Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

Key takeaway: Iranian officials attempted to defuse the increased international attention on Iran following the al Houthi-Saleh ballistic missile fired at Saudi Arabia on November 4.

Al Houthi-Saleh forces fired a Yemeni-manufactured Burkan-2H missile toward Riyadh on November 4. A U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system was able to successfully intercept the incoming missile, leaving shrapnel and fragmentation near Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport.

Senior Iranian civilian and military officials denied any involvement in the missile strike. IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari claimed that “Yemeni missiles are their own,” while Defense Minister Artesh Brigadier General Amir Hatami claimed that the U.S. “will use any opportunity to make allegations against Iran. Iranian officials’ reactions were likely designed to defuse the increased international attention on the Islamic Republic following the strike. President Donald Trump claimed that Iran fired the missile, while Saudi Arabia used the missile strike to push the U.S. and the international community to take a more hardline stance against Iran.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from November 2-6.

AEI Must Reads
{{current_n + 1}} of 2 cards
November 08, 2017

Confusion over the Iran deal.

Fred Kagan clarifies common points of confusion regarding the Trump administration’s decision on the nuclear deal in “Confusion over the Iran deal.

November 07, 2017

America needs a new strategy to deter Iran’s destabilizing behavior.

Marie Donovan breaks down why a new strategy for dealing with Iran’s destabilizing behavior is necessary in “America needs a new strategy to deter Iran’s destabilizing behavior.

Citations & Links

Citations & Links

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
{{current_n + 1}} of 5 cards
November 08, 2017

Senior Iranian officials deny involvement in Houthi missile targeting Riyadh.

Senior civilian and military Iranian officials denied any Iranian involvement in the Houthi-fired missile targeting Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 4. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said that it is “completely impossible” for Iran to transfer missiles to Yemen. Jafari also said that “Yemeni missiles are their own” and that the Yemenis were able to increase their missiles’ range and consequently target Riyadh to “avenge the [spilt] blood of their oppressed martyrs.” Defense Minister Artesh Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami also denied accusations of Iranian involvement in the firing of the missile. Hatami said that the U.S. will “use any any opportunity to make allegations against Iran,” a likely reaction to President Donald Trump’s statement that Iran fired the missile. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghassemi responded similarly to Jafari and Hatami, calling accusations of Iranian involvement “delusional, unfound, and a complete lie.” (ILNA) (ILNA) (IRNA)

November 08, 2017

Iranian officials react to Hariri resignation.

Iranian officials reacted to the resignation of then Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on November 4. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that White House Special Advisor Jared Kushner and Hariri’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia resulted in the “bizarre” resignation of Hariri. Zarif blamed Saudi Arabia for conspiring against Iran in order to blame Hariri’s resignation on Iran. Hariri unexpectedly resigned from office on November 4, one day after his meeting with Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati in Beirut on November 3. Hariri cited concerns that the Iranians were plotting an assassination plot against him. Hariri also accused Iran and Iranian-backed Hezbollah of fomenting instability in Lebanon. (Mehr News Agency)

  • Ghassemi: Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi called the Hariri’s resignation a source of “pity and wonder.” (Washington Post) (E)
  • Rezaei:  Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) secretary Mohsen Rezaei accused Saudi Arabia of “seeking to [create] internal disagreements within Lebanon” by orchestrating the resignation of Hariri. (Mehr News Agency)
  • Jafari: IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari charged Israel and Saudi Arabia for “ordering” Hariri’s resignation in order to “ruin Lebanon’s [political] climate.” (ILNA)
  • Shadmani: IRGC Khatam ol Anbiya Base Coordination Deputy Brig. Gen. Ali Shadmani stated that the “U.S., the House of Saud, and the Zionists” coordinated the “big conspiracy” of Hariri’s resignation. Iranian officials claimed that Saudi Arabia coordinated Hariri's resignation in order to destabilize Lebanon. (Tasnim News Agency)
November 08, 2017

Velayati meets with senior Lebanese officials.

Velayati met with several senior Lebanese officials including then Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut on November 3. Velayati called the triumphs of Lebanon over terrorism and of the Iraqi central government over the Iraqi Kurdistan independence movement as regional “victories” for the Axis of Resistance. (Tasnim News Agency) (ISNA) (ANA) (Asriran)

  • Velayati meets with Nasrallah. Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati met with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah during his visit to Beirut on November 3. The two discussed recent developments in the region, as well as issues facing Iran and Lebanon. Iranian state media did not provide any further details on Velayati and Nasrallah’s meeting. (Tasnim News Agency) (Donya-e Eqtesad) (
  • Velayati meets with Lebanese president. Velayati met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun on November 5. Velayati commended Lebanese efforts in combatting terrorism and considered Aoun’s leadership instrumental in allying Lebanese political forces. Aoun noted that Iran has played an “effective role in establishing regional stability and security.” (ABNA)



November 08, 2017

Shariatmadari in Baghdad to talk Iranian investment in Iraq.

Minister of Industry, Mines, and Business Mohammad Shariatmadari headed an Iranian delegation to Baghdad to discuss Iran-Iran bilateral trade and expanding Iran’s role in aiding with Iraqi reconstruction efforts. Shariatmadari met with Iraq’s Works and Planning Minister Salman al Jumaili and Electricity Minister Qasim al Fahadawi. Shariatmadari called the current level of Iraq-Iran bilateral trade “unsatisfactory” and incommensurate to the “deep political relations” between Baghdad and Tehran. Iran and Iraq registered $8b in non-oil trade last year. Shariatmadari also reiterated Iran’s willingness to assist in Iraq’s reconstruction efforts, modernize Iraqi industries and factories, and help meet Iraq’s electricity needs. Shariatmadari described the talks as a continuation of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi’s October 26 meetings with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. (IRNA) (IRNA) (IRNA)



November 08, 2017

Khamenei: U.S. is Iran’s number one enemy.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the U.S. is Iran’s “number one enemy” and called on Iranians to “counter, challenge, and stand up to [the U.S.],” rather than coming to terms with the United States. Khamenei accused the U.S. of committing the “utmost evil” in order to ruin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Khamenei made his remarks to a gathering of students ahead of the anniversary of Iranian students seizing and ransacking the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. (Reuters) (E) ( (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links




Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency

2. Washington Post

3. Mehr News Agency


5. Tasnim News Agency

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency


3. ANA

4. Asriran

5. Tasnim News Agency

6. Donya-e Eqtesad



Citations & Links




Citations & Links

1. Reuters

2. Khamenei,ir

3. Fars News Agency

Military and Security
{{current_n + 1}} of 1 cards
November 08, 2017

Khamenei appoints three Artesh commanders.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promoted three Artesh officers to senior positions on November 5. Khamenei appointed Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Dadras as Artesh Deputy Commander, replacing Brig. Gen. Amir Ahmadreza Pourdastan. Dadras previously served as Artesh Coordination Deputy. Pourdastan served as Artesh Deputy Commander for only a year; it is unclear what Pourdastan’s new role will be. Khamenei appointed Artesh Navy Commander RADM Habibollah Sayyari as Artesh Deputy Coordinator. Sayyari replaced Dadras, who became Artesh Deputy Commander. Khamenei also appointed RADM 2C Hossein Khanzadi as the Artesh Navy Commander, Sayyari’s previous position. Khamenei also promoted Khanzadi to the rank of rear admiral. Khanzadi previously served as the Artesh Navy Budget and Planning Deputy. It is unclear who will replace Khanzadi as the next Artesh Navy Budget and Planning Deputy. ( (Mehr News Agency) (Mehr News Agency) (Radio Farda)



Citations & Links


2. Mehr News Agency

3. Mehr News Agency

4. Radio Farda

Arrow down red
Dec '17
Nov '17
Oct '17