Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway: The conservative challengers in the upcoming presidential elections criticized President Hassan Rouhani’s struggle to address unemployment.

Lotfollah Forouzandeh, a senior official from the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, indicated that President Hassan Rouhani has failed to present “a clear plan” to address unemployment. Rouhani campaigned on the promise to resolve the issue of unemployment, but has struggled to do so in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal. The Popular Front may use Rouhani’s track record on the issue as a rallying point against him ahead of the May presidential elections.

Iran summoned the Danish ambassador to Iran Danny Annan on March 2 following the second attack on the Iranian embassy in Copenhagen in less than two months. Six Iranian nationals, including four who sought asylum in Sweden, conducted the first attack attack on January 19. They reportedly climbed the fence surrounding the embassy and posted banners with anti-regime sentiments. Iran summoned Annan following the first attack as well. Danish authorities also arrested six individuals in connection with the January 19 attack.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from March 2.

Domestic Politics
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March 03, 2017

Conservative coalition: Rouhani has failed to address unemployment.

Lotfollah Forouzandeh, the secretary of the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces’ Central Committee’s Board of Directors, discussed the organization’s origin and goals during an interview with Tasnim News Agency. The Popular Front is a coalition of conservative groups formed in December 2016 with the goal of presenting a conservative candidate to challenge President Hassan Rouhani in the May 2017 presidential elections. Forouzandeh stated that “the people’s demands,” especially unemployment, “caused the formation of the Popular Front.” Forouzandeh called Iran’s executive branch “dysfunctional,” and claimed that the people “have not seen a clear plan” to solve unemployment. Forouzandeh stated that the problem of unemployment “can be solved” by leveraging Iran’s domestic capabilities.  

  • Forouzandeh also addressed the conservatives’ perennial struggle to unify in Iran’s elections. Forouzandeh stressed that the Popular Front is not simply a principlist organization, and that “every person whose heart lies with the preservation of [the Islamic Republic’s] political system and promotion of the cultural of revolution can be a member of the front.” Forouzandeh stressed that “people from the lowest class” are part of the Popular Front’s “decision-making” paradigm.”
  • The Front released a statement praising the turnout at its convention last week. The statement read, “Today is the day” to forget “egos and selfishness” and to “sacrifice” and “follow the path of cohesion and unity.” (Tasnim News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency)
March 03, 2017

Guardian Council to finish reviewing 6th Five-Year Development Plan.

Guardian Council Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodei stated that the Guardian Council will convene in an extraordinary meeting next week to finish reviewing the 6th Five-Year Development Plan, a document intended to guide government policy and to frame the annual budgetary process over the next five years. Iran was forced last year to extend the 5th Five-Year Development plan until the end of the current Iranian year (approximately March 20, 2017) due to repeated delays. (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1395/12/12/1344058/%D9%85%D8%B7%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AB-%D8%AA%D8%B4%DA%A9%DB%8C%D9%84-%D8%AC%D8%A8%D9%87%D9%87-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%B4%D8%AF-%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A6%D9%84%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D9%84-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A6%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D9%86%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%AF

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1395/12/12/1343683/%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%88-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%88-%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1395/12/12/1343317/%D9%87%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%87-%D8%A2%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%81%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%87%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%84%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AD%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D8%B4%D8%B4%D9%85

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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March 03, 2017

Foreign Ministry criticizes Malaysia for joint statement with Saudi Arabia on Iran.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi criticized a recent joint Saudi Arabia-Malaysia statement expressing concern at “Iranian interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region.” The statement was released at the end of Saudi King Salman’s visit to Kuala Lumpur. Ghassemi warned Malaysia that its actions are part of “Zionist circles’” larger effort to “target the unity of the Islamic world” and “will not contribute to the growing trend” of improving Iran-Malaysian relations. (Fars News Agency)

March 03, 2017

Iran and Saudi Arabia make some progress on Hajj talks.

Hamid Mohammadi, an official from Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, noted that Saudi and Iranian officials have made some progress during recent talks regarding the 2017 Hajj. Iranian pilgrims did not attend the 2016 Hajj pilgrimage after Iran and Saudi Arabia were unable to agree on terms to ensure the safety and travel arrangements of Iranian pilgrims. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (IRIB)

March 03, 2017

Iranian embassy attacked for second time in less than two months.

Iran summoned Danish Ambassador to Iran Danny Annan following a March 1 attack by six “hostile” individuals on the Iranian embassy in Copenhagen. Six Iranian nationals, including four who sought asylum in Sweden, conducted a “similar” attack on January 19. They reportedly climbed the fence surrounding the embassy and posted banners with anti-regime sentiments. Iran summoned Annan following the first attack as well. Danish authorities also arrested six individuals in connection with the January 19 attack. (Press TV) (E) (ABNA) (E)

March 03, 2017

IRGC Quds Force deputy praises Afghan Shia militia.

IRGC Quds Force Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghani praised the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade’s efforts in the Syrian crisis during a memorial ceremony for Fatimiyoun Brigade members killed in Iraq and Syria. He stated, “When the Fatimiyoun [Brigade] set foot in Syria, its streets were in America’s hands. Today… [the Fatimiyoun] have slapped America on the mouth. [America] would never have come to the negotiations if it weren’t for [the Fatimiyoun’s] strength on the field.” Ghani praised the Fatimiyoun as “brave men who know no limits or borders in the defense of Islamic values.” (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13951212000564

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/03/02/1344012/some-progress-in-iran-saudi-hajj-talks-official

2. IRIB
http://www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/1537251/%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%B0%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B1%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AD%D8%AC-%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%B9

Citations & Links

1. Press TV
http://presstv.com/Detail/2017/03/02/512691/Iran-Denmark-embassy-attack-ambassadro

2. ABNA
http://en.abna24.com/news/iran/ties-betw-iran-denmark-maybe-damaged-for-embassy-attack-fm-spokesman_815119.html

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1395/12/11/1343499/%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%AF%DB%8C-%D8%AD%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%86%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%85%D9%86%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B7%D9%85%DB%8C%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%B2%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%AF

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