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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton. 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: Parliament passed legislation calling upon the Rouhani administration to seek compensation from the U.S. “for its hostile actions against Iran.”

Lawmakers approved a bill requiring the government to claim compensation from the U.S. for actions such as its involvement in the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. The legislation was proposed in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling permitting victims of terrorist attacks attributed to Iran to collect $2 billion in Iranian frozen assets. The Guardian Council must still approve the legislation before it becomes law.

Members of the reformist-moderate “List of Hope” faction elected senior reformist politician Mohammad Reza Aref as their head in the upcoming Parliament. This faction will be mostly composed of lawmakers who were endorsed by the reformist-moderate “List of Hope” in the parliamentary elections. A majority of independents are also reportedly “leaning” toward joining the Hope parliamentary faction, however, which likely will be the largest faction in parliament.

AEI Must-Reads

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Parliament passes legislation in response to Supreme Court ruling. Parliament approved a bill that would require the Rouhani administration to seek compensation from the U.S. “for its hostile actions against Iran,” although it does not specify an amount. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi claimed that the Foreign Ministry approved the passage of the legislation during an interview with reporters. (Fars News Agency) (Mashregh News)
    • Parliament also rejected hardliner parliamentarian Hamid Resaei’s proposal requiring the Rouhani administration to detain U.S. ships crossing the Strait of Hormuz. Majid Ansari, the vice president for legal and parliamentary affairs, criticized the proposed legislation because “the executive branch cannot order the IRGC and the Artesh to conduct operations in the Persian Gulf.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Iranian lawmaker: Iraq should create its own IRGC. Mohammad Saleh Johkar, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission, stressed that the IRGC is a “good model for regional countries” and noted that Iran is ready to assist any country in the region that wants to create its own version of the IRGC. Johkar’s comments appear to be in reaction to comments made by the commander of Saraya al-Khorasani -- an Iraqi Shia militia with close ties to Iran -- in support of Iraq forming its own version of the IRGC. (YJC)
  • Indian prime minister to visit Iran next week. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Tehran on May 22 for a two-day visit. Modi is expected to discuss oil imports and the development of the strategically important Chabahar port in Sistan and Baluchistan province.  (Press TV) (E)
  • Zarif attends ISSG meeting. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the May 17 meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Vienna. Zarif also held separate meetings with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on May 16, and with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the May 17 meeting. Ahead of the ISSG meeting, Zarif stated, “We must… prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the cessation of hostilities against the people of Syria… A military solution to the conflict in Syria is nothing but an illusion.” (IRNA) (E) (Mehr News) (E) (IRNA) (ABNA)
    • After the meeting, Zarif also stated, “Those who claim that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has been ineffective and that the situation has been unfavorable for economic actors do not see realities or the country’s situation correctly.” Zarif stressed that Iran is “on the path of growth, and hopefully we will end [this year] with significant growth and lower inflation.” (ABNA)

Domestic Politics

  • Aref elected head of parliamentary faction. Members of the reformist-moderate “List of Hope” faction elected senior reformist politician Mohammad Reza Aref as their head in the upcoming Parliament on May 17. Nine incoming parliamentarians, including Aref, were also elected to the faction’s executive board. It is still unclear how many lawmakers will be part of the faction, however, with estimates ranging between 120 and 160 parliamentarians. (Tasnim News Agency) (ILNA) (Mosalas) (Khabar Online)
  • Senior officials continue to criticize Rafsanjani’s daughter for meeting with Baha’i leader.Former IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohsen Rezaei referred to Faezeh Hashemi’s recent meeting with Baha’i leader Fariba Kamalabadi and stated that “support for false religions is not a dimension of human rights… If someone in Iran establishes a relationship with false religions, it is political.” Ayatollah Gholam Ali Safaei Bushehri, the Supreme Leader’s representative in Bushehr province, stated that meeting with Baha’i leaders is tantamount to “conformity with international Zionism” and called for the Judiciary to investigate the meeting. (Fars News Agency)

Military and Security

  • IRGC Air Force Commander: The U.S. told us to not disclose our missile tests. IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh claimed that U.S. officials instructed their Iranian counterparts to keep their missile activity secret in the wake of the nuclear deal. He stated that the U.S. told Iran, “Don’t talk about missile affairs, and don’t mention if you conduct a test or maneuver.” Hajizadeh also stressed that the U.S. has the end-goal of completely dismantling Iran’s missile program. (Farda News)

Casualties in Iraq and Syria

  • Iranian cleric reportedly killed in Syria. Iranian social media sites have reported the death of Iranian cleric and seminary student Majid Solimanian in Syria. His death has not yet been confirmed. (
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