Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

Key takeaway: Iran and Russia underscored the strategic convergence of their shared regional and global interests in a joint statement released during President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Moscow.

Iranian and Russian delegations released the statement, titled “Moving Towards Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation,” following Rouhani’s visit with President Vladimir Putin on March 28. The two sides emphasized their shared views on Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, the nuclear deal, sanctions, and the global energy market in the statement.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from March 28.

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Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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March 29, 2017

Russia and Iran highlight alignment on regional issues, global energy market.

Iran and Russia released a 16-page joint statement, entitled “Moving Towards Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation,” following President Hassan Rouhani’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 28. The statement highlighted Iran and Russia’s readiness to expand their mutual relations not only within the context of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, but also in “multilateral formats involving regional nations.”

  • On Yemen: "Warning about the grave humanitarian and economic consequences of the crisis for the Yemeni people, Russia and Iran stated the need to step up efforts in this direction and, in particular, noted the importance of lifting the economic and humanitarian blockade of Yemen and sending humanitarian aid to that country.”
  • On Lebanon: “Putin and Rouhani positively assessed and welcomed cooperation of the country’s political groups in solving the issue of electing the president and forming the government… The sides consider the accords reached by them as a good example for solving the remaining Lebanese problems and also for settling internal disagreements in other states of the region.”
  • On Palestine: "The presidents who expressed the hope for the fair and sustainable settlement of the Palestinian problem stressed the need for the exercise of the national rights of the Palestinian people.”
  • On Iraq: "Russia and Iran state their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq, the efforts taken by the Iraqi authorities aimed at fighting terrorism represented by the Islamic State… and other extremist groupings, and also at restoring control of the country’s territories seized by such groupings.”
  • On Afghanistan: “Russia and Iran will continue efforts to help Afghanistan strengthen its statehood and call for the implementation of measures to uproot drug production in that and other countries… Putin and Rouhani expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, over the growth of terrorist threats from extremist forces in that country… Russian and Iran reiterate their commitment to continue assistance to Afghanistan’s efforts to strengthen its state system.”
  • On the nuclear deal: The two sides “emphasized the need for full compliance by all parties with obligations” under the deal. The two sides also highlighted Iran’s “full legitimate rights to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]. Russia welcomed Iran’s strict compliance with its obligations” under the deal.
  • On sanctions: “Moscow and Tehran believe unilateral sanctions against countries to be illegitimate. Imposing unilateral sanctions against countries is illegitimate.”
  • On the global oil market: “Putin and Rouhani hailed agreements of OPEC and non-OPEC countries contributing to demand and offer balancing on the oil market in an acceptable price range and supporting investment attractiveness of the oil sector. Russia and Iran will continue cooperating in this sphere for purposes of global energy market stabilization and provision of sustainable economic growth.”
  • On banking cooperation: The two sides highlighted the "importance of more active interbank cooperation, including between central banks, and importance of using national currencies in mutual settlements.”
  • On the UN: Putin and Rouhani highlighted “the need to continue joint efforts aimed at building a just world order based on international law, namely the United Nations Charter, as well as at solving global issues.” ( (E)  
March 29, 2017

Iran and Russia highlight determination to expand cooperation.

President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that “there is no obstacle in the path of mutual relations and the two countries are determined to expand their cooperation further” during their meeting on March 28. Rouhani stated that relations between the two countries “are developing step by step and accelerating in all areas, to the benefit of both nations and the region…  this meeting will provide a new impetus for relations” between the two countries.  Rouhani praised Iran and Russia’s cooperation in Syria as “new and successful experiences.” Putin, meanwhile, stated that “Russia considers Iran a good and reliable partner.” (

  • Rouhani stated, “The wane of the West’s dominance and the end of wealth monopoly is an historic opportunity to build a new world,” during a speech to professors and students at Moscow State University.” ( (E)
  • The two sides also signed 14 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on topics such as nuclear energy, trade, railroad construction, and information technology. ( (E)
March 29, 2017

Zarif: Russia can use Iranian airbases “on a case by case basis.”

Iranian media circulated a Reuters article reporting that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Russia can use Iran’s military bases for airstrikes against militants in Syria. Zarif added Russia does not have a military base in Iran, although the two countries cooperate closely to combat terrorism in Syria and beyond. (Mehr News Agency) (Reuters) (E)

Citations & Links


Citations & Links




Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency

2. Reuters

Domestic Politics
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March 29, 2017

Rouhani deputy: Our administration spent two years “clearing out the mess.”

President Rouhani’s Legal Affairs Deputy Majid Ansari stated Rouhani administration spend two years “reforming the country’s development path,” which had diverted. Ansari added if the Rouhani administration wanted “to act populistic, it would distribute commodities” ahead of the election. He also criticized the Iranian media for working against Rouhani administration, accusing them of operating for “special channels.” He stated, “There are many news sources and websites that operate against the Rouhani administration, even though they get money from it.” (Asr-e Iran News Agency) (Radio Farda)

March 29, 2017

Rouhani asks Interior Minister to look into arrests of media activists.

President Hassan Rouhani asked Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli to prepare a report on the arrest of “suspected” media activists and prevention of “unauthorized” intervention by any entity including IRGC and Basij ahead of the May 19 presidential elections. The IRGC has arrested as many as 12 reformist journalists and media activists, including the editor of Goftego magazine Morad Saqhafi (arrested March 25), Hangameh Shahidi (arrested March 9), the former managing editor of Farhikhtegan newspaper Ehsan Mazandarani (arrested March 12), Isa Saharkhiz (arrested March 11), the administrator of the Telegram channel Eslahat News Ali Ahmadnia and others. IRGC and the intelligence community have not given any reason for these arrests. Deputy Parliament Speaker Ali Motahari has condemned the arrests. (ILNA) (Radio Farda) (Radio Farda) (Iran Wire) (ISNA) (Iran Wire) (Iran Wire)

Citations & Links

1. Asr-e Iran News Agency

2. Radio Farda

Citations & Links


2. Radio Farda

3. Radio Farda

4. Iran Wire


6. Iran Wire

7. Iran Wire

Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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March 29, 2017

Three Afghan Shi’a militia Fatimiyoun Brigade fighters killed in Aleppo, Syria.

Mohammad Hossein Heidari (35), Rohullah Hosseini (26) and Hossein Rahmani (20) were killed in Aleppo in an unidentified date. Their bodies arrived in Kerman on March 28. Heidari and Hosseini will be buried in Bardsir, Kerman on March 29, and Rahmani will be buried in Rafsanjan, Kerman on March 31. (ISNA) (Abna News Agency)

Citations & Links


2. Abna News Agency

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