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 Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Marie Donovan, and Dianna Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Mohsen Rezaei, former IRGC commander and presidential candidate, said that Iran’s missile capabilities pushed the West to the negotiating table.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said President Obama’s letters to Supreme Leader Khamenei show that Washington has no choice but to engage with Tehran. Rezaei ascribed Iran’s leverage in nuclear talks to its conventional military power (its missile forces). These remarks may be part of the regime’s intention to claim that even failed negotiations were a victory for Iran and recognition of Iran’s military power.


Official Statements

  • Expediency Council Secretary: Iran’s missile power meant a seat at P5+1 negotiating table. Mohsen Rezaei, Expediency Discernment Council member and former IRGC commander, stated that Iran is at the negotiating table with the P5+1 because of its missile capabilities, and that it is the largest regional missile power. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Iran to launch “smart filtering” software next month. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology announced that the first phase in "smart filtering" of the Internet will be operationalized next month, followed by a second phase three months later.  (Fars News Agency)
  • Obama had no choice but to write to the Supreme Leader. Alaeddin Boroujerdi said that America knows that Iran plays an important role in regional security and is vital to the success of defeating ISIL.  Regarding President Obama’s letter to the Supreme Leader, the National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman said: “This action was taken by America several times, indicating that the president has no choice but to engage with Iran…” (Fars News Agency)
  • The West will be blamed if a final nuclear deal is not reached. President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff stated that it is too early to predict whether or not Iran and the P5+1 will reach a final deal ahead of the self-imposed November 24 deadline. Mohammad Nahavandian added that the West will be responsible if talks fail because of its excessive demands. (Tasnim News Agency)
  •  A shift in power from Europe and the US to Asia. IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi claimed that there is an ongoing shift of both hard and soft power from Europe and the US to Asia. The Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader stated that China, India, Russia, and Japan could all rise in power during this shift.  (Sepah News)
  • Senior official criticizes administration for not cooperating with parliament. Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi, EDC member and Cultural Advisor to the Commander of the IRGC, emphasized that the administration needs to work with Parliament and not be “stubborn” about choosing a new Minster of Science, Research and Technology (SRT). (Mehr News)
  • Senior official in mining highlights Western interest in mining sector post-sanctions. IMIDRO Head Mehdi Karbasian claimed that the Iranian mining industry expects “several billion dollars” in investment from Western financiers upon the removal of sanctions. (Alef
  • MP describes a “good” nuclear deal. Parliamentarian Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said that a good nuclear deal will be based on the understanding that Iran has no intention of pursuing a nuclear weapon and only seeks the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The head of the Principalist faction stated that a good deal will also not taint the slogan of “freedom and independence in the Islamic Republic.  (Mehr News)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Iran and Indonesia sign energy deal. The Managing Director of the Iranian Petrochemical Commercial Company met with Indonesian officials and signed a deal to establish a joint company with Iranian capital and management that would facilitate petrochemical and petroleum by-product trade.  Sharifi Nik remarked that its population of 250 million makes Indonesia one of Iran’s “target markets” In the energy industry. (IRNA)

Military and Security

  • Iran’s Navy to hold exercises in December. Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari discussed Iran’s naval presence in the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Southern Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Pacific. The Artesh Navy Commander also expressed optimism for future fleet presence in the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. (Mehr News)

Nuclear Talks

  • Iran claims IAEA is leaking information. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) censured the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for allegedly leaking reports on Iran’s implementation of IAEA safeguards prior to publication; AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi stated, “This has not been the IAEA’s first mistake…it seems like it will not be its last mistake either.” Kamalvandi said pre-publication leaks are aimed at affecting progress in nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. (IRNA


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