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 and Marie Donovan. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.    

For in-depth analysis on the latest headlines please visit 

Official Statements

  • The Artesh released a statement ahead of the  November 3 commemoration of Ashura [commemorating the Battle of Karbala in which the grandson of the prophet, Husayn ibn Ali, was killed] and the November 4 anniversary of the US embassy hostage crisis in Tehran:
    • “Special meaning is given to November 4 this year, coinciding with Ashoura; chanting death to America, and death to Israel, according to the Husayn culture, will resonate in the proud and Ashoura culture of Islamic Iran, until the intelligence and the foresight of the Iranian nation under the banner of Husayn Ashoura will be shown to the world.”  (Defa Press)
  • President Hassan Rouhani spoke at a commemoration ceremony for Imam Husayn ibn Ali:
    • “The message of Karbala is a protection of the right path, even if the dearest people are taken in the path of martyrdom this leads to a path that is safeguarded and protected.”
    • “The Holy Prophet, Islam, and the ‘right path’ lead the people to recite the Quran.”
    • “Husayn protected the true meaning of the religion, and because of Imam Husayn the people have Islam and the Quran today.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attended a ceremony celebrating the day before Ashura and spoke about the example of Imam Husayn ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala:
    • “A society that has vision and understands its enemies correctly cannot be fooled.”
    • “Imam Husayn and his companions at the Battle of Karbala show their virtues and the vicious cruelty of war, and true enemies are forever exposed.” (Mehr News)
  • The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) also released a message commemorating the November 4 anniversary of the US embassy crisis:
    • “America is still the Great Satan and the number one enemy of the revolution and the Islamic Republic…”
    • “Reflection on the bitter realities in the region today, particularly the inflammatory process of ISIL and the takfiris in the countries of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, shows that more than ever before, America bases its behavior of inherent arrogance and hegemony of the main intrigue and corruption of the world; and never has true unity and friendship with the independent regime of the people that embodies the life of Islam’s authority [Iran]; In such circumstances, the brave people of Iran while still demanding the prosecution, trial, and punishment of the leaders of the White House for crimes against Iran in recent decades, will observe all aspects of their inalienable rights in the nuclear negotiations and look for an end to the unjust sanctions on all levels of thinking.”  (Defa Press)
  • National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman and Borujerd Representative MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi spoke about America’s support for terrorism and  certain countries’ disinterest in a nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions:
    • “Unfortunately some countries in the region and some European countries are not happy about a final nuclear agreement or the removal of sanctions.”
    • “Unfortunately America and its allies in Europe and the region play a role in the phenomenon of emerging terrorism. We have been involved in Iraq from day one, but America, only after watching the deplorable videos of the beheadings of two American journalists has recently decided to fight.” (ISNA)
  • Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader and Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami discussed the importance of educating the younger generation on the roots of resistance against the US ahead of the November 4 anniversary of the US embassy crisis:
    • “We must show young people that fighting [the global] arrogance [imperialism] has its roots in religion and the Ashura movement. The explanation of this point is very important so that our generation knows our fight against arrogance is sectional and not emotional.”
    • “Even as the western side says that the nuclear issue has been solved, other issues remain; we must also say that if the nuclear issue is resolved, we still say “Death to America”, because this slogan is rooted in our faith; the Western side is a symbol of imperialism and the slogan “there is no god but god” is the rejection of arrogance.” (Defa Press)
  • IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen Ali Fadavi discussed the weakness of the US towards Iran and the increasing importance of oil production in the Persian Gulf:
    • “Due to their unjust nature, if our arrogant enemies could do anything against us, they surely would; such that the action taken by them is they wanted to and did not, but rather because they were certain they could not take action against the Islamic Republic of Iran, such that this inability of procedure is called deterrence.”
    • “There must be precision on the issue of global energy; after the end of the [Iran-Iraq] War, 9 million barrels of oil were extracted from the Persian Gulf; but today, 20 million barrels have been extracted; and in six years in 2020, 40 barrels of oil must be extracted. This has elevated the importance of the Persian Gulf after when the evil of the Great Satan [the US] remains, [and] we cannot talk with America and its allies in the region on a lot of things…”
    • “If there are shots in the Persian Gulf today, it will have been started by the Americans; and all the world will know that this is Iran and the Islamic Revolution, which will provide security in the Persian Gulf, and this is our enemy, in a position of passivity.” (Fars News Agency

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • According to Shi’a News police in Pakistan have reportedly issued a warning to the foreign ministry’s office about a potential plot to assassinate Iran’s ambassador to Islamabad. (Shia News)
  • Deputy Commander of the Shi’a militia group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad Tabatabai gave an interview and said that AAH will target all American forces in Iraq except those at the embassy:
    • “We proclaim that we will not accept the presence of any American forces on Iraqi soil, apart from the permanent staff at the embassy. Our weapons are not only for ISIL or the takfiris, but occupying Americans will also be targeted.”
    • “America is the main sponsor of terrorist and ISIL was created by America, Israel, and Arab countries to fight against the resistance.” (ABNA)
  • According to IRGC-affiliate news outlet a photo of IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Samarra, Iraq was recently taken during an operation against ISIL. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • An Iraqi news site reported that Saudi King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz suspended the death sentence of Shi’a cleric and prominent dissident Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr after Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani sent a message warning King Abdullah of the consequences of the execution. (ABNA)
  • Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian responded to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal’s remarks and criticism of Iran:
    • “The talks between the countries’ foreign ministers in New York and during my trip to Jeddah were constructive and we heard good things from the Saudi foreign minister, but unfortunately Mr. Saud al-Faisal made negative and unconstructive comments a few days after each stage of negotiations.”
    • “[Iran’s] path of dialogue will follow negotiations and collaboration with all regional countries, including Saudi Arabia.”
    • “Regarding the continuation of diplomatic talks, now it is Saudi Arabia’s turn to decide whether it will adhere to the course of negotiations or to unconstructive media statements.”
    • “We are on a path to collaborate and assist regional countries in combating terrorism.” (ABNA)
  • President Hassan Rouhani met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende in Tehran to discuss ongoing nuclear talks and bilateral ties. Rouhani said that the sanctions are “unacceptable and wrong,” adding:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran is serious in the negotiations and has been very transparent on nuclear issues…if the negotiating sides have serious resolve, a deal is possible in all areas.”
    • “Iran and Norway have great potential to expand relations in various fields especially in the economic sector.”
    • “Given the common goals of the two countries on bilateral cooperation and regional and international developments, I hope we can work together to have constructive [relations].” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani also met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende and said:
    • “Iran’s nuclear program is completely peaceful and transparent and within the corresponding legal framework.”
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran as a victim of weapons of mass destruction is one of the most resolute opponents of the production and stockpiling of such arms.”
    •  “We expect that the [International Atomic Energy] Agency and member states of the Board of Governors to seriously follow up on the strategy of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and [enforcement of] the non-proliferation policies with regard to countries that possess nuclear weapons.” (IRNA)
  • Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah spoke on the occasion of Muharram in Beirut, Lebanon and reiterated LH’s mission in Syria:
    • “We are fighting in Syria to break America, Ankara, the Zionists and takfiris.”
    • “If we did not enter the war in Syria, ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ would do what he did in… Iraq in Lebanon.”
    • “Lebanese Hezbollah entered the war in Syria with the aim to support Lebanon and the region.” (Mehr News

Nuclear Talks

  • International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi announced that nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 will resume next week in Oman:
    • “Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 will be held next week on Tuesday in Muscat.”
    • “In the trilateral meeting between Zarif, Kerry and Ashton, the sides will discuss issues such as [level of uranium] enrichment and sanctions.” (ISNA)
  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spoke about Iran’s stabilizing influence in the region and stated that if the countries of the P5+1 are rational then they will reach an agreement on the nuclear issue:
    • “It is shown that Iran’s behavior brings stability and Iran has the potential to stabilize and build in the future.”
    • “If the capacity of the private sector and NGOs are not utilized, then the economic cannot be fixed.”
    • “The nuclear issue is on a clear path through negotiations and the round of negotiations is coming close to an end, but of course it is possible to reach a solution. If there is rationality in the countries of the P5+1 then a solution can be reached. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • An unnamed Iranian official close to the nuclear negotiations team denied reports from the Washington Post that there was an agreement to cap the number of centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear program at 4000:
    • “Reports concerning an agreement on the number of centrifuges have not been agreed upon and have been denied.”
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran has the full right to nuclear technology for peaceful nuclear energy and at the same time emphasizes transparency.”
    • “America probably believes Iran should have 4000 centrifuges in the next 3 to 5 years.” (ISNA


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