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
- President Hassan Rouhani extended his New Year’s wishes to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday and pledged to implement Khamenei’s guidance in the fields of “economy, culture and jihadi management.” Khamenei expressed his hope that the administration would succeed “in serving the people.”
- Assembly of Experts member and Tabriz Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohsen Mojtahedi Shabestari discussed the Supreme Leader’s “resistance economy” policies and said, “One of the paths of fulfilling [these policies] is increasing production. In that case, the administration must support producers and issue orders for placing bank institutions at the hands of producers.”
- Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Abbas Ka’bi stated that “Cultural institutions need serious cleansing based on strengthening faith and values, so cultural events need to take place based on beliefs and values.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member and former senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari criticized the “meddling” in Ukraine by “the Americans and Westerners [who] do not care about the vote and the people’s opinion despite shouting the slogan of commitment to democracy…”
- NSFP Parliamentary Commission member Mansour Haghighat Pour echoed the Supreme Leader’s emphasis on culture and the economy and considered “inward-oriented economy, increasing production and reducing inflation” to be important components of “resistance economy [that will] strengthen the country’s internal economic foundations and make it resistant against harms, including sanctions…”
- Parliament Cultural Commission Spokesman MP Ali Taheri announced that the committee will review the closure of 9-Day newspaper and criticized the Rouhani administration for shutting down a newspaper due to criticism of the administration’s performance. Taheri added, “The administration must allow an environment of criticism to be opened in the country and not create media dictatorship by suppressing news outlets, so critics of the administration would not dare question it.”
- On March 19, Lebanese MPs Nawaf Mousavi, Abd al Majid Saleh and “prominent [Lebanese] Hezbollah member” Ahmad Seif al Din attended the burial of Lebanese Hezbollah member Ahmad Ali Dib (AKA Sharif), who was “Martyred in combat by takfiri terrorists in Syria.”
- Iraq Najba Hezbollah Movement, also known as the al Najba Brigade and the Najba Hezbollah Brigade, announced the burial of member Ahmad Mohammad Hassan, killed in Syria. The brigade is reportedly a sub-group within Iraqi Shi’a militant group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and its commander is Sheikh Akram al-Ka’bi, “one of the former advisors and deputies to Sadr Movement Leader Muqtada al-Sadr.”
Military and Security
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari paid tribute to the fallen of the Iran-Iraq War in Ahvaz yesterday and said, “It was this pure blood of the martyrs that guaranteed our revolution.” Jafari, commenting on Khamenei’s emphasis on culture during a recent speech, also said that “To promote culture in society, we must spread the culture of self-sacrifice and dedication and accompanying God’s religion that is found here in abundance. Fortunately, this culture oozes more every year in rahian-e nor [“Companions of the Light” tour program].” This cultural program takes participants to Iran-Iraq War era battlefields.
- Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Artesh and Head of the Artesh Political Ideology Organization Hojjat al Eslam Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem said “Today the enemies of the system have targeted culture and seek to impose these attacks through various means. Even if they introduce the military option on the table topic in their discussions, in reality they are pursuing cultural invasion so they can create the prelude for hard confrontation.” Hashem went on to list “The spread of corruption and prostitution, fashion-orientation, creating division among Shi’a and Sunni brother, division among Iranian ethnicities, weakening officials and penetration through social media instruments” as “the enemies’ tools” for the “cultural invasion.”
- In an open letter thanking the efforts of “those who lovingly pursue the bodies” of Iran-Iraq War service members missing in action, IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari wrote, “The martyrs of the Eight Years of Sacred Defense knew how this revolution would be threatened by internal and external enemies…[They have taught] us the path and tradition of self-sacrifice and dedication for Islam and God’s religion so we know today that we must sacrifice everything for Islam and the Islamic Revolution…”
- Deputy to the Basij Organization and Companions of the Light Central Headquarters IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fazli discussed the importance of the rahian-e noor cultural program: “Companions of the Lights is a repetition of values, values that the martyrs and warriors of Islam created. Therefore, anyone who is present in the battlefield of the warriors of Islam is inspired, and this inspiration is constructive for our youth.”
- IRGC Imam Hossein Guardianship and Officer Training University Brig. Gen. Morteza Saffariclaimed, “The most significant key to victories [during the Iran-Iraq War] were adherence to the Qur’an and the ahl-e bayt [Family of the prophet], purity, and the self-sacrifice and martyrdom seeking spirit of the warriors of Islam.”
- Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said, “I am not pessimistic regarding the path of negotiations, but we must be sensitive towards the matter of nuclear talks…We also must accept the reality that there is an influential Zionist current in the United States that is powerful and effective. [US] expressed statements are to shut the mouths of the Zionists.” Larijani then criticized the West for not recognizing Crimea’s vote in separating from Ukraine but noted, “This matter does not affect us so much…There is no reason for us to enter and express opinion in this field.”
- According the 2014-2015 budget law, the Central Bank must deposit 29% of crude oil and natural gas export revenue in the National Expansion Fund and provide a report every three months on existing currency reserves from global energy price fluctuations based on energy prices calculated in the budget.
- Agricultural Parliamentary Commission Chairman MP Abbas Rajaei discussed the provision of food security in the Supreme Leader’s “resistance economy” policies and stated, “It is natural for all who are active in the agricultural arena to share the concern of self-sufficiency in primary products. However, it is another topic [in determining] whether all government capacities have been fully employed. I believe that all government capacities in the agriculture sector for self-sufficiency in primary products have not been utilized.”
Photo of the Day
- IRGC Basij Organization “jihadi camp” Alamdar Base members providing “civil, teaching, cultural, research, job-creating and health services” to Hadebeh village in Shadegan country, Khuzestan-e Razavi province.