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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton. 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: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Iran’s “options are not limited” to the nuclear deal.
Zarif also stressed that “America cannot unilaterally cancel the deal… but we hope that the agreement will be implemented fully.” Zarif’s comments echo other officials’ concerns regarding American commitment to the deal in reaction to the election of Donald Trump. Meanwhile, leading hardline newspaper Kayhan reiterated several officials’ statements that the election “should not be considered the beginning of fundamental changes in America.”
Ten members of the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade and the Pakistani Shia militia Zainabiyoun Brigade were buried in the city of Qom.
- Paul Bucala analyzes a recent speech by former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi in “Supreme Leader's Adviser Discloses Details on Iranian Efforts Abroad.”
- The Critical Threats Project and ISW Naval Analyst Christopher Harmer assess Iran’s role in the recent anti-shipping attacks off the Yemeni coast in “Iranian involvement in missile attacks on the USS Mason.”
Reactions to Donald Trump’s Victory
Zarif: Iran has other options besides the JCPOA. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated previous regime concerns regarding America’s commitment to the nuclear deal in the wake of the election of Donald Trump. He stated that Iran’s “options are not limited to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Tehran has other options as well… America cannot unilaterally cancel the deal… but we hope that the agreement will be implemented fully.” (Fars News Agency)
Leading newspapers weigh in on Trump victory. Hardline newspaper Kayhan depicted Trump’s election as “a victory of the insane over the liar” in its November 10 edition. Kayhan repeated several Iranian officials’ stances that the election “should not be considered the beginning of fundamental changes in America,” however. Reformist newspaper Shargh compared November 9 to June 24, 2005, which marked the beginning of hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first term. Ahmadinejad became notorious for incendiary comments and strained relations with the international community. (Kayhan) (Shargh)
- Russian ambassador to Iran: Trump’s comments are “hopeful.” Levan Dzhagaryan, the Russian ambassador to Iran, praised Trump’s election during a press event at the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency. Dzhagaryan stated that Trump’s comments on the campaign trail indicate that he intends to “remove all the issues that the Obama administration has created [in Russia-U.S. relations]... We hope that Trump remains committed to his promises during the election.” (Dolat-e Bahar)
Military & Security
AFGS chief: We built missiles within Syria and gave them to Hezbollah. Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Chief IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri discussed the early stages of Iran’s missile program during a ceremony commemorating the death of IRGC Maj. Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who was a key figure in Iran’s missile program before he died in a November 2011 blast at an IRGC base. Bagheri claimed that Iran “built a missile industry for Syria within the Aleppo region. This industrial complex manufactured missiles launched against Israel in the 33-day war [2006 Lebanon War].”
- Bagheri also criticized Donald Trump’s promise to destroy Iranian fast-attack boats in the Persian Gulf as a “joke.” (Tasnim News Agency)
- Tehran attorney general responds to city council corruption scandal. Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi accused the website that revealed corruption in the Tehran mayoral office of cooperating with “a specific political faction.” According to the website’s report, the office of conservative Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf sold real estate at heavy discounts to individuals including members of the Tehran City Council. Conservative commentators have claimed that reformists brought the allegations against Qalibaf, a conservative, in order to damage his chances in the 2017 presidential elections. Rouhani advisor Mohammad Ali Najafi responded to Dolatabadi’s remark by accusing him of sidetracking anti-corruption efforts. (Damadam) (Khabar Online)
Casualties in Iraq & Syria
- Ten Afghan and Pakistani fighters buried in Qom. Ten members of the Afghan Shia militia Fatimiyoun Brigade and the Pakistani Shia militia Zainabiyoun Brigade were buried in the city of Qom. All were reported to have been killed in Syria. (Mehr News Agency)