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: The IRGC continued test-firing ballistic missiles during military exercises today, indicating that it remains largely undeterred by Western pressure and sanctions on its missile program.

The IRGC test-fired Ghadr H and F-type missiles from the Alborz mountains in northern Iran at a target 1,400 kilometers away off the southeastern Makran coast. The IRGC also reportedly tested two Shahab 3 ballistic missiles.

Iranian news outlets reported that an IRGC brigadier general second class was killed in Syria on March 7. He was reportedly a member of the Razavi Khorasan provincial IRGC unit.

Matthew McInnis discusses Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s decision-making following the elections and explains five steps the Iranian leader may take to shape the resulting political arena in his latest blog post, “After Iran’s elections, the Supreme Leader’s next steps.”

Military and Security

  • IRGC continues ballistic missile test-firing. The IRGC test-fired Ghadr H and F-type missiles during military exercises on March 9. The missiles were fired from the eastern Alborz mountains in northern Iran, with a target 1,400 kilometers away off the southeastern Makran coast. IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh stressed that the missiles fired today have a range of 2,000 kilometers and stated, “Israel’s evils are completely obvious to us; the 2000 kilometer range of our missiles is to deal with the Zionist regime at a far distance.”
    • Hajizadeh also stated that “these missiles have not been used against terrorist groups, although it’s possible” Iran may do so. Hajizadeh continued, “We are not starting a war, but we will also not be caught off-guard.”
    • IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami claimed that “we can target regional targets, including Israel, from any point, at any volume and with any launch system, simultaneously [as well as] consecutively.” The IRGC Deputy Commander continued, “We are fully resolute and ready. Whenever there are orders, all of our missile capacities are ready to fire... the main objective of this exercise is the exertion of our willpower to defend our land and the establishment of deterrence.” Salami stressed that Iran’s missile power gives “massive” support to Iran’s “foreign policy and diplomacy.” (IRIB) (Defa Press)
    • Defa Press also reported that the IRGC tested two Shahab 3 ballistic missiles this morning. (Defa Press)
  • Velayati: Russia is determined to have defense contracts signed by Iran. Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati declared that he “does not see serious obstacles in the transfer of defense technology from Russia to Iran” and added that “Russia is determined to have contracts signed with Iran, including contracts related to [S-300] anti-aircraft missiles and other items that Russia and Iran have agreed to implement.” Iranian and Russian officials have not yet specified a delivery date for the S-300 missile defense system. (IRNA) (Tasnim News Agency)


Domestic Politics

  • Judiciary official indirectly criticizes Rouhani. Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the head of the Court of Administrative Justice, said that “unconstructive statements from individuals who have responsibilities in the Islamic Republic are unacceptable” during remarks on March 9. He stated, “Unfortunately, standards for the friendships and feuds of some in society do not meet religious criteria. Today some of us look at which people are being partisan or are working in our interests. [Those who fit the former] are incompatible with religious standards and criteria.” Montazeri’s comments are possibly an indirect criticism of President Hassan Rouhani, who vocally denounced the judiciary-mandated media blackout against former reformist president Mohammad Khatami in comments earlier this week. (Mehr News Agency)
  • Reformist-backed Assembly of Experts member criticizes Guardian Council vetting. Ayatollah Ali Shafiei stated that the Assembly of Experts must “follow up on problems in society,” particularly the Guardian Council’s vetting process for electoral candidates, during an Assembly of Experts session on March 9. Shafiei stated, “Despite the praiseworthy efforts of the respected Guardian Council in matters of qualifications, there is a need for explanations regarding the lack of approvals… Some [candidates] had outstanding positions and the people’s confidence, but they were still disqualified.” He added that “terms in the law must be adjusted such that there are no misunderstandings.” Reformists endorsed Shafiei on the “Reformists and Government Supporters” candidate list in the February 26 elections. (ILNA)
  • Supreme Leader appoints hardline cleric as personal representative. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda as his representative in Razavi Khorasan province on March 9. (Mashregh News)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • State-owned newspaper criticizes Turkey’s Syria stance. Daily newspaper Iran published an editorial on March 9 discussing Iran-Turkey relations and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's recent trip to Iran. The editorial emphasized the necessity of including Iran in regional negotiations and claimed that Turkey “knows well that the Syrian crisis will be solved sooner or later, just as Iran’s nuclear crisis was solved. Turkey is not in a position in which it can make all of its demands practical in Syria.” The editorial specifically criticized Turkey’s support for “a no-fly zone in Syria, [President Bashar al] Assad’s resignation, and the coming to power of his opposition” as “strengthening terrorism, according to Iranian authorities.”
    • The editorial added that Davutoglu visited Iran “in order to end his country’s political and economic crises with Iran’s help. Of course, mentioning Turkey’s need for Iran does not mean that Iran does not need Turkey.” It emphasized the importance of bilateral economic relations in particular. (Iran)


  • Emergency budget approved for parliamentary review. President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members approved an emergency budget in a cabinet session on March 9. The emergency budget is expected to provide the government with short-term funds in the absence of an annual budget and will be presented to Parliament at a later, unspecified date. Hardliner parliamentarians have criticized the Rouhani administration for failing to present its annual budget on time for parliamentary approval. According to procedure, the administration was required to submit the annual budget to Parliament for review by Azar 15 (≈ December 6 of last year). (


Casualties in Iraq and Syria

  • IRGC brigadier general killed in Syria. IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Hassan Shams Abadi was killed in Syria on March 7. He reportedly went to Syria “one day after his retirement.” He was a member of the IRGC Imam Reza unit of Razavi Khorasan province. (Tnews)



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