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 contributors Farzin Farzad and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for a binding resolution on a nuclear deal under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Editor of Kayhan Hossein Shariatmadari spoke against such a resolution, arguing it would “confirm… allegations that [Iran’s] nuclear program is not peaceful.”

In an interview last week with Iranian media outlet “Seda”, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for a potential nuclear deal with the P5+1 to be binding under a Chapter VII resolution of the UN Charter. Zarif has previously indicated that a final nuclear deal would be endorsed by the UN Security Council.  Zarif likely hopes that a Chapter VII resolution would require the U.S. and its European partners to abide by a deal.

Managing Editor of the conservative newspaper Kayhan Hossein Shariatmadari disagreed with a binding deal under Chapter VII, because it would imply “that [Iran’s nuclear program] is a threat to peace and a means of aggression.” Shariatmadari reiterated the regime’s long-held stance that Iran’s “nuclear activities are peaceful,” and said that a resolution would “spoil all the resistance Iran has shown over the last 11 years against the West-imposed nuclear challenge.”


Nuclear Talks

  • Zarif insists nuclear deal must be binding under Chapter VII. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed Iran’s position regarding a final deal with the P5+1 during an interview with Iranian media outlet Seda. Zarif said that a "resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter is an international and binding treaty for all the member states." He stressed the need for a binding deal that is approved and confirmed by the UN, in order to change the current status of Iran’s nuclear program under Chapter VII, "Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression." (Kayhan)


Domestic Politics

  • Shariatmadari: Chapter VII of UN Charter threatens Iranian interests. Hossein Shariatmadari warned against any nuclear deal that falls under Chapter VII, because it would imply “that [Iran’s] nuclear program is a threat to peace and a means of aggression.” The Managing Director of Kayhan a conservative Iranian news outlet pointed to Foreign Minister’s Zarif’s recent statements regarding a binding nuclear deal under Chapter VII and said:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran views the resolution as illegal as it believes that its nuclear activities are peaceful and even the slightest diversion towards production of atomic weapons has not been observed in the past 11 years of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s inspections and therefore, accepting a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII would mean that the Islamic Iran confirms the allegations that its nuclear program is not peaceful.”
    • “[This] will spoil all the resistance Iran has shown over the last 11 years against the West-imposed nuclear challenge, since the main point in this challenge has been based on opponents' allegations that Iran's nuclear activities are not peaceful and its allegations that Iran is secretly attempting to produce an atomic weapon! And to counter back this challenge, Iran presented technical and legal documents and issued permission for extensive inspections and in some cases beyond its undertakings under the NPT and the related safeguard agreement and even allowed inspections which have been stated in the Additional Protocol- inspection of any place at any time - while Iran has not been a signatory to the Protocol, and showed that its nuclear activities are all civilian and peaceful.”
    • “Finally, given the fact that our country's team of nuclear negotiators is standing against the opponents firmly and seriously and with all its power in the Lausanne talks, we believe that reminding the above-mentioned wouldn't be necessary, however, since our country’s dear Foreign Minister has declared the possibility of accepting a resolution under Chapter VII and this measure, if adopted, will have damaging and irreparable consequences, there remained no other way for us but to raise this warning because, as said by the Supreme Leader, despite the fact that our country's nuclear negotiating team are all the offspring of the Revolution, America is cunning and deceitful and is used to stabbing in the back.” (Raja News)


Official Statements

  • Zarif says, “We’ll stay as long as it takes” at nuclear negotiations. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “We are in the final stages of negotiations and we have intense discussions.” Zarif added, “We are still a bit away from reaching a common understanding.” Zarif emphasized that these intense dialogues mean that they are reaching a phase [in the negotiations]. Re Foreign Ministry Political and International Affairs Director Hamid Baidinejad, in regards to whether the negotiations have come to a sticking point said, “No, we are moving [forward]. (Fars News Agency)
  • Fadavi: Iran has the “deterrence capability…to attack the enemies.” IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi stated, “The nation of Iran understood eight years of resistance and persistence in the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War], and therefore the deterrence capability of the Islamic system allows it to attack the enemies.” Fadavi also stated, “with the victory of the Islamic Revolution, many of the enemies have tried to destroy Iran, but because the Islamic Republic of Iran presented a new discussion of revolution in the world, boasts of its sustainability worldwide.” (Mehr News)
  • Foreign Ministry discusses Hezbollah in DNI annual report. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham discussed the relative absence of references to Hezbollah in Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s recent annual report: “it does not matter, because we believe that Hezbollah has never been a threat to other countries…Lebanese Hezbollah and likewise the Islamic Republic of Iran have always fought against terrorism.” Afkham also stated, “Hezbollah is a popular and legal resistance force in Lebanon, which combats aggressors and the Zionist regime…” (IRNA)
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