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: IRGC Air Force Commander Hajizadeh said that under no circumstance will Iran grant access to its military sites, while senior Parliamentarians echoed the regime’s redlines on IAEA-led inspections.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh claimed that the West is pushing for inspections in order to gain access to Iran’s sensitive military and scientific technology. The IRGC Air Force Commander explicitly stated: “We will not allow inspection of Iran's military and defense centers and control over them under any pretext, and we see the West's request as officially asking to spy on Iran.” Hajizadeh stressed the need for heightened security and countermeasures due to the “full-scale economic, cultural, security, and political war with” the U.S.
Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi, meanwhile, reiterated the Supreme Leader’s red lines, warning that Iran will not accept any nuclear deal that compromises national interests. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Commission Chairman stated: "[Iran] would never allow visits to its sensitive sites or interviews with… [Iranian nuclear scientists]…” NSFP Commission member Mohammad Esmail Kowsari reinforced this sentiment by calling for a comprehensive plan to ensure that the “IAEA has absolutely no permissive authority to inspect non-nuclear facilities, not even controlled [access].”
Hajizadeh: asking for inspection of military sites is requesting to spy on Iran. IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “We will not allow inspection of Iran's military and defense centers and control over them under any pretext, and we see the West's request as officially asking to spy on Iran.” Hajizadeh also “stressed that as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said, ‘Iran will not allow them to do managed or unmanaged inspection of its military and defense sites from any distance and in any form, and will give such demands a response that spying actions deserve, a response with hot lead.’” Hajizadeh also stated, “We are facing an American conspiracy; today, we are engaged in a full-scale economic, cultural, security and political war with them…” (Defa Press) (Fars News Agency) (E)
Javani reflects on IRGC’s role in the system of the Islamic Republic. Senior Political Advisor to the Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Yadollah Javani wrote an article this week in Sohbe Sadegh entitled “The Position and Role of the IRGC in the Structure of the System [of the Islamic Republic].” Javani stated:
- “IRGC Day [May 22] is an opportunity for greater recognition of the IRGC and the mission of this revolutionary institution.”
- “The IRGC was born on the basis of historical necessity, spontaneously, by the efforts of revolutionary people and faithful young people across the country, due to the need to protect and defend the Islamic Revolution from external and internal conspiracies…”
- “The institution is the begotten of the [Islamic] Revolution itself and was formed to protect the [Islamic] Revolution and its advances; accordingly, all of the enemies of the [Islamic] Revolution, are the enemies of this begotten of the [Islamic] Revolution.”
- “If there had been no IRGC, there would be no country.”
- “A number of those affected by…enemy propaganda against the IRGC have [made] some false, incorrect statements and judgements regarding the performance of the IRGC inside the country, and do not pay attention to the position of the IRGC in the structure of the system…” Javani responded to this by highlighting the early activities of the IRGC in 1358 , and later the formation of “operational brigades and divisions and naval, air, and ground forces” “when the [Iran-Iraq] War was imposed on the country.”
- Javani continues: “Now that we live in the condition of economic war and soft war, according to the demands of the [Islamic] Revolution, the IRGC will come to the help of the countries’ economic and cultural institutions, organizations, and departments in order to be able to neutralize the enemies’ conspiracies, and act according to the mission based on preservation and promotion of the [Islamic] Revolution.”
- “The IRGC enjoys a special position as a strategic force in the structure of the Islamic Republic, and according to this position, as a revolutionary institution, acts in fields [according to the] needs of the [Islamic] Revolution.” (Sohbe Sadegh)
Jannati: negotiating team must consider the Supreme Leader’s red lines. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati stressed that the nuclear issue is not the only challenge facing Iran and criticized the U.S. for its hostility towards the regime. The Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader stated that “it would be naive to think that America will put aside its enmity… America intends to continue its domineering policies and bring Iran's economy and politics under its control and take the helm of the Majlis [Parliament], judiciary and executive branch.” Jannati also warned the negotiating team, urging that they “should consider and observe the Leader’s views, the red lines, as well as the dignity, interests, sovereignty and honor of the Islamic Revolution, Islam and people.” (Basij News) (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader supports the negotiating team. Ayatollah Ahmad Alam al Hoda said that the government is negotiating with the P5+1 to safeguard Iranian interests, but warned Iranian negotiators not accept America’s excessive demands. The Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader stated: “[Government] officials and the nuclear negotiating team are children of the [Islamic] Revolution generated by Imam Khomeini and student of the wise [Supreme] Leader…” (Mashregh News)
Shariatmadari: a nuclear deal is impossible. Hossein Shariatmadari claimed that the U.S. is at the negotiating table because it fears Iranian influence, stating: “When America sits behind the negotiating table focusing on Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, [Syria], and Palestine, it shows that they have an issue with Iran’s regional and global influence.” The Managing Editing of conservative news outlet Kayhan added that it will be impossible to reach a nuclear agreement, because the U.S. wants to degrade Iran. (Mashregh News)
Boroujerdi: Iran will not accept deal that gives inspectors access to military sites. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi reiterated the Supreme Leader’s nuclear red lines, stating: "[Iran] would never allow visits to its sensitive sites or interviews with… [Iranian nuclear scientists]…” The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman added that if a deal requires endorsement of the Additional Protocol, Parliament would have to approve it. (Fars News Agency) (E)
- Kowsari: procedure for removing sanctions needs to be clear. Parliamentarian Mohammad Esmail Kowsari called for a comprehensive plan on how nuclear and non-nuclear related sanctions will be lifted. The NSFP Commission member explained: “part of the provisions of this plan is to discuss the issue of sanctions and parts of it focus on inspection and IAEA topics,” so the “IAEA has absolutely no permissive authority to inspect non-nuclear facilities, not even controlled [access].” (YJC)
Third day of nuclear talks held in Vienna. Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi and European and American Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi met with EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid on May 22. Iran and the P5+1 also held expert-level negotiations over technical issues. (Press TV) (E)
- Zarif: access to military sites will not be granted. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed: “The negotiating team is bound to maintaining the red lines of the regime in all nuclear negotiation topics, including Fordow.” (Alef)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Iranian aid ship will anchor in Djibouti tomorrow. The Iran Shahed cargo vessel carrying 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid supplies to Yemen is reportedly scheduled to dock in the port of Djibouti on May 23. (IRNA) (E)
- Parliament proposes new constituency law. The Parliament and Domestic Affairs Commission completed the draft of a bill “to consider each province as one constituency for the first time in the history of [Parliamentary] elections in Iran.” Currently, a city or several smaller-sized towns “form a constituency with their own MPs.” The Parliament proposed a similar law in the 7th Majlis [2004-2008 period], but the Guardian Council purportedly vetoed it. (IRNA) (E)