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 the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. 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
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif briefed reporters following the latest round of Iran and the P5+1 negotiations in Vienna, announcing “We still have hard work ahead. Primary negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 will begin in [April], although the landscape for reaching an agreement is unclear clear. The first three months have been dedicated to discussion and exchanging opinions and the second half will be expended on negotiations and codifying a joint text for reaching an agreement.”
- Zarif reminded, however, that it is Iran’s “firm position” not to discuss ballistic missiles during these rounds of negotiations.
- He added that the sides have so far not reached an agreement on the Arak heavy water reactor but that it is “a part of our nuclear program and will continue.”
- The next round of nuclear talks will take place at the expert level in Vienna on April 7-10, 2014.
- International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Eraghchi said that Iran is pursuing “means” to alleviate concerns on the Arak heavy water reactor but that the site’s “research and expansion” will not cease.
Military and Security
Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi said, “We announce to the Americans that we will steadfastly defend our positions, whether negotiations take place or not.” Shirazi emphasized “special attention” to the Supreme Leader’s cultural “concerns” and added:
- “An administration must implement Islamic law and remain committed to it.”
- “Preserving Islam is at the center of all affairs. This being said, are all of the country’s officials today concerned about Islam and religion in society?
- “Do those who undermine qisas [the eye for an eye principle] and those who announce recognition of Israel pursue the motivation of the Imam [Khomeini]? Why have some, especially revolutionary and passionate youth, remained silent and do not stand against them?”
- “We must know that our duty is defending religion. Other than this our philosophical existence becomes nothing.”
- Basij Organization Deputy Commander IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fazli stated, “Interactions have taken place with the administration and Parliament on securing the necessary credit. If it is not possible to fulfill the budget needed by the Basij and armed forces, we will get along with optimizing our expenditures.”
- Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Base Commander Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili announced that the base has produced twenty-four large projects in the past twelve months he then declared two new upcoming projects, “poosh” [Sheath] and “halghe-ye bidar” [Vigilant Ring]:
- “poosh”: “This is motion missile launcher or medium-range missile launcher. This launcher will not be identified by anti-missile systems. They can fire simultaneously in a very short timeframe and also change location.”
- “halghe-ye bidar”: “This project in reality is IFF, or an identification system, that can execute duties in passive or active form. This vigilant system contains two parts that have been designed and produced by the air base youth.”
- Editorial on IRGC weekly sobh-e sadegh criticized recent statements made by Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. In separate interviews with reformist newspapers, Rafsanjani reportedly advised university students to take Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolence strategy until “no one dares oppress the people” and also accused the Guardian Council of being influenced by “security forces.” The editorial reads in part: “Mr. Hashemi must know that he is part of the system…Mr. Hashemi! The people are still upset about your bad positions regarding the  sedition and hope for your return…We want the Hashemi of the Imam [Khomeini] era who is a loyal friend of the Supreme Leader, not the Hashemi who satisfies the enemy with his change!”
- At the last administration meeting of the Iranian calendar year, President Rouhani stated that the most important work of his administration has been “creating peace and calm in society,” which can be “the primary foundation for our society’s movement today and tomorrow.” Rouhani added that a final nuclear agreement “will benefit all,” including “the region, West, East and Iran.”
- MP Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Nabavian criticized the Islamic Guidance and Culture Ministry, “Because [its] policies are moving towards secularism and the expansion of liberal values.” He added, “I point out the Qanoon newspaper that repudiated a verse of the Qur’an, calling it gender discrimination and considering that verse proof of this matter. In the Asemannewspaper, we also saw them undermining the divine law of qisas. Imam [Khomeini] called these individuals apostates.”
- The Iran Consul General in Pakistan Mohammad Hassan Bani Assadi announced that President Rouhani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will “determine the fate” of the delayed natural gas “peace” pipeline in an upcoming meeting in Tehran.
- On the eve of the Persian New Year, Iran has closed its border with Pakistan for ten days.
- Iranian Ambassador to Iraq and former IRGC Quds Force operative Hassan Danaeifar announced that 423 members of the mojahedin-e khalgh [MEK] have no “legal” issues in returning to Iran from exile, which “this number can increase in the future.”
- Energy Exchange Managing Director Ali Hosseini announced measures to commence offering “3,000 barrels” of crude oil per day in the exchange on April 7, 2014, so “real buyers and consumers can purchase them.” He added, “The Oil Minister has placed the establishment of crude oil tonnage facilities in the Isfahan and Bandar-e Abbas refineries on its agenda, in order to expand the crude oil offering market in the Energy Exchange.”
Photo of the Day
- ISNA photo essay: Chaharshanbe souri [Festival of Fire] celebrations in Tehran, a Zorostrian tradition celebrating the last Wednesday of the year where one purifies the soul by jumping through fire.