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 Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributor John Lesnewich. 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.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to Hajj pilgrims about their important role in representing Islam:
- “Without a doubt, the current age is the age of Muslim vigilance and identity. This truth is made clear in the challenges that Muslim countries are confronting.”
- “Certainly, in such circumstances, we cannot expect Muslim countries to repair their own spiritual and material gaps and achieve the security, prosperity, scientific progress, and international power that is a blessing of awakening and identity discovery.”
- “The fundamental and primary treatment [for problems in the Muslim world] can be summarized in two key statements, each of which are the most prominent lessons of Hajj: first, Muslim unity and brotherhood under the banner of unity in God [towhid], and; second: knowing the enemy and opposing his roles and methods.”
- President Hassan Rouhani gave the keynote speech at the University of Tehran inauguration ceremony on Monday and discussed Ministry of Intelligence involvement in the university system:
- "Criticizing the government and officials is a great blessing that we must bow down against...."
- "Science and knowledge can rule only when there is a free environment of criticism, thought, and opinion in our universities (attendee applause)."
- "In the university, only law must rule alongside this language. This administration will not accept clique pressures on the university."
- “My dearest, dear and great students, professors, officials, ministers, intellectuals and scholars: If you have made a security environment you have spread discord."
- Addressing the Ministry of Intelligence: "Open the door to diplomacy and trust the university, the great professors of this university and the students because all of them love dear Iran and seek the country's expansion."
Senior Adviser to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati spoke about relations between Iran and the US and criticized the public opinion poll about negotiations ordered by Rouhani, saying this was the responsibility of the Supreme Leader:
- “The negotiations are not determinant of the future of Iran in the region, on the international stage, or in its relations with America because this is not the first time that negotiations have been undertaken.”
- On Obama’s call to Rouhani: “On one hand, he stated positive requests during the telephone conversation, but afterwards he repeated the useless bullying that he had not [uttered] for months, namely the military option being on the table.”
- “Those who say that our hands are closed in our conversations with America, and that if they were not closed we would solve problems, we demand that you say what the plan you are considering is, and for what reasons you say that if we opened our hand we would solve our problems. Present your proposal.”
Military and Security
IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari spoke about Syria and ongoing diplomatic activity between Iran and the US:
- “[The enemies] know well that Iran materially, spiritually, and intellectually supports Syria and that, like it or not, the final victory will be recorded in Iran’s name.”
- On negotiations: “The Supreme Leader’s statement of ‘heroic flexibility’ has caused the enemy’s different interpretations. The principle concept of the word ‘flexibility’ is that we are not hostile and hateful people, and ‘heroic’ also means that we have given the enemy an opportunity to recognize our principles and values and compare their own deviant ways to our legitimacy.”
- IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami addressed the National Officials for Supervising and Approving the Supreme Leader’s Representation in the IRGC Conference and said, "The IRGC possess a jihadi identity. It is an institution built to defend God's religion and our great nation's divine values in a path of permanent jihad against Arrogance [the West].... Our reliance is not on material matters. What has caused our success is [the IRGC's] uniqueness, special characteristics, internal strengths and beliefs.... The IRGC will never kneel to the outside enemy."
- Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Hojjat al-Eslam Dehghani announced that, with cooperation from the government, the base would be following a new direction. He added, “There is a need for foresight and appropriate movements. In new conditions and during the rise of the Eleventh Government, with attention to the approach of the president in his cooperation with the IRGC in large national projects, we must look to cooperate with the government in a new, suitable way.”
- IRGC Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander Brig. Gen. 2nd Class Ebadollah Abdollahi also spoke about the 54 ongoing projects of the base: “All of the ongoing projects that are in the hands of the base, with the grace of God and thanks to the jihad of the children of the Iranian nation, will be finished in the Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base and, God-willing, will be put into operation quickly.
- IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari was present for the operationalization of 498 Khatam ol-Anbia projects in North Khorasan. These projects amount to roughly 120 billion riyals [~ $5 million] and include 372 for Basij resistance bases, 92 for IRGC staff housing units, and a project to secure drinking water.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi spoke about his team’s options for negotiations and Obama’s chance to enter American history:
- “Today we are located in a great curve, and the Supreme Leader’s views here are clear. He has said that he has no opposition to negotiations and that we must undertake them in order to progress and operate so that there is nothing in the path of our advance, and to solve the issues.”
- “Iran is at the peak of its capabilities. Of course there are some problems in the economy, but macroeconomic indicators have a good status.”
- Asked about enrichment taking place in another country and closing Fordow: “We do not expect to enter into content in this meeting because generalities will be discussed. I imagine that principles, schedules, and introductions to begin the process will take place.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif gave goals for the negotiations, one of which is to shorten them:
- “The Geneva negotiations are the first test for Iran to measure the seriousness of the P5+1”
- “I am not pessimistic towards these negotiations, but I must see goodwill and political will from the other side in action.”
- “Shortening the negotiations is a goal for us because we believe that prolonging the limits of negotiations has been a cause of mistrust… We believe that one of the ways to build confidence is shortening the period of negotiations so that the two sides do not feel like the other is wasting time. That is why we announced that the nuclear issue can reach its final stage in a year.”
- “Iran is ready to remove the [West’s] reasonable worries. However, this does not mean that Iran will give up its rights. We believe that resigning rights is not a good way for Iran to lift the West’s worries because Iran’s nuclear capabilities have become domestic and cannot be destroyed with the pressure of sanctions, so we are looking to peaceful ways that secure Iran’s rights and remove their worries.”
Photo of the Day
- Day of Arafah (first day of Eid al-Adha) prayer ceremony gets underway in Mashhad.