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, Warren Marshall, and Dianna Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Jafari attributed Iran’s success in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria to its strategy of resistance, while Naghdi hopes the Islamic Republic’s volunteer Basij forces will reach 30 million by next year. Parliament approves Rouhani’s nominee for Minister of Science Research, and Technology (SRT).

IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari highlighted the Revolution’s success in the region and said if it were not for the Islamic Republic’s strategy of resistance and the leadership of Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, the “destiny” of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, would be unclear. Jafari added that the “Yemeni revolution would not have succeeded” without this strategy. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, meanwhile, displayed hope in expanding Iran’s Basij forces to 30 million volunteers by the end of 2015. These statements underscore Tehran’s regional strategy, which is predicated on indigenous volunteer forces, modeled after the Basij Organization.

Parliament gave a vote of confidence to President Hassan Rouhani’s latest nominee for SRT Minister Mohammad Farhadi.

Three Iranian security forces members were shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in Sistan va Baluchistan Province. This attack reaffirms the ongoing security threat facing Iran along its southeast border, which Tehran attributes to Islamabad’s incompetent security measures at the shared border area.

Official Statements

  • IRGC Commander said the Islamic Revolution is at its third stage and praised its success in the region. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari discussed the internal and external dimensions of the revolution at an Iran-Iraq war memorial service in Kerman:
    • “Today we are at the third stage of the revolution and the Supreme Leader conceptualizes  the revolution in five stages.”
    • “The Basij has very important and sensitive roles at this sensitive stage of the revolution. Unless this mass movement is fulfilled, we cannot witness the implementation of the revolution’s higher goals in society.”
    • “[IRGC Quds Force Commander] Haj Qassem Soleimani has become a thorn in the enemy’s eye. The enemy admits the role of this Kermani fighter in Iraq and Syria.”
    • “If the Islamic Revolution’s thoughts of resistance were not exported to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon the destiny of these countries would be unclear. The Yemeni revolution would not have succeeded without this thought.”
    • “The [2009 post-election protest] sedition was markedly more dangerous than the Eight Year War [Iran-Iraq War]. This very dangerous sedition was neutralized with the people’s presence.”
    • “The enemy wanted to implement the sedition of Iraq and Syria in our country. They seek to create instability with mercenaries like ISIL, but our people stood strong. Today 10 thousand Sunni Basijis have been mobilized among the ranks of the Basij and defend our country. We have given security in the east of the country to local tribes and trusted them, and they have been successful.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Naghdi hopes Basij force will reach 30 million by end of 2015.  IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi said the Basij Organization sent a letter signed by IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari to President Hassan Rouhani concerning the Basij and their construction activities, but they have not received a response. The Head of the Basij Organization also said that he hopes the Basij will number 30 million by the end of 2015.  (Defa Press)
  • Western powers created ISIL to divide the Muslim world. IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said that England, the Zionist regime [Israel], and the US created ISIL to foment a civil war between Sunnis and Shi’as. The Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader praised the Basij forces for their ability to deal with the rising threats from “takfiri” groups like ISIL as well as fight against the soft power threats from the United States. (Sepah News)
  • Basij created as insurance against enemies of the Islamic Republic. Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam said that the Basij Organization was created with great foresight by Imam Khomeini as insurance against the enemies of Iran. The Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander stated that enemies have tried to break the Islamic Republic of Iran with threats and propaganda. Moghaddam further stated that the enemy is using negotiations as a pretext for restricting Iran.  (Defa Press)
  • “Withdrawal of nuclear rights is a withdrawal of nation’s independence and dignity.”Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani criticized “some within domestic” circles for calling for “500 centrifuges, after [previously] calling for 1000 or 2000.” He stated that “the reduction in the number of centrifuges is not only a physical withdrawal, but has spiritual effects too, which correspond to the dignity, magnitude, independence, and self-esteem of the nation.” (Fars News Agency)
  • No plans to reduce oil production. Ahead of the 166th meeting of OPEC in Vienna, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced that Iran has no plans to reduce oil production and called on OPEC members to remain committed to quotas and participate in reducing production. (Mehr News)  

Military and Security

  • Three Iranian border guards are killed. Unidentified gunmen shot and killed three Iranian security forces members in Zahak, in southeastern Sistan va Baluchistan. (BBC Persian)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Navy unveils new defense systems. Artesh Navy unveiled the “Samen” surface fire control system, capable of targeting surface and air targets. The “SX-Band” radar navigation system and the “Shahid Mehrpour” simulator were also introduced. (Defa Press

Domestic Developments

  • Mohammad Farhadi receives vote of confidence as Minister of Science, Research, and Technology (SRT). Parliament held a public hearing and gave a vote of confidence to Mohammad Farhadi with 197 out of 235 votes. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani later congratulated Mohammad Farhadi on receiving the vote of confidence from parliament and expressed hope that Farhadi will consult the Assembly of Experts in order to be successful.  (ISNA) (Tasnim)
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