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 Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, and Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin, Caitlin Pendleton, and Jordan Olmstead. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
(E) = Article in English
Key takeaway: The IAEA released its quarterly report affirming that Iran has begun dismantling centrifuges to expedite the process of implementing the P5+1 nuclear deal.
According to Reuters, the IAEA released its quarterly report stating that Iran has disconnected “almost a quarter of its uranium-enriching centrifuges,” as part of its duties under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The report also stated that “Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium had increased by 460.3 kg in the past three months to 8,305.6 kg.” Reuters noted that the stockpile must not exceed “300 kg” under the JCPOA.
President Hassan Rouhani advocated for a larger private sector role in the national economy. He also reiterated the administration’s commitment to constructive international engagement and stressed the need for foreign investment. Rouhani was restrained in criticizing his political opponents; he indicated that there is national consensus behind the administration’s objectives, stating: “The people’s vote for the government means a vote on the government’s policies and programs…”
Three Iranians were killed in Syria; two of them were members of IRGC designated artillery batteries.
Matthew McInnis analyzes Iran’s rhetoric following the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, and explains why Iran should not be considered a partner in the fight against the Islamic State, in his most recent blog, “After Paris, can Iran be counted on to help defeat ISIS?”
Reactions to the Nuclear Deal
Zakani calls for closure of the PMD issue. Principlist Parliamentarian Ali Reza Zakani discussed the IAEA investigation of the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program and stated, “The PMD file must be closed in December.” The former head of the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, added, “As long as the issues surrounding PMD are not resolved, no changes should be made at the facility in Arak.” (YJC)
Iran calls for removal of “anti-Iran resolutions” after IAEA report. Gholam Ali Khoshrou called for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remove “all anti-Iran resolutions” after IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano releases his final report on Iran’s nuclear program in December. Iran’s Ambassador to the UN stated that Iran has fully complied with a roadmap it signed with the IAEA in mid-July and should therefore have its nuclear file closed “once and for all” following the report. (Press TV) (Press TV) (E)
- Arani: NSFP will “continuously monitor” the JCPOA’s implementation. Parliamentarian Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani stated that the NSFP Parliamentary Commission will “continuously monitor the JCPOA’s implementation” during an interview on November 18. The NSFP member stated that commission will monitor “the behavior of all institutions that are affected by the JCPOA’s implementation such as central banks, shipping, aviation…” Arani stated that the NSFP is “waiting for the [Foreign Ministry’s] three-month report to Parliament,” adding that “if there is a problem [with the implementation] we will ask [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif] to explain.” Arani assured that if there are “no problems” then the monitoring will continue while the Foreign Minister will attend NSFP meetings “every three months.” (ICANA)
Rouhani holds cabinet session. President Hassan Rouhani highlighted administrative goals in a cabinet meeting on November 18 in Tehran. Rouhani underlined the importance of constructive global engagement and a strong private sector. He reassured his domestic audiences that such engagement, however, does not mean that Iran will set aside its issues with other countries. Rouhani also stated:
- “Due to the existing [economic] problems, active participation of the private sector, public participation, and attracting foreign investment is essential.”
- “The people’s vote for the government means a vote on the government’s policies and programs…” (President.ir)
Supreme Leader issues environmental policies. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement detailing “comprehensive environmental policies” to President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani. The policies include “managing climate change,” expanding “green economics,” and increasing the use of “clean energy.” (Khamenei.ir)
- Safavi calls for greater crisis management. IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Safavi identified demographics and earthquakes as the two “primary crises” for the next ten years in Tehran. The Supreme Leader’s Senior Military Advisor called for Iranian officials to better manage these two issues. He also urged Iranian officials “to pay attention” to crisis management in the Sixth and Seventh Development Plans. (Defa Press)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
UK parliamentary delegation scheduled to visit Iran. Hossein Sheikh al Islam announced that a UK parliamentary delegation will meet with National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi next week. The International Affairs Advisor to the Speaker of Parliament stated that the purpose of the meeting is to expand parliamentary relations between the two countries. (Alef)
- Abdollahian has telephone call with UN representative over Yemen. Hossein Amir Abdollahian discussed solutions to the crisis in Yemen during a telephone call with the UN Secretary General's Representative in Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs called for efforts to “stop the aggression” and to focus on a “political solution.” Abdollahian also invited Ould Cheikh Ahmed to Tehran; the visit is scheduled to occur “soon.” (ILNA)
Government to present Sixth Development Plan and annual budget as bills. Principlist Parliamentarian Jafar Ghaderi stated that the government will present the Sixth Development Plan and the 1395 [2016-2017] annual budget as bills to Parliament by December 6. The Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission member added that the government will begin borrowing from the Central Bank of Iran and issuing bonds to address the current year’s billion-dollar budget deficit, which Ghaderi attributed to a reduction in oil prices. (Fars News Agency)
Zanganeh: Iran will increase oil production even if prices fall. Bijan Zanganeh responded to claims that Iran would not increase oil exports if petroleum prices drop further during a press conference. The Oil Minister assured that Iran will increase oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) after sanctions are removed even if the price of oil drops to $30 a barrel. (Mehr News)
Causalities in Iraq and Syria
Three Iranians killed in Syria.
- Sattar Abbasi was from Kermanshah province. He was reportedly from the IRGC 62nd Muminun Artillery Group, based in Kermanshah province. No rank was given.
- IRGC 2nd Lt. Behzad Seyfi was from Fars province. He was a member of the IRGC 56th Younis Artillery Group, which is based in Fars province.
- IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Mohammad Reza Ebrahimi was killed in the vicinity of Aleppo. He is reportedly from Esfahan province and will be buried in Falavarjan city, Esfahan province. (Tasnim News Agency) (Basij News) (ABNA) (Shahid News)
Military and Security
- Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow reaffirms that S-300 will be delivered to Iran. Mehdi Sanaei stated that Russia is preparing to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran. The Iranian ambassador reiterated that Tehran and Moscow “reached a definitive agreement,” adding that the S-300 deal “has been finalized.” (Farhang News)