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

 (E) = Article in English

Official Statements

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, addressed a commemoration ceremony for Iran-Iraq war martyrs in Sistan va Baluchistan province and touted the Islamic Republic’s power:
    • “The art of the Islamic Republic sacred system, which is reliant on divine thinking, is driving the enemies’ policies away from Islamic countries. Islamic Iran is stronger and its enemies are weaker than ever before.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi delivered a speech delineating the threats facing the Islamic world today and called for publicizing to the Iranian people the expansion of Tehran’s sphere of influence in Latin America, as a measure of raising public moral. Saidi reiterated the Islamic Revolution’s duties, including hastening the arrival of the 12th Shi’a Imam Mahdi:
    • “The Americans sought a war of civilizations until 2005…but they gradually realized that they must seek an intra-civilization war, in other words a fight between Islamic sects.”
    • “The reality is that the West is pursuing a vicarious war in countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey who can spread fire in America’s stead.”
    • “America pursued the propagation of the tree types of takfiri: Wahabbism, secularized Islam, and Shi’a extremism by directly attacking the sanctities of other Muslims.”
    • “The Islamic system’s strategic depth is in various dimensions. Our borders today are in Lebanon and the Mediterranean coast…We must state these matters to the people, because it will be very effective in increasing society’s spirit.”
    • “Continuing the revolutionary movement and creating the groundwork for the Arrival [of the 12th Shi’a Imam Mahdi] are our other duties. The Islamic Revolution is certain that revolution which will create the groundwork for the Mahdi revolt.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Expediency Discernment Council member Mostafa Mir Salim criticized the government’s operationalization of the Supreme Leader’s Economy of Resistance policies and laid out the conditions for joining the World Trade Organization (WTO):
    • “Policies and plans for growth and expansion have been determined, but unfortunately the approach for executing these policies is incorrect and mistaken.” He added that fulfilling these policies are “difficult but possible.”
    • Mir Salim then pushed back against the notion of joining the WTO under the present situation of sanctions and said, “If Resistance Economy policies are correctly executed and implemented, the nation can stand on its own feet, unrestricted imports are ceased and our production is exports-oriented, we can certainly take steps with regards to joining this international organization.” (IRNA)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)Secretary-General Ramezan Abdullah and his accompanying delegates, calling the recent 51-day Israel-Hamas war a harbinger of future victories and reiterated his earlier calls to support the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the West Bank:
    • “The Islamic republic and the Iranian people took pride in your victory and perseverance. We hope that the chain of victories of the resistance continue until the final victory.”
    • “The fulfillment of divine promise in these scenes shows that these promises will be fulfilled as well. Divine will has made it so that the Palestinian matter will result in your favor.”
    • “The resistance must increase its preparedness day by day and increase the reserves of power inside Gaza.”
    • “War with the Zionist regime is a war of destiny that must finalize the matter. We act so that the enemy feels the same level of concern regarding the West Bank as it does regarding Gaza.”
    • “The outlook of events is bright and good…”
    • PIJ Secretary-General Abdullah: “All of the brothers of the resistance and Islamic Jihad prayed for your health at every prayer. We hope to witness the day when we say prayers with you in al Aqsa mosque.”
    • “The emphasis on arming the West Bank to confront the Zionist regime’s warmongering is a strategy and effective solution that will strengthen the spirit and resolve of fighters.” (Center for the Preservation and Publication of the Works of Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with PIJ Secretary-General Ramazan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah. The two discussed regional developments and Shamkhani said:
    • “The crimes committed by the Baathist Takfiri ISIL in Iraq and Syria have shifted the world’s attention to the discourse of Islam from Imam Khomeini, which focuses on Islamic unity and harmony.”
    • “Rebuilding Gaza and improving its defense capabilities in the face of attacks by the child-killing regime [Israel] are on Iran’s agenda.” (Isca News)
  • Hamas Political Committee member Mohammad al Zahar discussed the armed resistance of Palestine and said:
    • “Whether it is a Palestinian or Israeli individual no one can comment on the armed resistance.”
    • “There is a difference between government arms and resistance weapons and no one can say that the resistance should be prohibited from having weapons. Those who try to show that these problems are related are wrong. Armed resistance use weapons to defend the borders and the people of Palestine in sensitive times.”
    • “Right now the forces are geared towards the reconstruction of Gaza; the main priority is rebuilding destroyed homes, schools, and hospitals.” (ABNA)
  • Parliament Executive Board member Mohammad Dehghan addressed a large gathering in Mashhad about the Revolution and its impact on the Islamic world. Dehghan also discussed Iran-Saudi Arabia relations and said:
    • “After the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini was the first to draw the line between real Islam and American Islam.”
    •  “The Houthis believe that an Imam must be Mujahid [holy warrior] and they say the Supreme Leader and Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah [Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary-General], fulfill this condition.”
    • “Saudi Arabia is frightened that Yemen will become modeled after Iran, this is also because of [Yemen’s] strategic location. This is why Saudi Arabia wants to hold talks with Iran. However, Iran refuses to negotiate with this country.”
    • “In the current situation the countries of the region are interested in the Islamic system, the global media is focused on ISIL in order to get the regional countries to act against Islam and the Revolution, while the Islamic Revolution of Imam Khomeini has found its place in the world.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Islamic Republic officials warned Riyadh after a Saudi court sentenced prominent Shi'a dissident Sheikh Nemr Bagher al Nemr to be executed:
    • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP HosseinNaghavi Hosseini stated: “The terrorist-centered regime will be closer to downfall with the execution of Ayatollah Nemr.” (Tasnim News Agency)
    • Qom Religious Seminaries Society called the sentencing an effort “to confront the phenomenon of the Islamic Awakening and important regional events that benefit the Islamic world.” (Tasnim News Agency)
    • Saudi Shi’as reportedly held demonstrations against the sentence in Qatif, located in Saudi Arabia’s eastern Shi’a majority region. (ABNA)

Nuclear Talks

  • Experts from Iran, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France held expert level talks. Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov. (IRNA)
    • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that there would be another meeting between the Iranian, American, and EU foreign ministers soon.  He stated, “Since these talks began in New York and continued in Vienna, the parties have discussed the road to solutions rather than just looking at problems…. The discussion of solutions does not mean that the parties wish to actually…depart from their previous positions, but we have repeatedly stated that the Iranian nuclear program is purely peaceful, and will not depart from the stance of the Iranian people’s rights.” (ISNA)
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi commented on the ongoing nuclear negotiations: 
    • “These negotiations are good and have no problems; else the Supreme Leader would have been explicit." He added, "We must observe sagacity in the negotiations and be careful. The Parliament pursues this sagacity, while the system's senior ranking officials, with Supreme Leader at its head, evaluate the situation."
    • “It’s smart to follow the Parliament, while senior military officials, and at the top the Supreme Leader, monitor the situation.” (Asr Iran)
  • The eighth round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 ended in Vienna. During the talks Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton for about an hour and after that meeting the Iranian and Chinese foreign ministers held bilateral talks. The Iranian negotiating team will likely return to Tehran this afternoon. Zarif stated:
    • “Next week or the week after experts will meet to discuss the remaining issues in dispute, and in three to four weeks a meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and the United States along with Ms. Ashton the EU Foreign Policy Chief will take place.” (Mehr News)


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