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: Regime officials continue to quell protests peacefully challenging regime policies.

Tehran City Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) detained more than 80 peaceful protesters during a gathering on International Women’s Day on March 8 in Tehran. Reports indicate that many of the protesters were released shortly after their detention but many still remain imprisoned. Organizers planned the International Women’s Day protest several days in advance in order to voice grievances such as workplace inequality. Protest movements have continued across Iran on such issues as water distribution mismanagement, unpaid salaries, compulsory hijab laws, the unjust imprisonment of religious minority members, and corruption within loosely regulated credit cooperatives and financial and credit institutions.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from March 6 - 9.


AEI Must Reads
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March 09, 2018

Iran’s Ex-president Ahmadinejad Raises the Stakes Against the Political Establishment

Marie Donovan lays out how Ahmadinejad’s recent behavior can pose a problem for regime officials in, “Iran’s Ex-president Ahmadinejad Raises the Stakes Against the Political Establishment.”  

Citations & Links

Domestic Politics
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March 09, 2018

LEF arrest more than 80 protesters on International Women’s Day.

Reports on social media noted that Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) arrested more than 80 peaceful protesters during an International Women’s Day protest outside of the Labor Ministry in Tehran on March 8. Detained protesters’ family members gathered in front of the detention center on the evening of March 8.  Reports claim that Tehran LEF released many of the protesters on March 9 but many still remain in detention. The protest on International Women’s Day is part of a broader network of women’s rights protests that have emerged in Iran. Demonstrators have protested both the mandatory hijab as well as the banning of women at major sporting events. (Radio Farda) (Telegram)

March 09, 2018

Friday prayer leaders criticise French foreign minister’s visit to Iran.

Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat ol Eslam Kazem Sedighi criticized French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s March 5 visit to Iran to discuss the nuclear deal and Iran’s regional behavior. Sedighi noted that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated that “our region has nothing to do with [France].” Sedighi stated that Iran will not allow any foreign country to interfere in Iran’s relations with its neighbors. Zanjan Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ali Khatami stated that Iran should be thankful to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for how Zarif handled Le Drian’s disrespectful behavior. European signatories of the deal and the U.S. have increased international pressure on Iran to curb its destabilizing regional behavior and ballistic missile program. Iran has repeatedly refused to negotiate on its ballistic missile program. (ISNA) (ISNA) (Mehr News Agency)

March 10, 2018

Former president continues public criticism of the regime.

Hardline former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad argued that both reformist and conservative politicians are part of the same “closed circle” in a written statement on his official website on March 7. Ahmadinejad accused the “closed circle” of “forming a superior class [by which] they take advantage of special privileges and higher salaries with their hegemony over centers of power and wealth.” He also accused both sides of the political spectrum of “maintaining the status quo and safeguarding an order that gives them a limitless and special opportunity to take advantage of power and wealth.” Ahmadinejad stated that the regime opposes any change that benefits the people and warned that Iranians will soon put an end to this “closed circle.” Ahmadinejad continued his criticism of regime officials in a speech on March 9 where he stated that “freedom should not be monopolized by a [limited] few,” in reference to regime leadership. Ahmadinejad has been challenging the Supreme Leader’s authority since his fall-out with Khamenei in 2012-13. Ahmadinejad has increased his public criticism of the regime over the last year and has called for system reform and changes to current leadership. (Dolat-e Bahar) (Dolat-e Bahar)

Citations & Links

1. Radio Farda

2. Telegram

Citations & Links



3. Mehr News Agency

Citations & Links

1. Dolat-e Bahar

2. Dolat-e Bahar

Military and Security
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March 09, 2018

Hajizadeh: Iran’s missile production has increased threefold.

IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Iran’s missile production has increased threefold during a speech in Tehran on March 6. Hajizadeh did not specify the time frame in which Iran’s missile production has increased. Hajizadeh criticized the French government for permitting “seditious” groups to operate in France. Hajizadeh’s comments were in reference to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an anti-regime Iranian expatriate organization headquartered in Paris. These statements follow French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to Tehran to discuss the nuclear deal and Iran’s ballistic missile program with senior Iranian officials. (Fars News Agency) (Reuters) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency

2. Reuters

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