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 Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Marie Donovan, with contributors Farzin Farzad and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
Key takeaway: Foreign Ministry declared the successful rescue of Iranian diplomat Nour Ahmad Nikbakht from Sana’a. IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami indicated that Iran chose to target a mock U.S. carrier during last weeks’ Great Prophet 9 exercises to highlight the vulnerability of the “great powers.” Representatives of the P5+1 and Iran met today in Switzerland.
The Foreign Ministry announced the successful rescue of Iranian diplomat Nour Ahmad Nikbakht, who was kidnapped on July 21, 2013 in Sana’a.
IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami stated that the ‘Persian Gulf’ missile displayed during last week’s IRGC Great Prophet 9 exercises in the Persian Gulf “is ballistic… [and] lands on moving vessels with zero error.” Salami indicated the choice to target a mock U.S. aircraft carrier during the Great Prophet 9 exercises was borne from a need to expose the vulnerability of the U.S. and other major global players: “In our studies, we realized that aircraft carriers are symbols for… the world’s great powers, especially America; … Normally, countries rarely…allow in their imagination that this capability can be overcome, but perhaps the Islamic Republic of Iran is the only one or one of the few countries… though these powers appear large but are vulnerable to the same extent.”
Representatives of the P5+1 countries and Iran met today in Montreaux, Switzerland. National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that the U.S. Is at the negotiating table because of “Iran’s authority in the region today,” echoing other regime members’ recent increasing projection of Iranian military strength and regional influence.
Abdollahian announces Iranian diplomat’s release. Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Iranian diplomat Nour Ahmad Nikbakht, who was kidnapped on July 21, 2013 in Sana’a, was successfully rescued in a complex operation carried about by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister added: “A special committee was formed in the Foreign Ministry, involving all relevant sections actively participated” in assisting the overall rescue effort. (Mashregh News)
Intelligence Minister discusses Iranian diplomat’s rescue from terrorists in Yemen. Hojjat al Eslam Mahmoud Alavi discussed the regime’s agency-wide efforts to rescue Nour Ahmad Nikbakht. The MOIS Head said:
- “Iran’s intelligence officers managed to employ new and novel methods in such a way so as to secure the release of our diplomat and at the same time none of their [terrorist’s] demands were met."
- “… Even powerful countries with all their intelligence services failed in recent months to free their citizens from terrorist hands even though they were prepared to meet the demands of hostage takers, but the intelligence officers of the Islamic Republic rescued the [Iranian] diplomat in a complex operation…” (Mehr News)
Salami: Persian Gulf missile is ballistic. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated, “The ‘Persian Gulf’ missile is a ballistic missile, and is therefore different from cruise missiles…[it] lands on moving vessels with zero error.” He stated, “When firing and for hitting the target, the Persian Gulf rocket changes the line of sight, and descends upon the vessel in a method of particular navigation...The ‘Persian Gulf’ missile was able to hit a moving vessel at 60 meters, and the aircraft carrier is nearly 320 meters long.” The IRGC Deputy Commander also discussed the choice to target a mock U.S. aircraft carrier during last week’s IRGC Great Prophet 9 exercises in the Persian Gulf: “In our studies, we realized that aircraft carriers are symbols for… the world’s great powers, especially America; …the great powers, especially America, build political influence from potential intimidation of the field.... Normally, countries rarely…allow in their imagination that this capability can be overcome, but perhaps the Islamic Republic of Iran is the only one or one of the few countries who, because it has a strong belief system, a wise and courageous leader, and the spirit of a wise and great people, we can surpass the height of the image of the enemy which he has built from his power; though these powers appear large but are vulnerable to the same extent.” (Sepah News)
Rezaei: Netanyahu is trying to divert attention from his war crimes in Gaza. Mohsen Rezaei called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress a “political show,” to shift the public’s attention from his war crimes. The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary said, “European intelligence sources told us” that the Republicans in Congress and Netanyahu’s Likud party orchestrated this speech for his reelection. Rezaei also said that Iranian negotiators are making positive progress and are adhering to the Supreme Leader’s guidelines. (Fars News Agency)
- Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC: don’t separate clergy from state. Hojjat al Eslam Kazem Sadeghi stated, “that the clergy are refined and limited to the space of the seminaries, and do not have work in politics and government, is unacceptable.” He also stated, “The principles of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic religion cannot be ignored, and we believe that the pursuit of national interests can be achieved only through insistence on principles.” (Rasa News)
IRGC makes major corruption arrest. The IRGC arrested “one of the biggest economic corruptors and a major debtor to the country’s banking system”, Mr. “H.A”, also known as “Dariush.” Dariush purportedly “built a network of economic corruption with his brothers and other influential agents,” including “launching… paper companies” and “forgery.” (Basij.ir)
- Navahandian: Iran’s economy will move forward regardless of negotiations. Mohammad Nahavandian emphasized that it is still too soon to determine the effects if a nuclear deal is not reached. The President’s Chief of Staff added that various economic delegations’ visits to Iran demonstrate that continuing to sanction Iran will not be accepted. Regarding the decline in world oil prices, Nahavandian said that Tehran is prepared to deal with all possible scenarios. (IRNA)
Negotiations between Iran and the P5+ 1 take place in Montreux, Switzerland. After meetings between deputy foreign ministers of Iran and the P5+1, International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi and Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, met separately with representatives from Russia and China. (Fars News Agency)
Boroujerdi says US is at the negotiating table because of Iran’s regional influence. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi responded to Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statement, saying that he cannot “promise” that a nuclear deal with Iran will be reached. Boroujerdi said, “No body was looking for Mr. John Kerry’s promise about a nuclear agreement.” The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member added: “America, because of the authority that the Islamic Republic Iran’s authority in the region today, and because of our continuous commitment to our international obligations, is sitting at the negotiating table.” Boroujerdi pointed to America’s contradicting statements show the amount of influence Israel has in Washington. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Nouri Hamedani says negotiations show the world that the US is being led by Israel. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani stated that the outcome of the nuclear negotiations was clear from the beginning. The prominent Shi’a clerics said that Americans have always shown animosity toward Iran, and that the negotiations have shown the world that they are “fastened to the tail of Israel.” (Fars News Agency)