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.
- President Hassan Rouhani, in a meeting with a disabled veteran, stated: “The spirit of resistance and reliance on spirituality that was achieved with the blessing of the revolution and clear leadership of His Excellency Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader will cause us to overcome current problems.”
- Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi stated in a meeting with Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, “If the Westerners say all options are on the table, we also emphasize that all options, including the option of the Basij, IRGC and Artesh, are on the table.”
- Head of the Qom Religious Seminary Teachers Society Supreme Council Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi condemned the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut earlier this week and called it an attempt by “extremist takfiri groups prompted by Zionist elements" to create sectarian tension.
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Lebanese security officials reportedly uncovered “fundamental information” about the identities of the two suicide bombers who struck the Iranian embassy in Beirut earlier this week. Officials reportedly consider it unlikely that the two bombers were Lebanese and that they used counterfeit Lebanese identification cards for their hotel reservation. No further information has been released so far.
- Iraqi Hezbollah Mokhtar Army Leader Watheq al-Battat announced responsibility for an artillery bombardment on a Saudi outpost close to the Iraq-Kuwait border in response “to takfiri fatwas, the exacerbation of sectarian strikes, and calling Shi'as magi and encouraging their killings.” The attack reportedly left no casualties but al-Battat threatened additional operations on Saudi soil.
- Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei expressed hope for “the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014” alongside the “successful holding of elections” in the neighboring country.
Military and Security
- Former Iranian Cultural Attache to Lebanon Hojjat al-Eslam Ebrahim Ansari, killed in the Beirut embassy blast earlier this week, is to buried in Qom this Saturday.
- The funeral of Mohammad Hassan Khalili, killed in Syria while “defending the Seyyeda Zaynab,” was held today in Tehran. ABNA reports that Khalili was killed on Monday by “Zionist-Wahabist” groups.
- Head of the IRGC Ground Force (IRGC-GF) Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization praised the organization's recent progress in “electronic, communications, mechanic, material, and civil [areas]. Or, in military terms, projects with axes of weapons and equipment such as designing and building military vehicles, weapons with various calibers and different capabilities, warheads with different amount of explosive material, communications and image transmission systems, software needed by the IRGC-GF, and designing the simulators needed by the force.”
- IRGC Mohammad Rasoulallah unit (Greater Tehran) Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini said, “The best method in [nuclear] negotiations is to defend our rights and not retreat from the values of Imam [Khomeini].” He then warned enemies not to “create marginal issues” and expressed his hope to "reach a good agreement.”
- Head of the Passive Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali praised the Basij as the “school of love” that “has proven to be the most worthy flag bearer to reach the transcendental goals of total expansion, perseverance and steadfastness of our proud country.”
- An editorial on the website of IRGC weekly Sobh-e Sadegh discusses why Iran does not have relations with the United States, yet maintains relations with China and Russia. The piece claims that the matter is larger than nuclear negotiations and lists eleven reasons, including the 1953 coup d'etat that restored the Shah, support of Saddam during the Iran-Iraq War, the assassination of Iranian scientists, stirring unrest in northwestern and southeastern Iran and “billion dollar behind the scenes projects of Islamophobia for anti-Islamism, Iranophobia, and anti-Iranianism.” It concludes with the following remark: “It is necessary to note that the illegality and spuriousness of the Zionist regime is so palpable for Iran that no one can introduce not having relations with the usurper Israel as a question.”
- As of 1400 EST, the third meeting of the day, to be held between Iran and P5+1, has been postponed due to extension of the meeting among P5+1 members. Sources have used the terms "serious" and "useful" in evaluating today's meetings.
- Senior Negotiator Abbas Eraghchi emphasized in a tweet before the P5+1 negotiations that any deal which does not include enrichment “will be unacceptable." After the initial three hour meeting, Eraghchi reported progress and that the sides were able to enter the “content of negotiations, not [just] the text, for the first time since meeting yesterday. There are differences regarding some serious matters which were comprehensively discussed during the meeting.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini emphasized enrichment as the Islamic Republic's red line and said, “The P5+1 is unfortunately under the influence of the political will of the Zionist regime.”
- The Preservation of Iranian Interests Committee, established by hardliner cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, released a statement containing twelve points of warning addressed to the negotiations team. It reads in part, “What must be important for the current representatives of Iran in negotiations with the leaders of the six countries is not to reach an agreement in any shape possible, but rather to preserve and defend national interests in the path of reaching an agreement. The nuclear negotiations by the representatives of the Islamic Republic currently contain necessities that the Iranian negotiations team must pay attention to and public opinion must be sensitive towards." The last point discusses Iran's potential exit from the NPT as a surprise if the West seeks to disrupt negotiations at the end.
A report on Sobh-e Sadegh discusses issues in Iranian government budgetary planning, which are “akin to a balloon full of air released without specific guidance [that] is headed to every direction.” Issues such as 72% deviation from last year's budgetary projection is attributed to factors such as lack of a professional and diversified staff, bureaucratic waste, projection of only one variation of a proposed budget that cannot adapt to new circumstances and lack of economic understanding by current budgetary specialists.
Photo of the Day
- Flooding in Lamerd, Fars province.