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: Abbas Araghchi expressed optimism that the P5+1 and Iran will reach a final nuclear deal before the June 30 deadline. The Artesh Navy announced the 34th Fleet is escorting an Iranian humanitarian aid ship bound for Yemen.
International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated that a large part of the draft for a final nuclear deal is ready, and that “We are very positive that a final agreement can be reached before the [June 30] deadline.” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meanwhile, echoed Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi’s dismissal of the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill allowing Congress to review a final nuclear deal.
National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that Iran is “planning to construct field hospitals in Sana’a and Sa’ada,” and that it is “trying to send our humanitarian aid to Yemen” through Djibouti. Artesh 1st Naval Zone Commander Admiral Hossein Azad also stated that the Iranian 34th Fleet will escort the Iranian Red Crescent vessel carrying humanitarian supplies bound for al Hudaydah, Yemen.
Zarif: Congressional intervention would result in only a temporary delay of nuclear agreement. During a joint press conference with his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to the U.S. Senate’s May 7 passage of a bill allowing Congress to review a final nuclear deal. Zarif stated, “We believe that the U.S. Congress bill and the Senate approval will not decrease the U.S. administration's commitments, rather it will make the administration's commitment heavier because we consider the U.S. government responsible for implementing the agreements." Zarif also stated, “As […Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas] (Araghchi) has stated the Senate's approval will result in a maximum two-month delay.” Zarif also stated, “I feel that a number of political factions inside and outside of America are not willing to solve the nuclear issue and are looking to create a barrier…” When asked about the ceasefire in Yemen, Zarif stated: "We support any ceasefire and halt to the military operations that take innocent people, women and children as its victims, and [we urge that] it should turn into a permanent truce and the negotiations in this regard should continue.” (Fars News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency)
Boroujerdi reveals U.S. secret demands. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi disclosed Washington’s purported demands from Tehran during the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary (NSFP) Commission Chairman stated: “At the time of the [U.S.] invasion of Afghanistan, the Americans sent us a message to request permission to use Iranian airspace to attack Afghanistan, but Iran [declined]…” Boroujerdi claimed that the U.S. called for negotiations with Iran, when the Americans were “entangled in a self-made quagmire” in Iraq. He added: “The Swiss embassy in Tehran delivered the written request and Iran accepted it only due to the insistence of Iraqi officials who sought increased security in their country; and three rounds of negotiations were held between Iranian and American diplomats.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
Salami to Peshmerga: U.S. and its allies are trying to divide Iraqi Muslim ethnic groups. Addressing a group of Peshmerga Muslims in the Iranian province of Kurdistan, IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated, “The U.S., European countries, and [their] Arab [allies] in the region are plotting to sow discord among Muslim ethnic groups in Iraq." He also stated, “It should be noted that tribes…ethnicities, and religions have been valuable opportunities to strengthen the foundations of national unity and Islamic solidarity, and to help expand the atmosphere of compassion and kindness in the Muslim world.” Salami also stated, ““Muslim Peshmerga Kurds martyrs are shining bright stars that gave Iranian the gift of security and tranquility…” (Sepah News) (Fars News Agency) (E)
Ayatollah Alam ol Hoda: the Saudi Arabian people are beginning a revolution. Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam al Hoda stated, “Today, a revolution in Saudi Arabia is emerging…we now well observe that Saudi Arabia is moving in the direction of extremism…The authoritarian behavior of Saudi Arabia’s rulers has caused the people of Saudi Arabia also to rise up.” (Defa Press)
- Jazayeri warns against any attacks on Iranian aid ship. Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri “stressed that an attack on the Iranian aid ship bound for Yemen will ignite the fire of war in the region.” (Fars News Agency)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
The Artesh 34th Fleet is escorting Iranian humanitarian aid ship. Artesh 1st Naval Zone Commander Admiral Hossein Azad stated that the Iranian 34th Fleet will escort the Iranian Red Crescent vessel carrying humanitarian supplies bound for al Hudaydah, Yemen. Azad stated that the “34th Fleet...is especially responsible for supporting Iran’s humanitarian aid ship.” (Alef)
Iran plans to set up field hospitals in Yemen. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that Iran has dispatched humanitarian aid to Yemen, through Djibouti. The NSFP Chairman added, “We are planning to construct field hospitals in Sana'a and Sa'ada… The closest place to Yemen is Djibouti and we are trying to send our humanitarian aid to Yemen through that country." (Fars News Agency) (E)
Iraqi President arrives in Tehran. President Fuad Masum arrived in Tehran on May 12. Masum was invited by his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani; this is President Masum’s first official visit to Tehran since he took office last summer. (YJC)
- Rouhani promotes closer relations with Armenia. President Rouhani met with Artashes Tumanyan, Armenia’s new ambassador to Tehran, on May 12. Rouhani stated: "There is no obstacle to the expansion of relations between Tehran and Yerevan, and there is no doubt that promotion of economic, cultural and political cooperation would benefit both countries." (President.ir)
Araghchi: large part of the draft for a final nuclear deal is ready. Abbas Araghchi expressed cautious optimism about reaching a final deal. The International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister stated, “We are very positive that a final agreement can be reached before the [June 30] deadline.” (Mehr News) (E)
- Iranian negotiating team arrives in Vienna. Senior negotiators Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi met with EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid on May 12, in the Austrian capital. (Press TV) (E)
Iran received seventh installment of its frozen funds. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced that the third and final phase of unblocking Iran’s assets has been completed, per the Joint Plan of Action, signed in 2013. According to the CBI Iran received $4.9 billion of its oil money, which had been frozen in foreign banks as part of the sanctions. (Press TV) ( E)
- Iranian car manufacturer in talks with French and German auto companies. Saipa CEO Saeed Madani announced that the company is in negotiations with PSA Peugeot Citroen and Japanese manufacturing company Nissan. Madani said that the details of negotiations have not been finalized due to the ongoing nuclear talks. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)