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 Analysts Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton and contributors Ali Javaheri and Wali Miller. 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. 

Key takeaway: Friday prayer leaders in major Iranian cities criticized the U.S. and the nuclear deal in their first sermons after the 37th anniversary of the hostage crisis.

Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani accused the U.S. of “lying” by strengthening rather than lifting sanctions after the nuclear deal. He also reiteratedSupreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent call for Iranians to reject the claim that U.S.-Iran negotiations can “solve” Iran’s problems. Meanwhile, Qom Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Hashem Hosseini Bushehri criticized American “hostility” toward Iran “since before the Islamic Revolution until today.”

AEI Must-Reads

Regional Developments & Diplomacy

  • Friday prayer leaders criticize U.S. Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani stated, “If the JCPOA had no effect except what has occurred, then America is lying... America is saying that it is lifting sanctions. Not only is it not lifting sanctions, but it is also increasing them.” He also reiterated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s assertion that officials must counter the belief that the U.S. can “solve” Iran’s problems. (IRNA)
    • Qom Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Hashem Hosseini Bushehri claimed that America’s “hostility has continued since before the Islamic Revolution until today. Now the U.S. is using social networks and satellite dishes against Iran.” Satellite dishes are banned under Iranian law and security forces routinely seize dishes and other receivers to prevent access to satellite television. (YJC)
    • Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda praised the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy for “giving America a slap” and “strengthening the Islamic Revolution.” Alam ol Hoda also claimed that the U.S. can no longer effectively challenge Iran. (Alef)
  • Zarif to visit Lebanon after election of Hezbollah-allied president. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will likely visit Lebanon next week to meet with senior officials, according to ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi. Lebanon elected Michel Aoun, an ally of Hezbollah, on October 31. Senior Iranian officials praised Aoun’s election as a victory for Lebanese Hezbollah and an indication that Iran-Lebanon ties may expand. (Fars News Agency)
  • Iranian ambassador to Russia meets with president of Dagestan. Tehran’s Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei met with Ramazan Abdulatipov, the president of the Russian republic of Dagestan. The two sides discussed the possibility of increasing trade and other economic relations. (IRNA)

Military & Security

  • Basij Organization holds second day of major exercises. The Basij Organization conducted the second and last day of the “Beit ol Moghaddas” exercise in over a dozen provinces. Basij Organization Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fazli stated that the message of the exercises is to “announce the readiness of the Islamic umma against any enemy threat.” Over 350 battalions participated in the exercises, including Beit ol Moghaddas and Kosar battalions. The Beit ol Moghaddas Rapid Reaction Battalions are light infantry combat units intended to reinforce IRGC Ground Forces units. The Kosar Battalions are all- female units and serve in a supporting role.  (Fars News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency)

Casualties in Iraq & Syria

  • Fatimiyoun Brigade member buried in Tehran. Rajab Gholami, who was killed in Syria, was buried in the city of Tehran on November 3. (Tasnim News Agency
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