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 Mehrdad Moarefian and Marie Donovan. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: President Hassan Rouhani stressed the need for foreign investment, while Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Senator Tom Cotton's tweets.

President Rouhani reiterated the regime’s long-standing position regarding sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Security Council (UNSC), calling the sanctions “illegal” and illegitimate. Rouhani added: “Iran’s nuclear portfolio was never under Chapter VII of the UN Security Council [questioning the legality of the resolution]. Rouhani, meanwhile, emphasized the frail state of the economy, stating: “We must accept that we need huge investments for the country’s economic prosperity and the completion of large semi-finished projects… without… foreign capital and technology… [it] is very difficult.”

President Rouhani’s statements suggest that he is reinforcing the position of regime hardliners, who are adamantly opposed to any nuclear deal that would be endorsed under Chapter VII of the UNSC. Kayhan Managing Editor Hossein Shariatmadari, who is known to be a close confidant of the Supreme Leader, explicitly opposed such an agreement, arguing that it would “confirm… allegations that [Iran’s] nuclear program is not peaceful.” Rouhani’s remarks, however, reaffirms his pragmatic diplomatic strategy, because he implicitly calls on his critics to acknowledge the fact that Iran desperately needs economic relief.

Foreign Minister Zarif said that Senator Cotton’s tweets were full of political vitriol and that his lack of “tact” was “interesting.” Senator Cotton called Zarif a “coward” for being in the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq War.


Official Statements

  • Rouhani: we must accept our need for foreign investment. President Hassan Rouhani held a press conference on April 30, in Shiraz. The President discussed sanctions and stressed the need for foreign investment, adding:
    • “We must accept that we need huge investments for the country’s economic prosperity and the completion of large semi-finished projects, and the growth of the country, without the presence of foreign capital and technology… is very difficult.”
    • “Iran’s nuclear portfolio was never under Chapter VII of the UN Security Council [reiterating the Tehran's position regarding the legality of the sanctions]. Chapter VII sanctions are different from the usual sanctions and today the government and the servants of the people are trying to remove the sanctions.” (
    • Rouhani: Iran’s Lausanne fact sheet was published before America’s. President Rouhani discussed the recent framework agreement signed on April 2, in Lausanne Switzerland. Rouhani stated that Iran published its framework agreement fact sheet before any other members of the P5+1, specifically the U.S. He added: “The night the agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 and a [joint] statement was announced in Lausanne, Iranian news agencies published the fact sheet, foreign [media outlets] also published [Iran’s] fact sheet.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Zarif responds to Senator Cotton’s twitter rant. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed his remarks about domestic debate in the U.S. regarding the nuclear negotiations, during Wednesday’s event at New York University. Zarif reiterated that Iran does not care about Washington’s in-fighting over the negotiations. Zarif pointed to Senator Tom Cotton’s tweet, calling Zarif a “coward” and said, “[Cotton] was very angry and started insulting [me], which was interesting…” Zarif added that he wanted to teach the senator about Iranian tact and respect, so he simply congratulated Senator Cotton on his newborn son. (Mehr News)
  • Ayatollah Kashani censures Saudi aggression in Yemen. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Emami Kashani denounced the Saudi-led coalition for killing innocent Yemeni civilians. The Assembly of Experts member urged the citizens of the coalition members to call on their governments to stop killing Yemeni people and stated: “Why do you remain silent on the crimes of your governments?” Kashani added, “I just tell the Saudi people and their neighboring Arab nations: You are complicit in this sin with your silence.” (Mehr News)
  • Sayyari: says Iran’s naval forces patrol Bab al Mandeb strait. Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stated: "The Navy's 34th Fleet is conducting patrols in the Bab el Mandeb Strait… We don’t enter any countries' [territorial] waters and are present in the free waters based on international laws and regulations." (Defa Press)



Nuclear Talks

  • Iranian negotiators hold extensive talks with EU representatives. Abbas Araghchi, the Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister and Majid Takht Ravanchi, the European and American Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister met with EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid on April 30, in New York. The negotiations were over drafting the text for a final nuclear deal; the meeting was broken up into two rounds for a total of eight hours. Both sides resumed the deputy-level talks on May 1. (IRNA)
  • Nuclear negotiations may continue until Saturday. Iran and members of the P5+1 held a series of talks on the sidelines of the NPT Review Conference in New York this week and may extend their negotiations until May 2. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also announced that the P5+1 nuclear negotiations might resume sometime next week in Vienna, Austria. (Tabnak)



Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Zarif congratulates newly appointed Saudi Foreign Minister. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a congratulatory message to his Saudi counterpart Adel Ahmed al Jubeir. Zarif expressed hope that Tehran and Riyadh could improve their relations and promoted bilateral cooperation. (YJC
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