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: The Supreme Leader demanded that the U.S. leave the Middle East, while calling for regional cooperation to secure the Persian Gulf. Tehran reiterated its support for inclusive dialogue to resolve the political crisis in Yemen, as Iran’s humanitarian aid ship reached the Gulf of Aden.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Washington for destabilizing the region, specifically condemning its support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. The Supreme Leader, moreover, urged regional cooperation based on a common interest- security. Khamenei stated: “We are neighbors… if the Persian Gulf is secure; all of us benefit from this security… those who should maintain its security are those to whom the Persian Gulf belongs to and is their home… Who is America to come here [and] talk about problems of the Persian Gulf; and recruit allies? They do not seek security.” Khamenei’s statements underscore the ongoing rhetorical and operational attempts by Iran to elevate its status as viable guarantor of Persian Gulf security.
Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated that Iran endorses UN-led efforts to start peace talks Yemen. Meanwhile, the Iranian Red Crescent Society cargo ship, carrying 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid supplies arrived in the Gulf Aden.
Khamenei: The West is the enemy of Islam. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed Iranian officials on May 17, in celebration of Eid al Mab’ath (the day Mohammad was appointed as the Prophet). Khamenei criticized “ignorant” powers that are “overcome by carnal desires and rage.” The Supreme Leader stated:
- “Today, ignorance still exists in the world; we must open our eyes and recognize ignorance… [The West] kills… the innocent [and] suppresses nations that have done nothing wrong.”
- “The weapon they [the West] have is manufactured by and a product of knowledge. The intelligence tools they have… the huge publicity tools that they have, are products of science; all of them are at the service of the same lust and rage.”
- “Their propaganda is wide-ranging propaganda and they cover all these [crimes] under various guises. The famous politician… of Britain, [Winston] Churchill – and we Iranians know the name Churchill very well –has a saying which contains a strange irony. He says the ‘truth’ is so valuable that humans should certainly wrap it and hide it in a cover of lies! Just look at this logic! Lying, untrue propaganda, [and] saying something that is exactly the opposite of truth; this is what one can see in the policies of Western [countries].”
- “Today, Americans claim that they want to fight against terrorism, while the most dangerous [and] ruthless terrorist groups have been created by them. Who created ISIS? They have confessed that they had a major role in creating ISIS… Where does the money and weapons come from?”
- “Who is supporting the fake Zionist government [in Israel], which is placing so much pressure on Palestine...? Who is standing behind them [Israel]?”
- “Dear brethren, dear nation of Iran, the great Islamic ummah, [and] rulers of [Muslim] countries! Know that we can stand up to this ignorance.”
- “Today, ominous policies of arrogance [the West] are [aimed at] waging proxy wars in our region. For their own interests, they [want to] instigate regional countries… and make them fight each other so [the West can] pursue its own interests; fill the pocket of arms manufacturing companies; [and] amend economic policies of their almost bankrupt economies; this is their goal.”
- “[The West wants] to pit Iran against Arabs; [to pit] a given ethnic group against another ethnic group; [and to pit] Shi’a against Sunni.”
- “America supported terrorists who kill people in Syria, who burn people alive; [who] cut open the chest of a dead person, bring out his heart and eat it; you supported these [terrorists]. You emboldened them. Your unmanned aircraft ruined peoples’ homes in Pakistan and Afghanistan; turned peoples’ wedding ceremonies into mourning – and this also happened in Iraq. You are doing such things; terrorism belongs to you; you are terrorists.”
- On Persian Gulf security: “[The West] talks about the Persian Gulf region. Security of the Persian Gulf region is the common interest of the Persian Gulf countries; we, the countries around the Persian Gulf, have a common interest. We are neighbors; security here will benefit all of us; if the Persian Gulf is secure, all of us benefit from this security and if it is insecure, it will be insecure for all [of us]… those who should maintain its security are those to whom the Persian Gulf belongs to and is their home.”
- “Who is America to come here [and] talk about problems of the Persian Gulf; and recruit allies? They do not seek security, they seek their own interests and [if] considered necessary, [they] make a place insecure and support the agent of insecurity.”
- On Yemen: “Yemen has become a field for the massacre of children and women; isn’t this insecurity? Who is supporting it? America. Unfortunately, the agent [of insecurity] consists of countries that are Muslim in name; [they] are regional countries, but they have been deceived. It [America] is the supporter; it is the mastermind; [America] is spreading terrorism.”
- “Then, they say Iran [is supporting] terrorism. We fought terrorism; we slapped terrorism in the face. Terrorism emerged within our country through the money of our enemies and through America plots…”
- “[Iran] cooperated with those who fought against terrorism in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon; [Iran] helped them; [and] it will continue to do so. We are against terrorism.”
- “[The U.S. president] says Iran [supports] terrorism. The terrorist [work] is your work. We are against terrorism and will fight against it… We support any oppressed; today the Yemeni nation is oppressed… the Bahraini nation is an oppressed [country].” (Khamenei.ir)
Abdollahian: Iran supports UN attempt at dialogue in Yemen. During a telephone discussion with UN Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian indicated that “Iran supports the UN’s efforts” to begin domestic talks in Yemen “with the participation of all parties.” Abdollahian stated, “Yemeni political parties and groups can achieve a sustainable agreement under the auspices of the UN.” (Mehr News) (E) (Defa Press)
Government to “set up cyber bases” during parliamentary elections. Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari stated that the government would “set up cyber bases to boost security of the upcoming parliamentary elections in February 2016.” Zolfaghari stated, "The elections security headquarters has been activated in provinces and towns and we will have desirable levels of security during the elections through setting up cyber bases, intelligence superiority, and monitoring the situation." (Fars News Agency) (E)
- Heads of the three branches discuss domestic and regional matters. President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani met on May 16 in Tehran. The senior officials stressed the need to stop the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, dispatch humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, and start national peace talks in Yemen. (Fars News Agency) (E)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Iranian aid ship reaches the Gulf of Aden. Fars News Agency reported that the cargo ship Iran Shahed carrying 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid supplies arrived in the Gulf of Aden on May 17. The ship is set to dock at the port city of al Hudaydah, Yemen. (Fars News Agency) (E)
Zarif confers with Chinese and Russian foreign ministers over Yemen. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate telephone conversations with his Chinese and Russian counterparts to discuss recent developments in Yemen. (ISNA)
Iran censures recent UN report on executions in Iran. Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani criticized UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran’s recent report on executions in Iran as based on false information from untrustworthy sources. Shaheed’s report purportedly “claimed that Iran executed 340 people since the beginning of 2015.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
- Dehghan meets with Obeidi in Baghdad. Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan arrived in Baghdad this morning and met with his Iraqi counterpart Khaled al Obeidi. Referring to Iraqi President Fuad Masum’s recent visit to Tehran and meetings with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, Dehghan stated, “We’re here to…show the expansion of cooperation among us, and to overcome security challenges and risks with synergy and strengthening of active resistance.” (Defa Press)
- Ali Larijani discusses the resistance economy. “At a meeting with entrepreneurs in Kurdistan,” Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “At present, the country’s approach in relation to economic development is empowerment of the private sector.” He also stated, “The past economic policies in Iran did not form correctly, and had a semi-socialist condition; this matter marked many problems for the country.” He also stated, “One of the important missions of the resistance economy is…a serious attempt to solve the important problems in the public sector of the economy.” He also called for the “creation of convergence between the professional and elite economic domains.” (ISNA)