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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton with contributors Ken Hawrey and Alice Naghshineh. 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.

Key Takeaway: Defense Minister IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan claimed he is “certain” the UN Security Council will not respond to Iran’s recent missile tests “since they did not violate the nuclear deal or UNSC Resolution 2231.”

Dehghan claimed that Iran’s March 8 and 9 missile tests were aimed at “producing weapons that would be an appropriate response to likely threats” and added that Iran “would never pursue unconventional weapons.” Dehghan also stated that he is “certain” that the UN Security Council will not take action in response to Iran’s missile tests after the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany issued a statement to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arguing that the missiles Iran launched were "inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and thus in defiance of UNSC Resolution 2231. UNSC Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear deal, calls upon Iran to refrain from activity related to ballistic missiles which are “designed to be capable of carrying” a nuclear warhead.

Senior regime leaders, meanwhile, issued statements to commemorate the anniversary of Islamic Republic Day, when Iranians voted to establish the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979.

AEI Must-Reads

Paul Bucala and Frederick W. Kagan debunk Iran’s repeated assertion that it is only training, advising, and assisting Syrian forces by analyzing data collected from Iranian media reports on military casualties in the Critical Threats Project’s latest report, “Iran’s Evolving Way of War: How the IRGC Fights in Syria.

Matthew McInnis discusses Iran’s calculations following the partial Russian withdrawal from Syria and the consequences if Russia scales back its use of airpower in his latest blog, “Did Putin just leave Iran holding the bag in Syria?

Military and Security

  • Defense Minister: “Iran will never pursue unconventional weapons.” Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan defended Iran’s ballistic missile program, claiming that Iran’s recent missile tests were aimed at “producing weapons that would be an appropriate response to likely threats” and that Iran “would never pursue unconventional weapons.” Dehghan claimed that he is “certain” that the UNSC [UN Security Council] would not take action in response to the recent military tests “since they did not violate the nuclear deal or UNSC Resolution 2231.” Dehghan added that Iran does “not require anyone’s approval of confirmation” in order to make decisions regarding the development of its defensive capabilities.  (Defa Press)
  • Baeidinejad defends missile tests. Hamid Baeidinejad criticized those “who continue to insist on drawing a connection between the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and the missile debate.” The Foreign Ministry’s Director General for Political Affairs stressed that Iran “showed a strong and principled response at the level of the Supreme Leader and the President” to American aggression against Iran’s missile program,” and “has announced that [its] missile defense plans will continue with more power than ever.” Baeidinejad also criticized hardline newspaper Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari for agreeing with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to “tear up the JCPOA.” (Mehr News Agency)

Domestic Politics

  • “Informed” source: A Rafsanjani fan runs his Twitter account. According to an “informed source” for the online newspaper Entekhab, Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s office issued a press release two months ago stating that there are no social media accounts linked to Rafsanjani outside of his official site. The informant stated that Rafsanjani has “no relation to the Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram accounts linked to” his name and claimed that “one of his fans” runs the Twitter account. An account bearing Rafsanjani’s name published a tweet on March 23 which stated, “The world of tomorrow is a world of talks, not missiles.” The Supreme Leader appeared to react to the tweet when he stated in a March 30 speech that “those who see the world of tomorrow as a world of negotiation and not missiles” are either ignorant of traitors.  (
  • Rouhani commemorates Islamic Republic Day. President Hassan Rouhani called Islamic Republic Day a “manifestation of democracy and Islam in the country.” (Mehr News Agency) (Press TV) (E)
  • Reformists challenge Guardian Council’s removal of Esfahan parliamentarian. Chairman of the Reformist Front Coordination Council Ali Nekuei criticized the Guardian Council’s decision to “annul the votes” of Minoo Khaleghi, who was elected to Parliament in Esfahan province during the first round of parliamentary elections. Nekuei stated, “If the Guardian Council [already] had evidence against Ms. Khaleghi, why was she not disqualified in the first round along with thousands of other Reformists?” He stated that while his council has “no information” regarding her verdict, it believes that “she has denounced all the accusations against her and is pursuing legal recourse.” Nekuei added that he is sending a letter to President Hassan Rouhani in hopes that he will intervene in the Esfahan electoral change. (ILNA)
    • Reformist Parliamentarian Mahmoud Sadeghi also challenged the Guardian Council’s annulment of Khaleghi’s votes, claiming that “the deadline for disqualifications has passed.” He added, “If their decision is to annul [her votes], which is meaningless, and to disqualify her, one must say there is no legal basis at this point.” (ILNA)


  • Interior Minister outlines role of provinces in achieving Resistance Economy programs. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli issued a letter that details the process of organizing the implementation of approved Resistance Economy Headquarters programs to high-ranking administration representatives throughout Iran’s provinces. The letter outlined, among other organizational tasks, the responsibility of provincial governors “to set up and hold sessions within their provincial resistance economy headquarters with respective executive agency directors [and] national [Resistance Economy] Headquarters.” (ISNA)


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