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: Hossein Salami and Hossein Amir Abdollahian highlighted the Islamic Republic’s ideological influence on Yemen’s al-Houthis Oil Ministry expects oil exports to double within two months of sanctions being lifted.
IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian attributed the recent political shift in Yemen, to Imam Khomeini’s revolutionary values. The senior Iranian officials cited Ansar Allah, the political-wing of the al-Houthis political success in Sanaa to showcase the regime’s regional footprint.
IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced the launch of a national intranet for the Basij forces, to allow easier access to “indigenous and independent news.” This represents the regime’s latest attempt to preserve Islamic revolutionary values and prevent the spread of Western culture in Iran.
The Oil Ministry announced that oil exports would double within two months of sanctions being limited, and estimated the price of oil to be approximately $80 per barrel. The government-owned National Iranian Oil Company, meanwhile, announced that “appropriate levels” of trade would resume after 2-3 months; their comments underscore the high economic incentives for reaching a final nuclear deal.
- Foreign Ministry: the US and its allies seek benefits from ISIL. Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Iran gave several warnings to the West about ISIL. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs pointed to the US-led coalition against ISIL and said, “Some countries in the coalition are working together with ISIL to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad.” Abdollahian highlighted Iran’s influential role in the region, citing Ansar Allah’s political success in Yemen. Abdollahian also discussed talks with Saudi Arabia and said, “Tehran-Riyadh cooperation to combat terrorism and to resolve regional issues…are essential.” (YJC)
- Senior cleric likens a bad outcome in the nuclear negotiations to drinking from "poisoned chalice.” Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol-Hoda stated that a nuclear deal must maintain the dignity of the Iranian nation. The Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader also stated that the people of Iran still have enmity towards the United States and that accepting a bad deal would be like drinking poison a second time; the first time being Iran’s acceptance of a cease fire to end the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. (Tabnak)
- “We are fighting the enemy in the nuclear negotiations.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, in a speech before Friday prayers in Qom, urged nuclear negotiators to stand against "excessive demands." The Deputy Commander of the IRGC added that “the Islamic Republic needs the Basij forces to counteract the enemies’ conspiracies” and that “The Americans were going to overthrow the regime in Syria, but the country’s regime, with the help of the Islamic Republic, resisted.” Referring to ISIS, Salami said, “America created ISIL” adding that the US provided the “training and equipping of armed groups in Syria”. “But today, these groups have become America’s enemies and the US is lacking in tactical and strategic thinking.” Referring to the developments in Yemen, Salami said, “The Yemeni revolutionaries based their ideas on Imam Khomeini’s teachings.” “Today, the enemy is incapable of imposing its will on the Muslim world.” (Tasnim News)
“Be careful and do not accept humiliation.” Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, referring to the nuclear negotiations warned Iran’s diplomats:
- “Trust in God” and “Do not be afraid of the US.”
- “For many years, the people, nation, and state have been trying to reach a point in the nuclear issue and to ensure this issue for the future. You must stand by these words and know that if you trust God and ask for his help he will help and the great leader and the people will support you.” (Fararu)
- Basij intranet launched. Head of Basij Organization IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced the operationalization of an "independent national informational network for the Basij" that has all the characteristics of the Internet. The Head of the Basji Organization said the network would allow easier access to “indigenous and independent news.” He said, “If our people are able to preserve ideals from the enemy’s threats and provide their own security - because the people are present on the scene in the form of the Basij – this is a measure of success.” (Tasnim News Agency)
- Zarif, Ashton, and Kerry hold trilateral talks in Vienna. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, and US Secretary of State John Kerry took part in the second round of trilateral negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. For Iran, the main concern remains the removal of all sanctions. (IRNA)
- Oil exports will double if sanctions are lifted. Bijan Zanganeh stated that oil exports will double within two months of sanctions being lifted. The Oil Minister expects global oil demand to increase next and projected $80 per barrel prices. Zanganeh also warned against excessive domestic consumption of natural gas. (Fars News Agency)
- After sanctions, relations will resume with former oil clients. Mohsen Ghamsari stated that Iran will resume oil exportation to former trader partners particularly Europea following the lifting sanctions, and “appropriate levels” of oil exports will resume after 2-3 months. (IRNA)