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 Mehrdad Moarefian and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Marie Donovan, and Dianna Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Zarif said the November 24 deadline will be a “victory for Iran” regardless of a final deal with the P5+1, while Ayatollah Amoli Sadegh Larijani declared that the nation stands behind the nuclear negotiations team.  Iran-backed AAH warns against American forces entering Iraq.

Foreign Minister Zarif said Iran would emerge victorious whether or not a final nuclear deal is secured in Vienna. IRGC Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also said that the US seeks to negotiate with Iran in order to solve its own regional problems. Their remarks reflects the regime’s conceptualization of the negotiations as successful recognition of its regional influence and conventional military power.

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) Representative to Iran Hojjat al-Eslam Jabar Rajabi said that “We [AAH] told the Iraqi parliament that American ground forces cannot enter Iraq except with [its] permission, of course,” and further that AAH is coordinating with the Iraqi Parliament against ISIL. This represents AAH’s attempt to institutionalize refusal of further American military aid in Iraq. 

Nuclear Talks

  • Nuclear deal deadline means Iranian victory regardless of a final deal with P5+1. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated that “whether or not an agreement is made, because of the excessive demands made by the other parties, November 24 will be a day of victory for Iran.”  Tuesday marked the first day of the 10th round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Senior nuclear negotiators Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi met with Russian and German representatives Sergei Ryabkov and Hans Dieter Lucas in Vienna. The Iranian representatives then met with French and British representative Nicholas de Rivière and Simon Gass. They are also scheduled to meet with American delegates Wendy Sherman and William Burns today; Helga Schmidt, deputy to EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, later joined the meeting. (IRNA) (IRNA)
  • IRGC Commander: US seeks negotiations with Iran. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari stated that the US seeks to negotiate with Iran in order to solve its own regional problems.(Sepah News)
  • Nuclear negotiations team has “support of the nation.” Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani said that the nation stands behind the nuclear negotiations team and that they will act in accordance with the policies laid out by the Supreme Leader. The Head of the Judiciary Branch reiterated that sanctions should be completely lifted as part of any comprehensive deal. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • If sanctions are not lifted and negotiations fail, the West has lost the game.Parliamentarian Mohammad Hassan Asfari, National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member, expressed skepticism in reaching a final deal: “We’re willing to negotiate, but due to the distrust that the other side has created, we’re not very hopeful for a result.” (ISNA)

Official Statements

  • President Rouhani’s Chief of Staff: “centrifuges must spin.” Mohammad Nahavandian said the centrifuges and the “economic wheels” of the country must spin. President Rouhani’s Chief of Staff also discussed regional developments and the need to combat extremism:
    • As research has shown ISIL recruits and support [comes] from poorer communities. If we are not [referring to the region] serious about economic development we will certainly contribute to extremism.” (ISNA)
  • Iranian official says Israeli encroachment will lead to third Intifada. Hossein Amir Abdollahian attributed the recent uptick in violence between Israeli’s and Palestinians in Jerusalem to Israeli policies. The Deputy Foreign Minister added, “The Zionist regime’s impudent actions of continuing settlement construction in Palestinian lands and the Judaization of the al-Aqsa Mosque have caused the groundwork for the third Intifada to be laid.” (IRNA)
  • Iran rejects Canadian sponsored UN human rights resolution. Marzieh Afkham criticized the UN for adopting Canada’s proposed revision to resolution 69, condemning Iran’s high rate of execution and human rights. The Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman said UN human rights mechanisms are used by the West for political reasons and that “the Islamic Republic of Iran rejects the formation, approval and contents of such resolutions.” (Mehr News)
  • President Rouhani announces latest nominee for Minister of Science, Research, and Technology. President Hassan Rouhani nominated Mohammad Farhadi as Minister of Science, Research and Technology (SRT). Farhadi is an ear, throat, and nose doctor by training and was Minister of Culture and Higher Education from 1985 – 1989 and Minister of Health and Medical Education from 1997 – 2001. Farhadi is Rouhani’s fifth nominee for SRT Minister following the impeachment of his first minister and votes of no confidence from the parliament for his second, third, and fourth nominees. Parliamentarian Mohammad Dehghan stated that Farhadi will likely receive a vote of confidence from Parliament on November 26. (Fars News Agency) (Mehr News)
  • Iran is key to solving political and security issues in the region. Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated that Iran gets results in the region while the Americans simply spend money. The IRGC Deputy Commander asserted that Iran’s boundaries go far beyond its national borders, to include everywhere Iran’s political, religious, and ideological beliefs have been spread. (Mehr News)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • AAH: “American forces cannot enter Iraq.” Iran-backed Iraqi Shi’a militia Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) Representative to Iran Hojjat al-Eslam Jabar Rajabi said that AAH is coordinating with the Parliament against ISIL, and that “We told the Iraqi parliament that American ground forces cannot enter Iraq except with [its] permission, of course.”  (Defa Press)
  • Senior Iraqi cleric receives warm welcome in Lebanon. Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah met with Iraqi Shi'a cleric Grand Ayatollah Bashir Najafi, undergoing medical examinations in Beirut. Upon arrival to Beirut, Najafi was received by Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Fathali, Iraqi Ambassador to Lebanon Ra'd Mohammad Rashad al-Alousi, and Nasrallah's representative Mohammad Kowsarani. (ABNA)
  • Iranian president writes to Omani Sultan. President Rouhani wrote a letter to Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said ahead of the Omani national day, expressing his wishes for closer Tehran-Muscat relations in the future. (Asr Iran)

Military and Security

  • Infiltration attempts into Iran disrupted. Head of Nomad Basij Organization IRGC Col. Doost Ali Azouq announced that Basij members disrupted three PJAK [Kurdish separatist movement in Iran] infiltration attempts in Dalahou county, Kermanshah province in September 2013 and September and October 2014, reportedly killing a five-member, a three-member, and a two-member team, respectively. (Defa Press
  • Latest military hardware unveiled. The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics unveiled its latest helicopter drone at the 17th International Iran Kish Air show. The 21.5 kilogram drone can reportedly capture footage and take photographs, has a flight duration of one hour, GPS system, and horizontal flight range of 80 kilometers Aviation Industries Organization Research Directorate requested the drone's design and production. (Fars News Agency)
  • Artesh Navy 32nd Fleet docked in Djibouti. The 32nd Fleet deployed on November 4. (Defa Press)
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