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, with contributor Ryan Melvin.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: Senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi stated that Iran had not accepted the P5+1’s proposal for “managed access” to Iran’s military sites and nuclear scientists.
On the final day of the most recent round of nuclear talks, International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated that the Supreme Leader’s red line ruling out interviews with nuclear scientists and visits to military sites “is a very serious and decisive instruction.” Araghchi also stated that Iran had “not accepted” the P5+1’s proposal for “managed access” to sensitive sites and individuals. Araghchi may be attempting to uphold the Supreme Leader’s publically-held position banning visits to military sites in the wake of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s leaked statements from an off-the-record parliamentary session last week. Zarif and Araghchi purportedly stated that they had been authorized to accept the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which includes visits to military sites.
An Iranian cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid supplies in support of relief efforts in Yemen landed in Djibouti on May 29.
- Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader: military site visits are contrary to the Quran. Ayatollah Kazem Sadeghi “underscored that the West’s inspection of Iran’s military sites would [be] counter to commandments of [the] Quran.” Sadeghi also stressed, “The Leader of the Revolution [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] determines…the…red lines of the regime [of the Islamic Republic]; he is also a religious judge and deputy Imam of the Age; opposition against him is considered in reality opposition to the Imam of the Age.” (Defa Press) (Tasnim News Agency)
Araghchi reinforces the Supreme Leader’s red lines on inspections of military sites. Abbas Araghchi addressed the press as the latest round of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations came to an end on May 29 in Vienna, Austria. The International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister reiterated Iran’s position regarding IAEA-led inspections, stating:
- “What the Supreme Leader stated about prohibiting access to individuals [Iranian nuclear scientists] for interviews and also prohibiting inspections of military centers is a very serious and decisive instruction, and the other side has been clearly informed…”
- Araghchi claimed that the P5+1 proposed “managed access” to certain Iranian sites and individuals in order for the IAEA to address concerns of possible military dimensions (PMD) in Tehran’s nuclear program. He added that the “proposal was not accepted…” (YJC)
- Senior nuclear negotiators Araghchi and Ravanchi travel to Switzerland. Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi are scheduled to join Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on May 30 in Geneva. Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry will hold direct talks on the draft for the final nuclear deal. (YJC)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Cargo plane carrying aid finally able to land in Djibouti. Iran's Red Crescent Society's (IRCS) Deputy Director for International and Humanitarian Affairs Shahboddin Mohammadi Araqi stated that the cargo plane carrying "20 tons of canned food" in support of relief efforts in Yemen landed in Djibouti Friday morning after receiving permission by the African country. (Reuters reports that this is the first Iranian cargo plane to land in Djibouti. In order to allow the plane to land, Iran consented to the plane being inspected by the U.N.) (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- Zarif to attend security summit in Moscow next week. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is set to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit next week in Moscow. The summit will be "focusing on security and stability in SCO member states," with observer states, such as Iran, also being welcomed. It is believed that Zarif will meet on the sidelines with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. (IRNA) (E)
Military and Security
Intelligence Minister claims Iranian security forces captured ISIS affiliates. Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Head Hojjat al Eslam Mahmoud Alavi stated: “Their facilities and information were confiscated, their members were arrested and despite the support [American and Israeli] espionage services have provided for ISIS, they have failed to foment insecurity in a single corner of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Alavi also stated that MOIS officers thwarted several planned terrorist attacks in Mashhad and Qom; he did not indicate that the attacks were planned by ISIS or its affiliates. (Tasnim News Agency) (Press TV) (E)
- Dehghan: we can easily counter any ISIS threats. Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan stated, “Clearly, the security, military, and police forces of Iran …can neutralize any movement from this group [ISIS] before it starts.” (Defa Press)