Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway: Iranian diplomats will continue to push European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to enact blocking regulations against the forthcoming reimplementation of U.S. sanctions lifted under the JCPOA.

President Hassan Rouhani ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 8 to consult with the UK, Germany, France, Russia, and China following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the JCPOA. Rouhani stated that the results of Iran’s talks with the remaining JCPOA-member states will determine how Iran will respond to the U.S.’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Iranian diplomats will continue their efforts over the “next several weeks” to pressure European signatories of the nuclear deal to enact blocking regulations against the U.S.’s reimplementation of sanctions lifted under the JCPOA beginning on August 6, 2018.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from May 3 - 9.

Nuclear Deal Developments
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May 10, 2018

President Trump announces U.S. withdrawal from JCPOA.

President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8 and that the U.S. will reimplement sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal. Trump condemned the Iranian regime for its disconcerting regional activities in Syria and Yemen as well as for its ballistic missile program. (WhiteHouse.gov) (E) (WhiteHouse.gov) (E)

  • Treasury Department will reimplement sanctions in staggered approach. The Treasury Department stated on May 8 that it will begin the phasic reimplementation of U.S. sanctions lifted under the JCPOA against Iran following Trump’s announcement to pull out of the nuclear deal. The Treasury will begin the reimplementation of U.S. sanctions and revocation of authorizations afforded under the nuclear deal in 90 and 180-day “wind-down periods.” The first wind-down period is scheduled to terminate on August 6, 2018 and the second period is scheduled to end on November 4, 2018. The reimplementation of U.S. sanctions will affect all existing contracts between U.S. and non-U.S. companies conducting business with Iran including commercial aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg announced in late April that Boeing delayed commercial aircraft shipments to Iran in preparation for Trump’s expected withdrawal from the nuclear deal. An Airbus spokesperson announced that the European aircraft manufacturer will “[comply] with sanctions and export control regulations.” The two aerospace companies signed multi-billion dollar contracts in 2016 to provide commercial aircraft to Iranian airline companies. (Treasury.gov) (E) (Reuters) (E) (CNN) (E)
May 10, 2018

Rouhani directs Foreign Ministry to consult with JCPOA-member states.

President Hassan Rouhani directed the Foreign Ministry to continue diplomatic consultations with the remaining nuclear-deal member states (the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China) over the “next several weeks.” Rouhani made his announcement during a late-night television broadcast immediately following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8. Rouhani stated that the results of Iran’s talks will determine how Iran will respond to the U.S.’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Rouhani also ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to have the “necessary preparation” to start “unrestricted industrial [uranium] enrichment…if needed.” Rouhani added that Iran will wait “a few weeks” and consult with the JCPOA-member states before making a decision on whether to resume uranium enrichment. (President.ir)

  • Rouhani discusses U.S. withdrawal with Macron. Rouhani criticized Trump’s May 8 decision to withdraw from the JCPOA during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on May 9. Rouhani stressed the importance of JCPOA members “guaranteeing” Iranian national interests and important issues connected to the JCPOA such as “petroleum sales, banking relations, investment, and insurance [services].” Rouhani also stated that if Iran and Europe are able to reach a “clear decision” on the JCPOA then the two will be “witness to more expansive relations.” Rouhani noted that “consultations and cooperation [between] France and Iran will continue regarding the preservation of shared interests and on regional security and stability.”  Macron reiterated his disapproval of Trump’s decision to pull out of the JCPOA. Macron also stressed that Europe will try to “preserve the JCPOA.” (President.ir)
May 10, 2018

Khamenei demands Europe offer Iran “definite guarantees.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated on May 9 that Iran will not remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) unless the UK, France, and Germany offer Iran “definite and trustworthy guarantees” during diplomatic negotiations. Khamenei condemned the U.S.’s decision and expressed his distrust in the UK, France, and Germany in remaining committed to their JCPOA commitments. (Khamenei.ir)

May 10, 2018

Europe reaffirms commitment to JCPOA.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement and reiterated their support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) following the U.S.’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal on May 8. May, Macron, and Merkel announced that they will work with the remaining JCPOA-member states (Iran, Russia, and China) toward the preservation of the JCPOA. The three European leaders also expressed their worry over “shared concerns” regarding Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing regional activities. EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini also urged Iran to remain committed to the JCPOA in a separate statement. (Gov.uk) (E) (EEAS.eu) (E)

Citations & Links

1. WhiteHouse.gov
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-joint-comprehensive-plan-action/

2. WhiteHouse.gov
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/press-briefing-national-security-advisor-john-bolton-iran/

3. Treasury.gov
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/iran.aspx

4. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-boeing/boeing-says-will-consult-with-us-on-next-steps-after-iran-announcement-idUSKBN1I92Q6

5. CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/08/news/companies/boeing-airbus-iran-sanctions/index.html

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/104277

2. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/104289

Citations & Links

1. Khamenei.ir
http://farsi.khamenei.ir/news-content?id=39523

Citations & Links

1. Gov.uk
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-from-prime-minister-may-chancellor-merkel-and-president-macron-following-president-trumps-statement-on-iran

2. EEAS.eu
https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/44238/remarks-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-statement-us-president-trump_en

Domestic Politics
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May 10, 2018

Rouhani criticizes Judiciary’s nationwide ban on Telegram.

President Hassan Rouhani condemned the Judiciary-directed April 30 ban on the popular messaging application Telegram in a post on his Instagram page. Rouhani stated that his administration “did not implement nor condone” the block. Rouhani also described the Judiciary’s decision to block Telegram as the “opposite of democracy.” Rouhani added that the Judiciary’s ban failed to take the proper “legal steps” and used “coercive tool[s]” to impose the Telegram ban. (Instagram)

Citations & Links

1. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BiXSzOEFQMF/?hl=en&taken-by=hrouhani

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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May 10, 2018

Foreign Ministry resumes Yemen talks with Europe.

Foreign Ministry Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari led a political delegation to Rome, Italy on May 3 to discuss the conflict in Yemen with European actors. Representatives from Italy, France, the UK, Germany, and the EU participated in the meeting. The gathering was the second round of talks between Iranian and European officials after officials previously met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in February. Iranian media reported that the third round of talks will take place in Brussels, Belgium during the second-half of June. Two unidentified European officials and an unidentified Iranian official alleged in March that Iran’s negotiations with Europe in Munich, Germany centered on “what [Europe] expected from [Iran] in Yemen” as well as Iran’s support for proxy militant groups in southern Lebanon and in southern Syria. (IRIB News) (Fars News Agency) (EEAS.eu) (E)

Citations & Links

1. IRIB News
http://www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/2118408/%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%B3%D8%AA-%DB%B4-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%BE%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D9%85

2. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13970213000758

3. EEAS.eu
https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/43980/eue4-political-consultations-regional-issues-iran_en

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