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.


  • Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani reportedly criticized media censorship Tuesday and said, “The people are no longer affected by [Islamic Republic of Iran] Broadcasting (IRIB) and the censored box that it gives to the people. The Iranian people are aware today and do not give their mind to the hand of a box that censors.”
    • On Sunday, IRIB aired a report on its 9pm news bulletin alleging that Rafsanjani's quotation from Khomeini regarding the elimination of the “Death to America” slogan was not reliable. 
    • During a speech at Kermanshah general mosque the following day, Rafsanjani’s speech was interrupted by a “small number” who shouted the slogan “Death to America.”
    • Shargh newspaper reports that this “pressure group” takes “unilateral” political action from time to time, such as the 2011 attack on the British embassy and shoe throwing at Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani earlier this year. According to a Parliamentarian investigation, some members of the group are linked to hardline cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi but no legal action was taken against the group over the incident. 
  • Head of the IRGC’s Taban Future Research Center, Reza Sarraj, criticized recent Rafsanjani comments regarding Ayatollah Khomeini’s position on “Death to America” chants:
  • Religious Seminaries Director Ayatollah Hashem Hosseini Bushehri met the President’s Legal Deputy Elham Amin Zadeh and said, “In case you succeed in compiling this citizens' rights document with a religious and Islamic outlook, a groundwork will be created for living in a spiritual and religious environment in which all citizens' rights are observed.” 
  • An editorial in the unofficial Supreme Leader organ Kayhan discussed “confidence building” measures in nuclear negotiations and stated, “Instead of creating confidence in the enemy, belief must be created. Belief that despite all of these oppositions and position takings you can continue your path. The enemy must believe that the effect of its pressures and capability of exerting its pressures is not to such an extent that it can force the opposing side to surrender…. Many of the country’s economic specialists and officials, including the country’s Economy Minister, say that Iran can easily be managed with $35 billion and there is no need for the current $120 billion. This $35 billion can easily be secured through the country’s two to three neighbors who have a relatively strategic relationship with Iran.” 
  • Senior Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi linked Wahabbism and Zionism while addressing the International Imam Sajjad Congress staff and stated, “Lately, Wahabbis have begun many movements inside Iran whose sources are foreign countries…. Pressuring the minority of Shi’as in some areas to force them to migrate and changing religious [demographics] is considered another attempt by the Wahabbis. Today we are observing around Mashhad that Sunnis are purchasing land and houses from Shi’a so they can increase their relative population…. I have told officials that if they do not ponder a solution for these problems perhaps the matter will reach a point such that they cannot take measures against it.” 
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Universities Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Mohammadian spoke about negotiations, calling them a win for Iran:
    • “There is no problem with communication or negotiation with even the most hostile of enemies. It is even possible to have an agreement with the enemy.”
    •  “America’s view towards us has not changed, and their hostility towards us has increased. People that are now negotiating with America must pay attention to the fact that America is still against us.”
    • “These negotiations by our team were successful in proving to the West that they have oppressed the people of Iran and that they are decreasing their oppression. This is considered one of the successes and wins. Otherwise, it is again proven that they are untrustworthy and only think of their own illegitimate interests and bullying, which is also considered a win for the regime.” 

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