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 Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, and Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin, Caitlin Pendleton, and Jordan Olmstead. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Key takeaway: Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi acknowledged that Iran’s recent ballistic missile test violated UN Security Council Resolution 1929.  National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi said that Iran-Lebanon relations have entered “a new phase.”

Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi acknowledged that Iran’s October 11 test-firing of the Emad, a domestically-produced long-range ballistic missile, was in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1929, an earlier resolution which bans Iran from engaging in ballistic missile activity. The timing of the test is significant, as UNSC 1929 will be in effect until it is superseded by UNSC Resolution 2231, which will come into force on Adoption Day (approximately October 19). UNSC Resolution 2231 “calls upon” but does not legally require Iran to refrain from “activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

During a meeting with Lebanese officials, National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi claimed that Iran-Lebanon relations have “entered a new phase.” Boroujerdi also commented on IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani’s death, stating that Iran has “accepted these costs” for the purpose of fighting terrorism.

Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged for officials to refrain from further debating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. He stated, “Whether it was good or bad, excessive or too weak, we must consider the JCPOA to be finished.” Jannati noted, however, that the JCPOA “has not yet been confirmed or signed by the Supreme Leader.”

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis discusses the Iranian parliament’s recent vote to approve the JCPOA, and examines the ramifications of the vote for President Hassan Rouhani’s broader political agenda, in his most recent blog post, “Rouhani’s struggle is just beginning.”

Matthew McInnis also analyzes the strategic and operational calculations behind Iran’s cooperation with Russia in Syria and examines ways this new alliance may go awry in his blog post, “Iran’s riskier game in Syria.”


Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

  • Araghchi: The missile tests did not violate the JCPOA. Abbas Araghchi praised the statement by the IAEA on October 15 that it completed its investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activity. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, who is also the head of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Follow-Up Commission, called the IAEA’s statement “a very important step” for the resolution of past issues between Iran and the IAEA, including the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Araghchi emphasized Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA, stating that “every question was answered and every necessary document submitted.”
    • Araghchi also stated that the joint commission comprised of Iran and the P5+1 countries will likely begin work on October 19, but added that “experts from Iran and the P5+1 will begin their work” in Vienna on October 17 and announce the “results” of their work to the joint commission.
    • “Reversibility will always be one of Iran’s options, which both Parliament and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) emphasized.... The P5+1 countries should not doubt Iran’s will in this matter for even a moment.”
    • On missile tests: Araghchi congratulated Iran’s armed forces for its recent missile test and stated, “Iran’s missile tests are in no way a violation of the JCPOA. It was emphasized in the statement from the Islamic Republic of Iran after the issuance of Resolution 2231 that [we] will continue necessary measures for strengthening defense capabilities for the purpose of safeguarding our sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity in the face of any type of assault and terrorist threat in the region.”
    • “Not one of Iran’s missiles, ballistic or not, have been designed to carry nuclear warheads. Therefore the production and test of [those missiles] do not count as being against Resolution 2231, but fall within the jurisdiction of previous resolutions, particularly Resolution 1929.” Araghchi acknowledged that past resolutions will be valid until Adoption Day.  (Entekhab)
  • Jannati: The JCPOA is a done deal. Guardian Council Secretary Ahmad Jannati praised Parliament’s review and approval of the JCPOA during his Friday sermon. The Interim Tehran Friday Leader stated, “We must consider the JCPOA to be finished; no more should it be raised at public meetings and whether it was good or bad, excessive or too weak, we must consider the JCPOA to be finished.” Nonetheless, Jannati added that the JCPOA “has not yet been confirmed or signed by the Supreme Leader.” He stated,
    • “Some believe that the Parliament accepted the JCPOA; the JCPOA has [only] been presented and accepted in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) meaning that it still has not yet been confirmed or signed by the Supreme Leader; what the Parliament did was on the sidelines of the JCPOA issue. Meaning that the Parliament obligated the administration to take appropriate steps in the implementation of the JCPOA against America.” (ISNA) (Rasa News)
  • Zarif: JCPOA Adoption Day likely to be October 19. Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that October 19 is likely to be Adoption Day. The Foreign Minister added that the JCPOA’s Adoption Day “is dependent on many factors,” including the “completion of domestic procedures.” (Tabnak)
  • Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader: How could Parliament have accepted the resolution in fifteen minutes? Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda criticized Parliament’s vote on the JCPOA resolution. The Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader asked, “How could Parliament in a few moments accept all of the JCPOA and all of the details of this issue that the political system has been involved with for over fifteen years?” Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda added, “Unfortunately, we witnessed simple-mindedness in the Parliament this past week.” He also criticized the JCPOA implementation resolution as being “inadequate.” (YJC)
  • ?Ayatollah Shabestari: “The JCPOA must not lead to normalizing Iran-U.S. relations.” Ayatollah Mohsen Mojtahedi Shabestari claimed that the U.S. is pursuing a policy of “influencing and changing the beliefs of the people” during his Friday sermon. The Tabriz Friday Prayer Leader added, “The JCPOA must not lead to normalizing Iran-U.S. relations.” Shabestari also commented on the Emad missile test and urged for Iranian officals “to create fear in the hearts of our enemies so that we can prevent their aggressive actions.” (Tasnim News Agency
  • Arani: “The JPCOA resolution will not create any issues for the administration.” Parliamentarian Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani discussed Parliament’s review of the JCPOA during an interview with Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA). The Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the JCPOA member noted that the responsibilities of the JCPOA commission “had finished.” Arani dismissed criticisms of the vote on the JCPOA resolution, calling them “opinions.” Arani added, “I do not think the resolution will create any issues for the administration.” (ILNA
  • Afkham: Iran has acted with goodwill to resolve its PMD issues. Marzieh Afkham stated that with the conclusion of the IAEA’s investigation of the potential military dimensions(PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program, the IAEA can provide a “final evaluation” that closes Iran’s nuclear file with the agency. The Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman added that the IAEA should drop all previous complaints against Iran “in the same way that the [UN] Security Council retracted all resolutions [against Iran] with Resolution 2231.” (Farhang News)
  • Rafsanjani: Don’t bully the negotiating team. Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated, “People said many… things against the government for political reasons and not out of sympathy for the country; you also saw in Parliament how the podiums were used against the government and the negotiating team; finally, the parliamentarians voted in the majority for the JCPOA.” The Chairman of the Expediency Council added, “I hope that with the implementation of the JCPOA, the problems of the youth and the unemployed educated people are resolved.” (Rasa News
  • Mohammad Javad Larijani: We must all support the administration in implementing the JCPOA. Mohammad Javad Larijani warned of U.S. plots to infiltrate the Iranian regime and claimed, “Some officials are not taking the issue of [Western] influence seriously.” The Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council also praised the passage of the JCPOA resolution and urged for Iranian officials for support the Rouhani administration in implementing the JCPOA. (Asiran)
  • National Space Center announces new 10-year plan. Manouchehr Manteghi announced the National Space Center’s second 10-year plan, to be operational until 2025, on October 16. The Head of the National Space Center stated, “The approach in the first 10-year plan was a show of capability and power. But in the second plan, through coordination with all organizations involved in space affairs, [our new] approach is the development of space-related services for society; all projects are defined according to this approach.” He added that the second 10-year plan also places a greater emphasis on space-related education in universities and cooperation with other countries. Manteghi also stated, “Accordingly, it should be clear that all of the efforts of the National Space Center, all space-related institutions, and universities are concentrated on this matter.” The second 10-year plan must still be approved by the Supreme Space Council. Manteghi added that the plan’s overarching goal is for Iran to be ranked 10th among first-world countries in aerospace technology; he stated that Iran currently ranks 16th in the world and between 1st and 3rd regionally, and added that the first step of the 10-year plan is “preserving Iran’s current place.” (Mehr News)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Boroujerdi emphasizes Iran’s support to Yemen and Syria. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi stated that Iran-Lebanon relations have "entered a new phase" during a meeting with Lebanese officials on October 16. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman emphasized the importance of fighting terrorism, claiming that the "Americans are not serious in the fight against terrorism." He elaborated when asked about Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani's death that Iran has "accepted these costs" in terms of fighting terrorism. He described the "helpless" situation in Yemen, and that Iranian ships “continue to deliver aid and medicine." In addition, Boroujerdi expressed Iran's continued support to Syria's "unity and territorial integrity, describing that country as "the first line of resistance" against terrorism. (IRNA)
    • Boroujerdi meets with Lebanese officials. Parliamentarian Boroujerdi met with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam, where the two discussed "developments in Lebanon and…Yemen." Additionally, the NSFP Parliamentary Commission Chairman met with Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. Both officials exchanged views on the "latest political and security developments" in the region. (IRIB)
  • Official in Ministry of Foreign Affairs: No Iranian troops in Syria. An official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs "rejected" claims that Iran had sent troops to Syria. The official stated that "no changes have been made" in the level of Iranian cooperation to Syria, which is to “assist” the Syrians in fighting terrorism. The official stated that the media is distorting the realities of the situation based on the chaos and fear from the terrorist groups. (ISNA)
  • Jazayeri: U.S. supports ISIS in order to protect Israel. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri stated that the Islamic Revolution hindered the "implementation" of America's "goals in the [Middle East] region” during a speech on October 16. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy added, "Today, in any way we look at the issue, we see the U.S. support for the ISIS terrorist group. They do so in order to protect Israel from threats in the region." He described the importance of Syria as a core link in the resistance, stating that “imperialists” have tried unsuccessfully to topple the Syrian government over the past four years. Jazayeri added that Syria’s resistance has allowed Iran to put added "pressure on Iraq." He acknowledged Russia’s presence in Syria, stating that Russia’s first priority is to target terrorist groups in Syria. (Defa Press)
  • Iran reacts to State Department religious freedom report. Mansour Haghighat Pour reacted to allegations of violations of the religious freedom in Iran in the U.S. State Department’s just-released International Religious Freedom Report for 2014. The NSFP Parliamentary Commission Vice Chairman stated, “The [Americans’] claim is political and false, because not only do all religions in Iran have freedom, but also the Islamic Republic of Iran acts in a completely democratic manner towards these people in the country.” Haghighat Pour pointed to the five seats in Parliament reserved for different religious minorities, including Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, as evidence of religious freedom in Iran. He stated, “Religious minorities are recognized in Iran; of course, the Baha’i are a made-up English minority which does not recognize the law of the Islamic Republic of Iran…” (ICANA)
  • Rouhani to travel to Italy in November. President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Italy on November 14 and 15 in his first trip to Europe since taking office. According to Italian media, a formal invitation was extended to Rouhani by his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella. Rouhani will meet with Mattarella, the Italian prime minister, and other Italian officials during his trip, although it is still “unclear” whether Rouhani will meet with Pope Francis. (Alef)
  • IRGC member reportedly killed in Syria. Reports circulated that "Nader Hamid" had died while protecting Iran's airspace in Quneitra, Syria. His rank in the IRGC was not identified. Family members have denied the death as they provided a photo showing that Hamid is alive, but in a coma. (ABNA)



  • Iran needs $150 billion to modernize oil sector. Mehdi Hosseini stated that Iran needs $150 billion to increase oil output, develop Liquefied Natural Gas projects and invest in downstream infrastructure. The senior advisor to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh explained that Iran plans to increase oil production in three phases. Production will increase by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) during the first phase, 900,000 bpd in the second phase, and 2,000,000 bpd in the third stage. (Press TV) (E)
  • Iran examines further economic cooperation with Brazil. Minister of Economy and Finance Ali Taib Niya and his Brazilian counterpart Joaquim Levy decided to hold talks next week. The talks will aim to finalize preliminary drafts of agreements to strengthen mutual cooperation on investment, eliminate double taxation, and enhance cooperation on customs cooperation on the sidelines of the joint World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Peru. (IRNA)
  • Russian energy minister will travel to Iran. A Russian Ministry of Energy spokesman announced that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will travel to Iran on October 21, but declined to provide details regarding the purpose of the visit. (Jahan News)


Military and Security

  • Air Force Commander: Iran’s missile capabilities caused the enemy to change its approach. IRGC Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh praised Iranian missile capabilities on October 15. The IRGC Air Force Commander stated that Iran is prepared to confront “any type of threat” and added, “The enemies of the Islamic Revolution understand that any kind of violation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s borders will be followed by a tooth-crushing response from [our] fighters in various fields, including missile defense,  that will cause them regret.” Hajizadeh credited Iran’s “diverse and widespread missile sites” throughout the country for changing “the type of statements and speech by enemies in diplomatic relations.” He added that Iran will operationalize a new generation of missile systems in 2016 that run on both solid and liquid fuel. (Mashregh News)
Arrow down red
Nov '15
Oct '15
Sep '15