they not candidates of this regime?' Mr. Mojtaba Khamenei had bluntly answered: 'We have been too magnanimous. We should have burned and annihilated them from day one so it would not lead to this.'"
      • "The Sadra Foundation of Islamic Philosophy [led by one of the Supreme Leader's brothers] has developed into a completely economic enterprise, which sometimes does scientific work."
      • "Mr. Hassan Khamenei... was director general of the [affairs of culture and Islamic] Guidance in Mashhad, after which he came to Tehran and was appointed the Oil Ministry chief inspector. He monitors the contracts and the money flow, where it should go and where it should not flow... This is the most direct intervention of the Office of the Supreme Leader in the oil field, which is directly connected to himself."
      • "Mr. Hadi Khamenei is a very intelligent man and he knows how to use unfavorable wind. When the conditions are not well he knows what to do and when the country is ready, he makes statements. If you investigate his positions during the past two years you see that it is near zero... He is secretly making money... When ever needed he has his reformist credentials, but he is also safe because he is the brother of the Leader and in this mayhem he is among the few people who works very easily."


  • The Iranian foreign ministry announced that it has recalled Tehran's Ambassador to Manama Mehdi Aqa Jafari to discuss the latest developments in Bahrain after foreign military forces entered the country to suppress anti-government protests.
  • Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani blasted certain regional countries for deploying military forces in Bahrain, cautioning that the move complicates the situation in the region.


  • Deputy Managing Director of Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Pirouz Mousavi announced that a sum of almost $35bln was invested in the development phases of Iran's giant South Pars gas field from 1999 to 2009.

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