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.
- Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati discussed the 2009 post-election protests, the bombing of Iranian embassy in Beirut, and the Geneva talks:
- Regarding those under house arrest for 2009 post-election protests, most prominently 2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi: “[They] have their facilities, living furniture, televisions and welfare but are confined to their houses. If it were not for the extraordinary Islamic compassion, they would have been executed.”
- Saying Israel carried out the bombing for revenge of the Hezbollah and Gaza wars, Jannati continued, “They perhaps wanted to place Geneva negotiations under their influence. Then, if they could, they wanted to blow up the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran so another victory card is in their hands, but God did not wish for this even though a great number were unfortunately martyred in this explosion.”
- “Discussions are taking place in Geneva in which we have no details about. The Supreme Leader broadly stated that he has no hope in these negotiations but also said it is not that hopeless either.”
- “They are enemies and this hostility is not only related to us because America and its friends are the enemies of all Islam and our crime is being Muslim…”
- Adviser to IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Jafari and Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) member Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi claimed, “In my opinion the management of [EDC] meetings has become more difficult for him [EDC Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani] than it was in the past and his foundation has eroded.”
- In an interview with Khabar Online, MP Ali Motahari criticized former Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Heydar Moslehi for his comments calling Mousavi and Karoubi “combatants and aggressors,” thereby requiring a Supreme National Security Council resolution to lift their sentences. Motahari stated, “It is not clear how Mr. Moslehi became Intelligence Minister with such jurisprudential knowledge even though the condition for Intelligence Minister is being a mujtahid [Islamic scholar competent in interpreting Islamic law].
- Truth Documentation Center Managing Director Morteza Shabani stated, “We must support Syria as a country that is a member of the Resistance front and axis. This is a political goal that we of course conduct as a belief.” The center currently employs 30 documentary film makers who have produced 100 documentaries in the past two years with the goal of “introducing Iran and Islam to countries that are less familiar with us and have not seen a correct image of Iran.”
- This center is the institution that sponsored Iranian documentary film maker Hadi Baqbani, killed in Syria this past September [See INR Sept. 16]. Shabani added that the center’s expenditures in Syria “are not really high” because deployed documentary film makers go based on “belief and not just for the profession itself.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- In response to the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah stated, “This terrorist measure will not be left unanswered.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah political wing Loyalty to the Resistance faction in Parliament condemned the embassy bombing as an attempt to sow violence and urged all political groups to “enter serious national dialogues.”
- Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed hope for future Iran-Saudi cooperation and said, “We know that King of Saudi Arabia Malek Abdollah Ibn Abdolaziz has a positive, fair and equal outlook regarding Iran and all the region. Although some individuals have certain outlooks and conduct negative measures that can perhaps have a negative effect on regional nations, this matter will not spoil the friendly relations between countries.”
Military and Security
- According to several media outlets, including al-Manar [Iranian Arabic media outlet], Saudi Arabia and Pakistani intelligence cooperated to provide material and training support to Jaish al-Adl, which claims to have carried out the attack on Iranian border guards in Sistan va Balouchestan province last month.
- IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami praised the Basij for “causing the nation to move forwards in the direction of the values of the Islamic Revolution,” and said: “In order to achieve an Islamic-Iranian lifestyle that is mixed with Islamic culture, it is necessary to move with the Basij vision, forgiveness, sacrificing barriers, and putting the enemies attacks to the side.”
Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi gave a speech praising his forces before Friday prayer in Tehran:
- “All of the Iranian people are Basijis in the way that when the Supreme Leader speaks, all of the admirers are mobilized by the system, revolution, and people which they know are responsible for the guardianship of their divine values. From this number, we can organize, for certain projects on the agenda and from the identification of the national population, more than 20 million individuals.”
- “Against many strong forces, with the faith and trust that God has promised in the Quran that one of these individuals is equal to ten enemies, talk of a military threat is a laughable statement. With such forces there is no sign of retreat, compromise, or appeasement with the enemy.”
- Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani met with Naghdi and said that “Young Basijis are the nation’s elite who enter the field to become close to and please God.”
- “Instead of forming a Ministry of Commanding Good and Forbidding Evil, the Basij is used because, although the cost is low, the Basij are individuals trained in this field.”
- As of 1400 EST, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton ended their fourth round of “intense” talks since yesterday to reach an agreement regarding the resolution of “some remaining disagreements.” Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister and lead negotiator Abbas Eraghchi separately met with his counterparts from Germany, Great Britain and Russia.
- Foreign Minister Zarif denied reports of secret negotiations between Iran and the United States regarding Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in Geneva, stating “it is a complete lie and we have not had any [additional] negotiations during the nuclear discussion with America.”
- After the first meeting of the day with EU Foreign Policy Chief Ashton, negotiations team member Majid Takht Ravanchi stated, “The opinions of the two sides have become closer but it is early to judge.” Minister Zarif also stated after this meeting, “Many of the matters are in the path of resolution.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini reaffirmed enrichment as Iran’s red line and said, “This round of Iran and P5+1 negotiations are sensitive, meaning that during this round both sides entered negotiations and are interested for negotiations to succeed, so if there is no [result], then what hope can exist for us to reach results in future rounds.”
- Senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Eraghchi tweeted about the third day of negotiations, saying that the desire was still serious. He added that although there has been little progress, a verdict had not yet been made.
- In the past eight months, the rate of return in the Tehran Stock Exchange has reached 106%. The volume traded this past month was approximately $32.2 million.
Photo of the Day
- Fall snow in Hamedan.