Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

IRGC Commander Jafari’s recent statement on the range limits of Iran’s missiles was likely designed to defuse the increased U.S. congressional pressure on Iran’s missile program.

IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari stated that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “policies” state limit  range of Iran’s missiles to 2,000 km. Jafari’s statement follows a recent surge of U.S. congressional legislation to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its ballistic missile program.

Iran has appeared to move away from active efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since the 2015 signing of the nuclear deal. It has instead focused on advancing short-range solid-fueled missile systems. Jafari’s statement does not address any outstanding concerns regarding the regional threat of Iran’s shorter range missile program or its ongoing efforts to improve its space launch vehicle (SLV) program, which has significant applications for ICBM development.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from October 31.

AEI Must Reads
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November 01, 2017

Confusion over the Iran deal

Fred Kagan clarifies common points of confusion regarding the Trump administration’s decision on the nuclear deal in “Confusion over the Iran deal.

November 01, 2017

America needs a new strategy to deter Iran’s destabilizing behavior.

Marie Donovan breaks down why a new strategy for dealing with Iran’s destabilizing behavior is necessary in “America needs a new strategy to deter Iran’s destabilizing behavior.

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Military and Security
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November 01, 2017

Jafari: Iran is limiting its missiles’ range to 2,000 km - for now.

IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari stated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “policies” dictate that “the range of [Iran’s] missiles is limited to 2,000 km,” in comments to reporters on October 31. Jafari claimed that this range “is sufficient for now, because enough Americans are located within a 2,000 km radius of [Iran] and will receive a response in the event of an [American] invasion.” Jafari warned that if the U.S. increases economic pressures and sanctions on Iran, then Iran will increase the “amount, range, and accuracy” of its missiles. Jafari also addressed Iran-Russia relations. He stated that both countries face “similar pressures and sanctions” and that it is “natural for [Iran and Russia] to become more united.” (Mashregh News) (Sepah News) (Washington Post) (E)

November 01, 2017

Artesh Air Force conducts military exercises.

The Artesh Air Force held its annual Fadaeiyan-e Hareem-e Velayat military exercises near Esfahan on October 31-November 1. Babaei Artesh Air Base (Esfahan Province) Commander Capt. Brig. Gen. 2C Massoud Rouzkhosh stated that all Artesh aAir bBases would participate in the drills. Rouzkhosh highlighted that bomber and interceptor jets (Su-24, F-4, F-5, F-7, F-14, MiG-29, and the Iranian-made Saegheh), reconnaissance aircraft (RF-4), aerial refueling aircraft (Boeing 707 and 747), support and transportation aircraft (C-130), as well as UAVs equipped with guided missiles and long-range smart bombs will participate in the drills. Rouzkhosh indicated the exercises would showcase various air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface rockets. He also mentioned that the Artesh Air Force would test newly-upgraded and manufactured home-grown weaponry from Iranian universities, industries, the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), and the Artesh Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization. This was the seventh iteration of the Fadaeiyan-e Hareem-e Velayat drills. The sixth iteration took place in October 2016 at Shahid Babaei Air Base in Esfahan and showcased similar aircraft and weaponry. (Tasnim News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Defa Press) (Washington Post) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Mashregh News
https://www.mashreghnews.ir/news/793275/%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%84%D8%B4%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B2%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF

2. Sepah News
http://www.sepahnews.com/index.php/sepahnews/item/4703-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%87%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4-%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%9B-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%84%D8%B4%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%B1%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%B3%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%82%D8%B7-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA.html

3. Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-guard-supreme-leader-limiting-ballistic-missile-range/2017/10/31/b07e273a-be22-11e7-9294-705f80164f6e_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.44af3481ec01

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/08/08/1560392/%DA%A9%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AC%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C-%D9%87%D9%88%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%DA%A9%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AF

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/10/31/1561081/iran-air-force-tests-smart-bombs-in-drills

3. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/264039/%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%E2%80%8C-%D8%A2%D8%BA%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%87%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%85%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%87%D9%88%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D9%81%D8%AF%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AD%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%86%D9%82%D8%B7%D9%87-%D8%B2%D9%86-%D9%88-%D8%A8%D9%85%D8%A8%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%87%D9%88%D8%B4%D9%85%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%84%D9%86%D8%AF

4. Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-holds-air-force-drill-in-heart-of-its-nuclear-region/2017/10/31/6a1a9146-be10-11e7-9294-705f80164f6e_story.html?utm_term=.f1c3f5d18ae7

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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November 01, 2017

Bahrain convicts 29 Bahrainis with ties to Iran in two days.

A Bahraini court sentenced a total of 29 Bahraini citizens to lengthy prison terms due to their alleged ties with Iran from October 30-31. Bahraini police convicted and sentenced 19 Bahraini Shias on charges of espionage, inciting public dissent, and conspiring against the Kingdom on October 30. Bahraini prosecutors indicated that the 19 individuals were connected to the Al Wafa Islamic Movement, a group with alleged ties to the IRGC and Hezbollah.  

  • The additional 10 Bahraini men received life sentences on charges of “forming a terrorist cell and plotting attack” on October 31. The 10 individuals were accused of training in Iranian and Iraqi military camps in order to execute terror attacks in Bahrain. Bahraini authorities discovered a IRGC-linked bomb-making factory in Manama, Bahrain on September 30, 2015. (Bahrain News Agency) (E) (Kuwait Times) (E) (Reuters) (E)
  • Parliamentary advisor responds to Bahraini prison sentences. Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Parliament Speaker Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated in a tweet that Bahrain continues to “suppress and issue cruel sentences against [its own] people” on October 30. Abdollahian noted the ongoing internal crisis in Bahrain and accused its government of being “incapable of pursuing a peaceful and political solution with its people.” (Twitter)

Citations & Links

1. Bahrain News Agency
http://www.bna.bh/portal/en/news/808744

2. Kuwait Times
http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/bahrain-court-convicts-19-shiites-spying-iran/

3. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bahrain-security/bahrain-court-sentences-10-men-on-terrorism-charges-idUSKBN1D01ZG?il=0

4. Twitter
https://twitter.com/Amirabdolahian/status/925034613294149635

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