Iran News Round Up

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

Key takeaway: The reported recent construction of a permanent Iranian military base in Syria is not the first build-up of Iranian basing in Syria.

The BBC released a series of satellite images in November showing the construction of an Iranian military base in an old Syrian Arab Army military base in Kiswah, eight miles south of Damascus. It is unclear whether Iranian forces are currently present at the base.

Iran has already built up its military basing in Syria. Iranian military forces have both refurbished and built new structures for their use over the course of their six-year involvement in the Syrian Civil War since 2011. Iranian military forces and their proxies are also co-located with Syrian regime and Russian forces in Syrian military bases.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from November 9-1

AEI Must Reads
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November 14, 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 14, 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

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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November 14, 2017

Iranian forces reportedly constructed a military base in southern Syria.

The BBC released a series of satellite images on November 10 reporting the construction of an Iranian military base in Syria. The series of images, dated between January-October 2017, illustrate the Iranian construction of new buildings and refurbishment of existing buildings at a compound in Kiswa eight miles south of Damascus. The BBC also reports that the base is “military in nature” and includes low-rise buildings and a series of garages. The BBC noted that it was unclear whether or not Iranian forces are present at the compound currently. (BBC) (E)

November 14, 2017

Foreign Ministry: Iran will not interfere in Lebanon’s internal affairs.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi stated that Iran will not interfere in Lebanon’s internal affairs and reiterated Iranian support for Lebanese stability. Ghassemi’s comments immediately follow Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s November 12 statement accusing Iran of intervening in regional countries’ affairs and calling on Lebanon to disassociate itself from Iran. Hariri unexpectedly resigned from his post on November 4. Hariri cited concerns of an Iranian plot to assassinate him. (Fars News Agency) (Reuters) (E) (Reuters) (E)

November 14, 2017

Foreign Ministry dismisses accusations of Iranian involvement in Bahraini oil pipeline explosion.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi denied Bahrain officials’ allegations that Iran orchestrated an explosion at Bahrain’s main oil pipeline on November 10. Bahraini Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al Khalifa called the incident an act of terrorism “carried out through direct contacts and instructions from Iran.” Ghassemi called the accusations “baseless.” (BBC Persian) (Radio Farda) (E)

 

 

November 14, 2017

USAF Commander: Recent al Houthi-Saleh missile strike bears “Iranian markings.”

USAF CENTCOM Southwest Asia Commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian stated that the November 4 al Houthi-Saleh ballistic missile strike toward Riyadh, Saudi Arabia exhibited “Iranian markings.” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley also accused Iran of involvement in a July al Houthi-Saleh missile strike. Haley stated that the evidence Saudi Arabia provided confirms that the missile fired was Iranian-made. Haley added that the November 4 al Houthi-Saleh missile strike “may also be of Iranian origin.” (Reuters) (E)

Citations & Links

1. BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41945189

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960822001443

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-lebanon-hariri/iran-says-it-does-not-interfere-in-lebanese-state-affairs-tv-idUSKBN1DD0XH

3. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-france/iran-non-interference-in-lebanon-is-key-for-regional-stability-france-idUSKBN1DD1GX

Citations & Links

1. BBC Persian
http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-41959041

2. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/irn-denies-involved-bahrain-pipeline-blast/28849237.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Citations & Links

1. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-emirates-airshow-us-iran/iran-provided-capability-for-missile-attacks-from-yemen-u-s-air-force-idUSKBN1DA1OZ

Domestic Politics
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November 14, 2017

Earthquake rocks western Iran near Iraq border.

An earthquake struck parts of western Iran in Ilam and Kermanshah Provinces near the Iran-Iraq border. The 7.3 magnitude earthquake devastated several villages and killed at least 430 and wounded 7,370 people in Iran. IRGC Spokesman Brig. Gen. 2C Ramazan Sharif said that the IRGC dispatched infantry, aerial, and medical units to afflicted areas to provide relief and conduct search and rescue operations. Artesh Commander Maj. Gen. Abdol Rahim Mousavi said that the Artesh opened an air bridge between Kermanshah and Sarpol-e Zahab (both in Kermanshah Province) to evacuate the wounded. The IRGC-owned Khatam ol Anbia Construction Headquarters dispatched 500 bulldozers and ambulances from Kermanshah and Ilam Provinces to assist in relief efforts. Several reports and videos claim that Mehr Housing Project residences and buildings sustained the most damage.

  • The Mehr Housing Project was initiated during former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration. Reports indicated that Mehr Housing structures exhibited poor structural integrity and were constructed with little regard for geological factors. First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, a prominent reformist and strong proponent of national privatization efforts, used the opportunity to further censure the Ahmadinejad-era housing program. Reformists will likely take advantage of the circumstances surrounding the devastating earthquake to intensify calls for greater privatization in commercial and residential construction projects. (Radio Farda) (E) (Sepah News) (Defa Press) (Sepah News) (ILNA)

 

Citations & Links

1. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-iraq-earthquake-kurdistan-kermanshah/28851609.html

2. Sepah News
http://www.sepahnews.com/index.php/component/k2/item/4801-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B4%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A2%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%E2%80%8C%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B5-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AE%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B7%D9%82-%D8%B2%D9%84%D8%B2%D9%84%D9%87%E2%80%8C%D8%B2%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA.html

3. Defa Press
http://www.sepahnews.com/index.php/component/k2/item/4801-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B4%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%A2%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%85%E2%80%8C%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B5-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AE%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B7%D9%82-%D8%B2%D9%84%D8%B2%D9%84%D9%87%E2%80%8C%D8%B2%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA.html

4. Sepah News
http://www.sepahnews.com/index.php/component/k2/item/4795-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%81-%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%85%DA%A9-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B2%D9%84%D8%B2%D9%84%D9%87-%D8%B2%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A2%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF.html

5. ILNA
http://www.ilna.ir/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-3/558262-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AD-%D8%A8%D9%87-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AD%D8%AA%DB%8C-%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D9%86%D9%81%D8%B1-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%B2%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

Nuclear Deal Developments
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November 14, 2017

Iranian officials reject Macron’s calls for negotiations on Iranian ballistic missile program.

Senior Iranian officials rebuffed French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for negotiations over Iran’s missile program. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi reiterated that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not negotiable and that Iran will not allow other issues “to be added to it.” Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Committee spokesperson Hossein Naghavi Hosseini said that Iran considers Macron’s remarks an “intervention in Iran’s internal affairs.” (Tasnim News Agency) (Reuters) (E) (Radio Farda) (E) (IRNA) (E) (Reuters) (E)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/08/19/1569784/%D9%88%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%B4-%D8%B3%D8%AE%D9%86%DA%AF%D9%88%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B8%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B6%D8%AF%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%D9%85%DA%A9%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-france/iran-rejects-macron-call-for-talks-on-iranian-missiles-idUSKBN1DC06W

3. Radio Farda
https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-france-missile-nuclear-accord-saudi-yemen-huthi/28849154.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

4. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82726769

5. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-france/france-raises-prospect-of-new-sanctions-on-iran-over-ballistic-program-idUSKBN1DD1JY

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