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.
- Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht announced that the administration will present the new 2013-2014 budget to Parliament by December 6.
- Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda stated, “Not only does America want nuclear energy, but it also wants all technologies that have been created in Iran at the hands of the youth and intellectuals, for us to transform to a slave nation, and for America’s former place as [number one] to return.” He then praised the nuclear negotiations team and added, “These dear ones have preserved dignity and values in negotiations and preserved the red lines but we must be ready for a more intense resistance.”
Tehran MP Ali Mottahari spoke out against the continued imprisonment of 2009 presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi’s daughters: “Four other MPs and I reminded the intelligence minister to clarify the events on Eid Ghadir [when the women were arrested - see Oct. 28 INR] and we are awaiting an answer.”
- “The continued captivity of the family of this individual without a public trial is illegal.”
- “We have heard from family members that the bodily conditions of Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi are not good. In this case, if something happens to them, it will cost the regime. So, wise people should more quickly think of a solution to this difficulty.”
- Minister of Municipal Affairs, Aviation, and Meteorology Ali Mohammad Nourian announced the preparation of preliminary flights between Iran and America for the upcoming year: “We will try so that by the beginning of the new year, arrangements are made to provide the first line of flights between Iran and America.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Two bombs exploded in the al-Jannah region of Southern Beirut around the Iranian Embassy, with some sources reporting up to 25 killed and 170 wounded. According to al-Manar [Iranian Arabic language media outlet], the attack was a two-part suicide bombing. The first explosion involved a suicide vest and the second was a car-bombing. Lebanese officials announced that Cultural Attaché Hojjat al-Eslam Ibrahim Ansari was among the dead. Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Qaznafar Roknabadi initially denied Ansari’s death, but later confirmed it. Roknabadi also blamed the “Zionist regime” for the terrorist attack.
- Iran’s Islamic Culture and Relations Organization later denied that Ansari had been killed, but said that he had been seriously injured. [The most recent reports have confirmed his death.]
- According to reports, the car was carrying 100kg of explosives. Also, eight of the dead and seventeen of the wounded were not Lebanese.
- The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a Sunni terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda formed in 2009, has claimed responsibility for the embassy attack on Twitter. Spokesman Sirajeddine Zariqat issued a number of tweets, starting with one last night that announced the group’s official Twitter account. One of the stream of six tweets following the attack said: “The Abdullah Azzam Brigades – Al-Hossein Bin Ali Brigade – May God be pleased with them – are behind the #Battle_of_the_Iranian_Embassy_in_Beirut.”
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on the Beirut embassy bombing:
- “The Zionist regime is using the method of creating a crisis and forming insecurity in seeking to create insecurity in Lebanon and the region…. By continuing to create crises and insecurity, the Zionist regime continues its own life. The nature of this regime is completely known.”
- “Iran always condemns terrorism in any form. With wisdom this can be put behind us.”
- Lebanese Minister of Health Ali Hassan Khalil confirmed Cultural Attaché Ibrahim Ansari’s death.
- Secretary of and Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Supreme National Security Council Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani met with Syrian Ambassador Adnan Mahmoud to congratulate him for the recent successes of the Syrian army against the “terrorist groups” and to condemn the recent attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut: “These types of actions will have no effect on the continuation of the path of Iranian protection of Islamic Resistance currents” and are a “sign of the Zionist regime’s desperation.”
- “There have been earlier warnings issued about the spread of terrorism in the region and its support with money and weapons by Western countries. Today’s blood-filled burden should have their attention.”
- Shamkhani also spoke about the P5+1 negotiations: “The West has no way other than negotiations to resolve the issues. Illegal sanctions and irrational foreign pressure have no effect on the will of Iran.”
President Hassan Rouhani had a telephone conversation with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, during which Suleiman expressed his condolences for and condemned the attack. Suleiman asserted “The Lebanese government will use all its capabilities to identify and punish the perpetrators of this attack for their actions.
- Rouhani thanked Suleiman for the call and expressed his sorrows for the deaths and injuries of numerous Lebanese citizens. He also asked that the “radical groups instigated by foreign actors” be brought swiftly to justice. Rouhani claimed that the events would not “cause any type of fracture” between the countries.
- The Lebanese Ministry of Health announced that the number of victims in the embassy bombing has reached 23 dead and 146 wounded. Lebanese Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil announced that all hospitals in and around Beirut would have their doors open to the wounded and provide them with the best service.
Military and Security
- Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan denied recent allegations by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Mojahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) regarding nuclear military activities at an Iranian defense industry facility in the province of Isfahan and said, “On the eve of the Geneva negotiations, the defeated Zionist-Hypocrite front has once again become active to destroy the trend of P5+1 negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and to misguide global public opinion.” He then expressed hope for a resolution of the nuclear talks that will also alleviate P5+1 concerns.
- Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi attended the Basij Organization commanders’ renewal of covenant with the ideals of Imam Khomeini ceremony and said, “Whenever America is not an arrogant system and respects the rights and national interests of the Iranian nation like other governments', it will be in the category of political countries and will be exempt from the slogan of down [with USA].” Naghdi added, “The Basij has persevered on the ideal of wiping Israel from the pages of time.”
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani Armed Forces General Staff Inspections Deputy, replacing Brig. Gen. Abdolali Pourshaseb. Gharaei was previously Artesh Deputy Commander.
- Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham praised the recent IAEA report and affirmed that “no suspension has occurred” in the program.
- Thus far 100 MPs have signed a resolution titled “The Necessity of the Government to Preserve Certain Nuclear Rights and Their Instances in the Framework of the NPT Treaty and Nuclear Negotiations,” effective immediately should it be approved after being presented to the Parliament Executive Board. The provisions of the resolution:
- “Reducing production and stopping the trend of the nation’s nuclear expansion are not tolerable and are nonnegotiable. The government is not permitted to any agreements that ignore these rights.”
- “Continuation in the expansion of sites and related enrichment facilities (including the Natanz enrichment facility) to produce fuel of powerful power plants of nuclear electricity between one thousand megawatts up to the ceiling of 20 thousand megawatts as based on the plan.”
- “Continuation of attempting to build and install second and third generation centrifuges and replacing first generation centrifuges with them for economic efficiency and production uranium with necessary enrichment based on plan.”
- “Continuation of storing enriched uranium for three year fuel of a power plant (present plants and future expansions).”
- “Continuation of discovering and expanding uranium mines on the national level based on plan.”
- “Continuation of 20% enrichment production to alleviate need to produce fuel rods, radio medicine, chemotherapy and the rest of peaceful nuclear usage based on internal need and trade market.”
- “Continuation and completion of Arak heavy water reactor facility toward the Iranian nation’s efficiency, particularly cancer patients.”
- “Continuation of necessary cooperation with nuclear agency and measures of public opinion to confront the enemies’ invasions in restricting the nation of its certain nuclear rights.”
- “If any government institutions of nuclear negotiations side strengthens or executes sanctions or unfriendly measures against institutions and persons of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the government is bound to bring confronting measures including presenting resolutions to Parliament.”
- “Any agreement with the demands of the opposite party must not be outside of NPT.”
- “Total support and preservation of scientists and specialists of the country’s nuclear arena.”
- “Creation of the possibility of interaction with neutral, friendly and independent countries in peaceful nuclear cooperation.”
- “Expansion of nuclear research centers and university research facilities and providing them with ever more equipment.”
- Head of the Iran Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi reassured the Student Committee for the Preservation and Expansion of Nuclear Achievements, who formed a human ring around Fordow nuclear site earlier today, that “no steps will be taken contrary to national interests” in tomorrow’s negotiations.
- Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia stated, “With the calculation of the current 3.5 million unemployed and the 5 million that will be added to this demographic, we must create work for 8.5 million within the next two years.”
- Mehr News Agency reports that the dollar has been completely eliminated from the Currency Exchanges Center and that there is a three month delay in dispersing currencies for customers. Reports indicate that most dispersed currencies are the Indian rupee, South Korean won and the Japanese yen.
Photo of the Day
- Fall in Boujan village photo essay.