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: IRGC Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri reaffirmed joint Iranian-Russian counterterrorism operations in Syria and claimed that Iran and Russia “will succeed.”
IRGC Brigadier General Jazayeri praised Russia for its support in the fight against terrorists, in particular ISIS. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy expatiated on the Syrian crisis and discussed Russian military actions in Syria, claiming that its airstrikes against terrorists are “efficient, effective, and successful.” Jazayeri also highlighted the extent of Iran’s multi-level advisory roles, which encompasses strategic, tactical, and operational assistance to the “legitimate government” of the Syrian people. He stated that Iran welcomes Russia to this fight with “open arms” and stressed that “there is good cooperation between Iran and Russia.” Jazayeri reassured critics that Iran and Russia “will succeed” in Syria.
The Russian Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, released a video allegedly showing Iranian F-14 Tomcats escorting Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear bombers through Iranian airspace on their way to targets in Syria
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?”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
Jazayeri: Iran welcomes Russia to this fight with "open arms." IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri highlighted Iran-Russia collaboration efforts in Syria during an exclusive interview with Russian media outlet Sputnik on November 20. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy added:
- On Russia: Jazayeri stated that Russia is a serious counter-terrorism force in Syria, and that Iran welcomes Russia to this fight with "open arms." He continued, "Fortunately, data and field surveys show that Russia's military action in Syria against Islamic terrorists [includes] very good work...and the impact has been considerable."
- “Fortunately, in today’s conditions there is good cooperation between Iran and Russia against terrorism in the region.” Jazayeri stressed, however, that there needs to be "patience...but Iran and Russia will succeed."
- On Syria: Jazayeri stated that "advisors at various levels ranging from the strategic to the tactical to the operational have been present in Syria for some time.”
- On the S-300 missile defense systems: "Fortunately, Iran-Russia military relations [have made] progress... I think the contract between Iran and Russia [on the delivery of the S-300] will be finalized in the not too distant future."
On Paris attacks: "We have no confidence in the seriousness of the French in the fight against terrorism and in the fight against [ISIS]. Any collaboration we have with the French and other European countries will be in the context of special consideration." (Sepah News)
Khatami: ISIS is a result of the U.S. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami stated that "it is clear that the Islamic Republic strongly condemns the terrorist events" in Paris. The Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader stated that ISIS was "established to counter Islam,” and that the crimes perpetrated by ISIS are a result of the American "basket of global arrogance." (Rasa News)
Judiciary Spokesman: We must be mindful of foreign influence. Hojjat ol Eslam Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei discussed the threat of foreign influence during a cultural conference. The Judiciary Spokesman stated that the enemy “hopes to remove the revolutionary spirit and anti-arrogance policies from the Iranian people.” Ejei added that “all the intelligence and judicial officials, institutions, and the Iranian people must be wary of influence and the effect of the enemy on decision-making...and should not be deceived by the beautified face of the enemy.” (Entekhab)
Mayor of Tehran meets with Russia Muftis Council Chairman. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf met with Chairman of Russia Muftis Council Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin on November 20 in Moscow. The Mayor of Tehran and former IRGC commander called for Muslim unity and concerted efforts to portray authentic Islamic values, such as peaceful coexistence. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- Putin to visit Tehran. Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his upcoming visit to Tehran on November 23. Putin will also attend a summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which includes Iran, Qatar, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. (Mashregh News)
Hosseini: The president “has failed” to fix the economy. Principlist Parliamentarian Hossein Naghavi Hosseini criticized President Hassan Rouhani for the country’s deteriorating economic situation during an interview with Fars News Agency. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member stated that President Rouhani “has failed” on his campaign promise to solve the country’s economic problems. He added that the country is still suffering from economic problems even though the Rouhani administration has said the economy “is out of the recession.” He added, "What can help us out of the recession...we need cash... we really do not understand the president's economic goals and visions.” (Fars News Agency)
Larijani: Politics and media should support the national economy. Ali Larijani delivered a speech on politics and media in honor of the National Export Day at the Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture in Qom province. The Parliament Speaker stated that "politics and media should support the economy" and added that the "outlook is positive." Larijani stated that the issues of exporting reflect a policy that "has been issued by the Supreme Leader."
- Larijani stated that the "lifeline of the national economy is based on exports" and that in the "past few years, barriers to businesses" have been removed. Larijani stated that "the economy's structural problems and the legacy of the past is causing problems, but some of these problems can be overcome and [a] consensus between the economic and political elites will help solve the problem..."
- “I am surprised that inside Iran this issue-- that the Westerners and the Americans are seeking to overthrow [the state] -- is being enlarged since they are unable to do this.”
- "The private sector should be encouraged to participate more actively." (ICANA)
- Nobakht: Dollar to rial exchange rate will decrease soon. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht announced stated that “soon we will witness a decrease in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Iranian rial.” The Planning and Supervision Deputy to the President, however, projected that the exchange rate in next year’s budget will be the same as the exchange rate of this year’s budget.” (ILNA)
Reactions to the Nuclear Deal
Najafi: IAEA’s report will be published around December 1. Iran’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA Board of Governors Reza Najafi told reporters that the IAEA is likely to publish its final assessment on the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program “around” December 1. (IRIB)
- The AEOI and the IAEA to hold an “expert meeting” in Vienna. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi stated that an "expert meeting" between the AEOI and IAEA officials to discuss the IAEA roadmap agreement will occur on November 24 in Vienna. Kamalvandi added: “10,000 inoperable centrifuges exist at Fordow and Natanz; half of them have been dismantled so far and the rest will be dismantled in the next two weeks.” (ILNA)
Military and Security
IRGC Commander advises the U.S. not to make military threats against Iran. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari attended the Basij Beit ol Moghaddas exercises on November 20 in Qom province. The IRGC Commander praised the Basij forces for defending the country and warned against military threats against Iran. Jafari also stated, “America must open its eyes. The global arrogance [the West], headed by the world-devouring America must see the authority and grandeur of the Basij, so that no stupid idea enters [the West’s] brains.” (Defa Press)
- Fazli: The Basij Organization is ready for the liberation of Islamic lands. IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fazli stated that the Basij Organization “is ready for the liberation of the Islamic lands” and stated that the Basij Organization’s Beit ol Moghaddas 2015 exercises is “a small part” of the Basij Organization’s “defensive preparations.” The Basij Organization Deputy Commander added that the Basij Organization “heeds the Supreme Leader’s commands to defend the [Islamic] Revolution” while “maintaining unity between Sunni and Shi’a.” (Mehr News)