Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway:  Iranian officials criticized the U.S. State Department’s possible designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization.  

IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Foreign Ministry, and Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Committee all condemned the rumored designation. It is not clear whether the U.S. would designate the IRGC as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) or as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Congress mandated that President Donald Trump impose sanctions on the IRGC as if it were on the SDGT list in the July “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions” law.

It is not yet clear how Iran would respond to such a designation. The IRGC would be the first regular military from an internationally-recognized sovereign country to be designated as a terrorist organization, placing the IRGC alongside terrorist groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from October 6-10.

Nuclear Deal Developments
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October 12, 2017

Jafari responds to possibility of IRGC being labeled a terrorist organization.

IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari responded to reports that President Donald Trump will designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, stating “if [the reports] are true, then the IRGC will consider the U.S. military... the same as ISIS.” Jafari said that “in the event that new American sanctions are implemented [against Iran], [the U.S.] will have to relocate its regional bases that are within a 2000km range of Iran’s missiles.” Jafari also stated that “Iran will use the opportunity, [brought about] by Trump’s asinine behavior regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to produce growth in its missile, regional, and conventional defense programs.” Jafari made the comments during an IRGC strategic council meeting on October 8. (Fars News Agency) (Sepah News Agency)

  • Foreign Ministry officials warn the U.S. against terrorist designation. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization would lead to further U.S. isolation and estrangement. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi urged the U.S. to reconsider the “strategic mistake [of labeling the IRGC a terrorist organization].”. (Fars News Agency) (Fars News Agency) (Mehr News Agency) (ABNA)
  • Parliamentary Commission reiterates Jafari’s warning to U.S. forces. Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy (NFSP) Committee released a statement condemning the possible designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization on October 11. The announcement claimed that the IRGC has the right to interact with U.S. forces in the same way it would interact with terrorist groups. NSFP chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that Iran will consider any “terrorist [label]” placed on the IRGC as an encroachment on Iranian national security. (Fars News Agency) (Fars News Agency) (IRNA) (E)
October 12, 2017

Russia: Designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization may lead to JCPOA’s collapse.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement denouncing the possibility of designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization. The ministry stated that designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization is a step toward the abolishment of the JCPOA. Russia confirmed that it does not support the intention of the U.S. to label the IRGC a terrorist organization and that Russia does not consider the IRGC to be a terrorist organization. (ISNA)

October 12, 2017

Rouhani: JCPOA benefits are irreversible.

President Hassan Rouhani stated that “neither [President Donald] Trump nor ten other Trumps can reverse the irrevocable benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” during a ceremony at Tehran University on October 7. Rouhani praised Iran’s economic performance since the implementation of the JCPOA in January 2016, citing the “myriad of foreign investments made [in Iran].” The president repeated his support for the nuclear deal by stating that “[Iran] has chosen the right path… and those who violate their commitment[s] will only cast doubt on their own reputation and credibility.” Rouhani’s comments come before Trump’s October 15 deadline to announce whether or not he will certify Iranian compliance to the nuclear deal. If Trump were to decertify Iranian compliance to the nuclear deal, Congress would then have a 60-day review period by which it could reinstitute nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. (President.ir) (Reuters) (E)

  • Zarif: U.S. is addicted to sanctions. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that the “United States is addicted to sanctions… they have an obsession,” during an interview with Al Jazeera on October 7. Zarif remarked that “[Iran] has become immunized to U.S. sanctions.” (Al Jazeera) (E)
  • Salehi advises against the cancellation of the JCPOA. Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi stated that “Washington’s recent delusional and negative [posturing] will not lead to good results for the preservation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” Salehi made the remarks during a conference on promoting nuclear safety in Rome on October 10. (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960716000365

2. Sepah News Agency
http://www.sepahnews.com/index.php/sepahnews/item/4527-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%84%D8%B4%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%B9%D9%81%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%B3%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%84-%D8%AE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AC-%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%85%DB%8C%E2%80%8C%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%B5%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%BE-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%B4-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%8C-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D9%88-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B7%D9%82%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85

3. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960718000387

4. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960717001055

5. Mehr News Agency
http://www.mehrnews.com/news/4108685/%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AE-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A2%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7-%DA%A9%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%AA%DB%8C%D9%85-%D9%87%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C

6. ABNA
http://fa.abna24.com/news/%d8%a7%d8%ae%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%a7%db%8c%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%86/%d8%b8%d8%b1%db%8c%d9%81-%d8%a7%d9%82%d8%af%d8%a7%d9%85-%d8%a2%d9%85%d8%b1%db%8c%da%a9%d8%a7-%d8%b9%d9%84%db%8c%d9%87-%d8%b3%d9%be%d8%a7%d9%87%d8%8c-%d8%a2%d9%86%d8%a7%d9%86-%d8%b1%d8%a7-%d9%86%d8%b2%d8%af-%d9%85%d9%84%d8%aa-%d8%a7%db%8c%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%86-%d9%85%d9%86%d9%81%d9%88%d8%b1%d8%aa%d8%b1_726770.html

7. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960718001727

8. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960718000894

9. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82691384

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96071810150/%D9%85%D8%B3%DA%A9%D9%88-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%81%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA%DB%8C-%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%84%D8%BA%D9%88

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/101066

2. Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-rouhani/iranian-president-defends-nuclear-deal-says-trump-can-not-undermine-it-idUSKBN1CC0FE

3. Al Jazeera
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2017/10/iran-javad-zarif-addicted-sanctions-171007102108661.html

4. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960718001198

Military and Security
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October 12, 2017

Ghassemi says possible S-400 deal to Riyadh does not affect Tehran-Moscow relations.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghassemi said that the possible sale of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system to Saudi Arabia does not worry Iran and that it will not negatively affect Russo-Iranian relations. (Alef)

  • Boroujerdi says the S-400 deal to Saudi Arabia is a win. NSFP Committee chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi commended the possible sale, stating that it would cut into American arms sales to Riyadh and lessen Washington’s influence in Saudi Arabia. (Alef)
October 12, 2017

NSFP Committee member addresses soldier shooting incidents.

Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy (NFSP) Committee member Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani stressed the need for psychological and mental evaluations for soldiers. Nobandegani called on the military to utilize psychiatrists and psychologists to make sure soldiers are mentally fit.  Iranian soldiers have opened fire on fellow soldiers in several separate incidents over the last few months. Nobandegani also recommended officer-focused training so that officers are properly trained in giving orders and leading newly-enlisted conscripts. (Asriran)

  • Artesh Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ahmadreza Pourdastan stressed the importance of preserving the armed forces’ health. Pourdastan stated that the primary duty for Health and Treatment Services is to make sure soldiers are ready and healthy to fight in “asymmetric” wars. (Tasnim News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Alef
http://www.alef.ir/news/3960718252.html

2. Alef
http://www.alef.ir/news/3960718116.html

Citations & Links

1. Asriran
http://www.asriran.com/fa/news/564849/%D9%88%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%D8%B4-%D9%86%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AB-%D8%AA%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%AF%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%86%D8%AD%D9%88%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A2%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B2%D8%B4-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1396/07/18/1541480/%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AD%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B8%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88-%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%87-%DA%AF%D8%B0%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85

Kurdish Referendum Developments
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October 12, 2017

Boroujerdi: Iran will continue coordinating with Iraq and Turkey.

Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Committee chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that Iran, Turkey, and Iraq will continue coordinated efforts in dealing with the Iraqi Kurdistan independence movement. Boroujerdi identified the “partitioning of Iraq” as Tehran, Ankara, and Baghdad’s “red line.” (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960716001850

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