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 Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors John Lesnewich and Mehrdad Moarefian. 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.
- [E] Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has delegated fifteen ministerial duties to former Ahmadinejad Oil Minister and current Oil Minister Vice-Chancellor Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, including the promotion of oil refinery capacities and the operationalization of the Persian Gulf Star oil refinement plant.
- First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri appointed former IRGC Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander and Ahmadinejad Oil Minister Brig. Gen. Rostam Ghassemi to an advisory position. According to the appointment decree, Jahagiri appointed Ghassemi in order to “expand the economic relations of the two friendly and brotherly countries of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq.”
- Iranian media speculates that the motivation for the appointment is Zanganeh’s lack of experience selling oil under sanctions, which has become a challenge for the Rouhani Administration, in which oil sales have reportedly dropped by 200 thousand barrels per day.
- An editorial on Asr-e Iran reacted to claims by Mojahedin-e Khalgh [MEK] about a secret nuclear site under development in Iran: “The designers of this scenario hope that with the determination of the accuracy of new claims, the negotiations will end and the [matter] will revert to an unclear future and result.” The article linked this to a “new Saudi-Zionist project” that took place during recent negotiations.
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- President Hassan Rouhani held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said, “Just as Iran has announced many times, all of its nuclear activities have been peaceful and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In recent negotiations, good progress was made, but all must pay attention to this point that excess [demands] can cause the path of a ‘win-win’ agreement to face difficulties. In our opinion, circumstances must not be created in which prejudices emerge in the will of the participants to bring agreements and reach a mutually satisfactory result.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah Political Deputy to the Secretary General Hassan Nasrallh, Hossein al-Khalil, attended the burial of Ali Shabib Mahmoud, one of the “prominent leaders of the defenders of Seyyada Zeinab shrine.” The ceremony was held Saturday in Lebbaya, north Lebanon. Khalil was reportedly killed in Syria during a mortar shell attack.
Military and Security
- Head of IRGC Public Relations Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Ramazan Sharif reacted to the arrest of the "assassination team" responsible for the death of Zabol Attorney General Mousa Nouri Ghalenou. The operation was carried out by IRGC Ground Forces attached to the southeastern Quds Operational Base. Sharif said, “Despite the claims by some terrorist groups [Jaish al-Adl], this assassination has no relations to groups opposed to the regime. In contacts that we have had with IRGC Ground Force Commander Brig. Gen. [Mohammad] Pakpour, he affirmed that this assassination was related to the matter of smuggling and revenge.”
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari spoke yesterday at a ceremony honoring the reclamation of the city of Susangerd, Khuzestan from Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. Jafari was a commander in Susangerd during this operation and discusses this operation in great detail in the first volume of his autobiography. During this ceremony, Jafari talked about Susangerd’s importance to the nation, the important role of the youth in determining Iran’s future, and America’s great fear of attacking the country:
- “During the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War], there was unity, consensus, and preparedness of the peoples’ forces under the leadership of the Supreme Leader to defend the country and its revolutionary values. Today this also exists in a deeper and more developed [way].”
- “Today, the preparedness of the armed forces cannot be compared to the time of war. The beliefs and unity of the people to valiyeh faghih has also been proven again.”
- “In the years [2003-2007], the Americans blockaded Iran and intended to attack the country directly. However, they saw that the nation of Iran obeyed its leader, so they were afraid, put their tails between their legs, and fled.”
- “The Americans' statement that the military option is on the table is a lie. The Americans do not know, that we consider them to be more afraid to attack Iran than any other country. There is absolutely no imagination in the minds of American statesmen [to attack], but they present it as a political tool anyway.”
- “Many eyes in the world are glued to the Resistance of the nation of Iran. So, we must know the power of our own martyrs because Iran’s glory is indebted to the martyrs’ blood and their endurance.”
- “The enemies are planning many plots against Iran and entering into political and security issues with the intent to interfere with the country in order to create deviations in the Revolution. Because they do not succeed in the matter, they have put sanctions on Iranian assets in global banks and on the selling of oil.”
- “They imagine that with this action they can make the nation of Iran submit to them, but the results of these sanctions are the people’s widespread presence in voting booths and the protection of the Islamic system and its goals.”
- “Today, a significant portion of Syria is occupied by the Zionist regime. The same thing occurred in Iran during the Sacred Defense when some of the regions of Khuzestan were seized by Iraq. In that time, there were many questions for all about the fate of the war, but the Iranian, Islamic, and Shi’a zeal of the youth caused there to be many operations against the Baathist army and they drove them from the nation’s soil.”
- “Our young generation of today is determining the Revolution’s path. They must know with what cost the great achievements were reached, prepare themselves to guard the Revolution from all sides, and protect it in order to properly traverse the difficulties of the future path and prepare the way for the appearance of the [12th Imam.]”
- Jafari spoke in Susangerd on the importance of that city to the war: “If Susangerd had not been liberated, it is possible that the fate of the war would have been different.”
- “[First Iranian President who was later impeached Abolhassan] Banisadr was against the presence of the peoples’ forces in the war. With his liberal view, he wanted to negotiate with the Iraqis.”
- “Even cooperation between the IRGC and Artesh was undertaken because of Banisadr’s opposition and without his knowledge. These two military organs cooperated with each other closely but silently.”
- Law Enforcement Forces Commander Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam gave an interview in which he stated his opposition to the transfer of political prisoners to Kahrizak prison (in which detainees were reportedly tortured and killed) during the 2009 protests, and claimed that former Revolutionary Court Prosecutor Said Mortazavi was to blame: “Mr. Mortazavi insisted that the arrested individuals [from the protests] be transferred to Kahrizak. I am against this and have frankly announced that not only did we not have space, but also that it was a dangerous place. However, Mortazavi insisted that these arrested individuals be considered the same as thugs and gangsters…. My assertions were not implemented, which is how 170 people came to a place with a capacity of 50 people.”
Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan introduced the country’s largest drone, named “Fotros” and developed by the Defense Ministry, at an event marking the anniversary of the liberation of Susangerd:
- “This UAV will protect our land, maritime borders, and oil pipelines.... The unveiling of the unmanned aircraft Fotros, in which you all witnessed today, was designed by the competent authority of experts and the power of the Iranian Aviation Industry, in collaboration with the Defense Ministry and the knowledge-based academic centers of the country, in order to meet the needs of our armed forces.”
- “The reconnaissance and combat drone Fotros has a range of 2,000 kilometers, is capable of 30 hour flights, and is armed with air-to-surface rockets.”
- “The sanctions of the enemies cannot stand in the path of progress of our defense industries reaching excellence.”
- Iranian University Student Committee for the Preservation and Expansion of Nuclear Achievements Secretary Mehdi Zeinalou said, “Intellectuals alongside the country’s officials will not allow the pressure of the international system to slow the movement of scientific acceleration.” He added, “In answering the request of the President to aid the administration, we became active and are pursuing nuclear matters. In this field, we established political and research rings and the first plan of this committee is to establish human rings around the Fordow site.” Committee members and other attendees will reportedly head to the site tomorrow.
- Strengthening of Unity Organization (tahkim-e vahdat, a prominent student organization) Secretary Ali Bayani announced the organization’s support for organizing human rings around Fordow.
- High capital and lack of access to technology is reportedly preventing the construction of new refineries in Iran, including plans to construct the Oslavieh condensates gas refinery.
Photo of the Day
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari is draped with a chafiye before addressing an audience in Ahvaz, Khuzestan.