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 and contributor Wali Miller. 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: Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani warned that any “extension” of sanctions against Iran would be a blow to the nuclear deal.

Shamkhani was likely referring to the Iran Sanctions Act, which authorizes energy, banking, and defense sanctions over Iran’s missile and nuclear activities and is set to expire at the end of the year. The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to renew the Iran Sanctions Act for ten years. Proponents of the legislation assert that it will protect the U.S. government’s authority to impose economic “snapback sanctions” if Iran violates the nuclear deal.

President Hassan Rouhani called for Iran and China to increase their military cooperation during a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan in Tehran. The Iranian and Chinese defense ministers signed an agreement to increase bilateral military cooperation on November 14.

AEI Must-Reads

Regional Developments & Diplomacy

  • Shamkhani: Extending sanctions would be a “kick” to the nuclear deal. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani warned that any extension of sanctions would be a “kick” to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He stated, “The Americans have extended sanctions [against] Iran at various times. They thought that they could bring Iran to its knees. But Iran’s missiles, nuclear capabilities, and national unity increased day by day. If they extend sanctions, this would be a kick to the JCPOA.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Rouhani meets with Chinese defense minister. President Hassan Rouhani called for increased cooperation between Iran and China in order to “confront and combat the threat of terrorism” during a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan on November 15. Rouhani stated that the post-nuclear deal time period is the “right atmosphere” for increasing cooperation in the “energy, defense, economic” and nuclear sectors. On November 14, Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan and his Chinese counterpart signed a military cooperation aimed at increasing cooperation between the two countries. (Fars News Agency
  • Foreign Ministry spokesman: The Taliban is not active in Iran. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi dismissed recent media reports on cooperation between Iran and the Afghan Taliban. He stated, “Relations between Iran and Afghanistan are with the central government and based on friendly and brotherly relations and shared interests.” (Fars News Agency)
    • Ghassemi also condemned the outbreak of violence in Kano city, Nigeria, between Nigerian police and Shia Muslims. Ghassemi stated, “The brutal killing of Muslims in a peaceful, religious community is disturbing and unacceptable.” At least nine individuals have been killed in the clashes, which erupted during a protest organized by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). The IMN is a Nigerian Shia opposition group that has alleged ties to the Iranian regime. Nigerian security forces arrested the leader of the group, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, in December 2015. (Fars News Agency)
  • Velayati: Iranian advisors are in Iraq to prevent its partition. Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati emphasized Iran’s opposition to any partition of Iraq and stated, “One of the reasons why Iranian advisors are in Iraq is in order to combat any partition of the country and to completely destroy the terrorists.” Velayati also stated:
    • “The Iraqi central government requested Iranian advisors… We believe that Mosul will be freed and the terrorists will be defeated, but it is possible that this will take a good deal of time.”
    • Velayati also met with senior Iraqi parliamentarian Humam Baqr Abdulhamid Hamoudi and Lebanese Hezbollah Political Council head Ibrahim Amin al Seyyed in Tehran to discuss regional developments. (Mehr News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency)


  • Export Development Bank: We now have access to our dollar accounts. The managing director of Iran’s Export Development Bank, Ali Saleh Abadi, stated that the Export Development Bank has regained access of some of its dollar-denominated accounts. In early October, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) stipulated that foreign financial institutions can process limited dollar transactions with Iranian entities as long as those transactions do not directly involve U.S. financial institutions, sanctioned entities, or any sanctionable activities. Abadi added, “Banking transactions must not access the U.S. financial system, according to the OFAC statement. For example, if we have dollars in one account, we can transfer those funds to another account... Because these funds do not enter the U.S., we can conduct this type of transaction.” (Resalat)  
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