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: Hassan Rouhani presented the concept of “creative economy” as a key “step” in implementing the ‘resistance economy.’ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to repudiate leaked statements from nuclear negotiators indicating he had authorized the acceptance of visits to military sites.

President Hassan Rouhani introduced the concept of “creative economy” as a “major step” towards resistance economy during a cabinet meeting on May 27. Rouhani stated that “creative economy” would impact the economy, society, and culture, and help with “development of non-oil exports.” Rouhani highlighted “reliance on intellectual and mental creativity” as “among the advantages” of the “creative economy.” In presenting the concept of ‘creative economy,’ Rouhani does not appear to be disagreeing with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s idea of ‘resistance economy.’ Rather, Rouhani may be introducing “creative economy’ as an intermediate step towards the achievement of the longer-term goal of the ‘resistance economy.’

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated reliance on and reinforcement of domestic production as pillars of the ‘resistance economy’ while addressing Parliament members. Khamenei also highlighted that a nuclear deal will not solve Iran’s economic challenges. Khamenei may be pushing back against Rouhani’s April 28 assertion that that “the first step to solving fundamental problems” in Iran is the “resolution” of the “nuclear issue.” Khamenei also stated, “On the nuclear issue, [Iran’s] position is the same as we have explicitly stated; the very same points have been announced to authorities verbally and in writing. These are the fundamental positions of the Islamic establishment.” His comments are likely a repudiation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi’s leaked statements from an off-the-record parliamentary session on May 23. During the session, Zarif and Araghchi purportedly stated that they had been authorized to accept the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which includes visits to military sites.


Official Statements

  • Khamenei: negotiating team must insist on prescribed red lines. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed members of Parliament on May 27 in Tehran. Khamenei urged officials to continue to implement resistance economy policies, reiterating that a nuclear deal will not solve Iran’s economic challenges. The Supreme Leader stated:
    • “The key to solving the country's economic problems as well as the nuclear issue is relying on internal capabilities and believing in the resistance economy.”
    • “There are many solutions to the nuclear issue, all of which rely on domestic capacities and reinforcing [domestic] production."
    • “I know that we are faced with a lack of resources, and sanctions have contributed to the shortage of resources. Find the solution… lack of resources should not be used as an excuse to refrain from doing one’s job.”
    • "Within the framework of issues that we have with America, the West… we also foresee numerous topics [being raised] other than the nuclear issue such as human rights.”
    • “On the nuclear issue, [Iran’s] position is the same as we have explicitly stated; the very same points have been announced to authorities verbally and in writing. These are the fundamental positions of the Islamic establishment.”  
    • “They [the negotiating team] should insist on the positions that have been stated, and we hope that they can secure the interests of the country and the system.” (
  • Rouhani: “creative economy…is a major step” towards resistance economy. At a Cabinet meeting, President Hassan Rouhani stated, “Creative economy is important due to the major impacts on economy, society, culture, environmental sustainability, job creation, and developments of non-oil exports and its development is a major step in the direction of the resistance economy.” Rouhani “outlined creative economy’s reliance on intellectual and mental creativity and broad social impact on culture-making and economic development among its advantages, and recommended all executive agencies play their role in the development of the creative economy.” (
  • Rezaei: Saudi Arabia should not test Iran’s patience. Mohsen Rezaei addressed a large gathering of Iran-Iraq War veterans, including several senior IRGC commanders, on May 26 in Khorramshahr city, Khuzestan province. The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary discussed regional developments and criticized the U.S. for supporting terrorists. Rezaei stated:
    • “I want to tell my brothers that were present in the imposed [Iran-Iraq] war… today, the situation is critical.”
    • “I asked the Supreme Leader to appear in my IRGC uniform again and he was proud… and approved. One of the reasons I wear this uniform is that we veterans… have a big burden. All eyes are on Iran with the current situation in the region. The world wants to know what will be the fate of Iraq and Syria…”
    • “We do not want Saudi Arabia to return to pre-industrialization, but it must pay attention… in this situation, Iran has enough patience to wait, because our national interest is the safety and security of our people [as well as] the peace and security of the region…”
    • “However, as time passes, everything becomes clearer, because Israeli officials had said earlier that the Arabs must put aside their differences [to unite with Israel] against Iran.”
    • “We witnessed the most corrupt, extreme terrorists… being supported by the West… If such claims were made before, maybe some would not believe them, but now with the activities of ISIS in the region, we see how the West and Israel support them.” (Tabnak)

  • Safavi discusses the Islamic Republic’s model of governance.  Ahead of the anniversary of the death of Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, IRGC Maj. Gen. Yayha Rahim Safavi stated, “Iran…is moving towards progress and sustainable security…” The Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader highlighted Khomeini’s role in the establishment of the Islamic Republic, stating that “this model of governance…had no precedent in the world… [it is] a new model which can be repeated for other Islamic countries.” (
  • Jafari discusses resistance economy. On the sidelines of the “Capabilities in Resistance Economy and Transformative Industry of IRGC Salman unit – Sistan va Baluchistan” conference, IRGC Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari highlighted the recent “results” of the Basij Construction Organization’s “major efforts.” Jafari also stressed that “it is essential for both government and various [organizations] to enter into this work [of supporting the resistance economy.]” (Sepah News)


Nuclear Talks

  • Nuclear talks continue in Vienna. Deputy-level negotiations resumed on May 27 in the Austrian capital. (Press TV)(E) 
  • Araghchi: nuclear negotiations may extend beyond deadline. Abbas Araghchi suggested that the P5+1 talks may be extended beyond the self-imposed June 30 deadline. The International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister stated, "We have yet to reach a point where it can be said that [the negotiations] would conclude quickly. Negotiations will continue until the specified deadline [June 30], and they might even go beyond that." (YJC)

  • Imam Hossein University faculty write open letter in support of nuclear negotiators. Faculty and students expressed their “appreciation and thanks for the efforts of the negotiating team,” and also stressed the need to follow the Supreme Leader’s guidance in the negotiations. The letter also stated, “However deep and wide Iran’s economic problems are, expecting help and assistance from such an enemy is considered as arising from political oversimplification.” (Sepah News)
  • Grand Ayatollah Hamedani advises negotiators to follow the Supreme Leader’s guidance. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani reiterated Iran’s red line on military site inspections, stating: “The [P5+1]… should not [publicize] what combat equipment our military centers have, unless the West allows their military sites to be inspected.” (Mashregh News)

  • Jazayeri reiterates ban on visits to military facilities. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri stated, “The [Iranian] negotiating team has been told explicitly [that no inspector is permitted]… to visit the military installations.” The Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Headquarters Basij Affairs and IRGC Defense Culture Deputy also stated that there would "be a great challenge" if the U.S and the West want to expand on the negotiations. (YJC)


Military and Security

  • Pourdastan: Artesh Ground Forces are prepared “to enter into the space of proxy wars.”  Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan stated on May 25, “Comprehensive readiness proportionate to threats is one of the missions of the Artesh…” Pourdastan also stated, “Currently, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Artesh has the readiness necessary to enter into the space  of proxy wars; in the same way, you are aware that today we face new faces from threats.”  (Fars News Agency)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Larijani warns European states against underestimating threat of global terrorism. Ali Larijani met with President of the National Council and President of the Council of States at the Swiss Parliament Carlo Sommargua and Gutzwiller Felix, respectively, on May 27 in Tehran. Larijani warned that the growing number of European and American citizens joining terrorist organizations is a major security threat. The Parliament Speaker stated: “European countries do not have a proper understanding of terrorism in the region…” (Press TV) (E) 
  • Dehghan converses with Russian counterpart. Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan discussed implementations of agreements in the fields of "technical, military, and security" during a phone conversation with Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu. (Fars News Agency)
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