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.

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors.

Key takeaway: Former senior nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili stressed Iran’s rights to nuclear facilities and nuclear power plants under the NPT. Hossein Naghavi Hosseini stated that “no power” would be allowed to “stop or inspect” the Iranian aid ship bound for Yemen.

Former senior nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili highlighted several of Iran’s key rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which he argued must be recognized, including having a nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear facilities, and building nuclear power plants. He also stated that the “other side” [the P5+1] has “expressly stated” that the Natanz enrichment plant, not the Fordow enrichment plant, would be allowed to continue enriching uranium because Fordow’s location underground makes it harder to destroy.

National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Spokesman Hossein Naghavi Hosseini stated that Iran “will not give permission to stop or inspect” the Iranian ship “Nejat” carrying humanitarian supplies to al Hudaydah, Yemen, “to any power.” The “Nejat” left Bandar Abbas, Iran, on May 11.   


Nuclear Talks

  • P5+1 nuclear negotiations continue in Vienna. The fourth day of deputy-level talks between Iran and the P5+1 started on May 15 in the Austrian capital. Both sides continued discussions on the draft for a final nuclear deal and reportedly agreed to meet on May 20. (Press TV) (E)
  • Araghchi meets with Sergei Ryabkov in Vienna. Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov on May 15. Araghchi reportedly reiterated Iran’s redlines and said that the issue of transferring spent nuclear fuel to Russia has not been on the agenda. He added: "It is one of the subjects, we should continue our negotiations on it; there is no final agreement [yet]." (IRIB) (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Jalili: Iran’s rights to nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities under the NPT must be recognized. Representative of the Supreme Leader in the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili highlighted several of Iran’s rights under the NPT which he argued must be recognized. He stated: 
    • “…the more important point is that according to the NPT, all members have the right to have a nuclear fuel cycle….there is no limitation in the NPT for this right. There are only two conditions; one is that the enrichment must be under the control of the IAEA, and the second is that it must be for peaceful use.”
    • “The second important point is that according to the NPT, members can build whatever power plant they want. The only constraint is that the facility should be built under the supervision of the IAEA.”
    • “According to the NPT, all members can have any number of nuclear facilities….”
    • “All our talk is that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be an exception…we must have our rights.”
    • “…the other party says that Fordow should not exist. They say that only Natanz must exist, but Fordow must not…We ask, Natanz and Fordow, what’s the difference? Why do they say that Fordow must not exist? They answer because Fordow is under a mountain, and if we [the ‘other side’] bomb it, it would not be bad. They expressly say so. This indicates the enormity of the enemy.” (Raja News)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Iranian humanitarian aid ship en route to Yemen. The Iranian cargo ship dubbed Nejat (Rescue), carrying 2,500 tons of aid supplies for Yemen is currently moving through the Arabian Sea, reportedly heading to Yemen’s western port city al Hudaydah. The ship left the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on May 11. (Press TV) (E)
  • Naghavi Hosseini: we will not allow “any power” “to stop or inspect” the Iranian aid ship. National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Spokesman Hossein Naghavi Hosseini stated, “We are sending a rescue ship to Yemen, and we will not give permission to stop or inspect this ship to any power.” Naghavi Hosseini also stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is not getting involved in Yemen; the enemies know that if we were involved in Yemen, the Saudi regime would disappear in the first week.” (Defa Press)


Official Statements

  • Iranian official: Iran should seize the Alpine Eternity. Director of the consortium for phase 13 of the South Pars project Habbib Jadidi stated, “We want neighboring countries to make the necessary cooperation on confiscation and handing over of this particular vessel.” According to Press TV, Oil Ministry news outlet Shana quoted Jadidi as saying that Norweigan-operated Transpetrol TM AS’s Alpine Eternity hit an oil rig on March 22, causing $300 million in damages. IRGC boats fired warning shots across the Alpine Eternity’s bow on May 14 in the Persian Gulf; and the Singapore-flagged vessel fled to UAE waters. (Press TV)


Domestic Politics

  • Shariatmadari responds to Rezaei’s open letter. Managing Editor of conservative news outlet Kayhan Hossein Shariatmadari wrote an open letter in response to Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei’s public condemnation of Shariatmadari on May 13. In the letter Shariatmadari stated: “… I was surprised how you accused Kayhan of [casting] aspersions and insulting you for 15 years? I wish you would have provided examples. In my opinion you are the same ‘Mr. Mohsen’ of the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War] era, and are deserving of respect…” (Kayhan)
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