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:  Following Adoption Day, Iran and the P5+1 began preparations for implementing the nuclear deal. Security forces arrested two suspects in an October 16 shooting at an Ashura ceremony in Khuzestan province that killed two individuals.

The P5+1 and Iran began the “necessary arrangements and preparations” to implement their nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA after “Adoption Day,” which occurred on October 18. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, meanwhile, pushed back on criticism that the vote on the resolution implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was “rushed;” he claimed that individuals “are commenting without information on this matter.” Meanwhile, Parliament’s Board of Directors released a statement accusing managing editor of conservative news outlet Kayhan Hossein Shariatmadari of “slander” regarding anOctober 15 editorial. Hossein Shariatmadari insinuated in the piece that Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spread a rumor that the Office of the Supreme Leader wished to expedite the voting process in order to create the impression that the Supreme Leader supported the JCPOA implementation resolution.

Two suspects were arrested after a drive-by shooting that killed two and wounded two other individuals during an October 16 Ashura ceremony in Dezful, Khuzestan province. According to the public prosecutor for Dezful, the shooting was a “security incident” and “lacked any type of personal or tribal motive or characteristic.”

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.”

Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

  • Zarif and Mogherini issue joint statement on JCPOA implementation timeline. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini issued a joint statement marking the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) “Adoption Day” on October 18.  According to the statement, Iran will now take steps to begin implementing its commitments under the JCPOA while the IAEA begins “the necessary preparations for monitoring and verifying these steps.” The statement also asserts that the EU’s legislation for lifting all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions will begin on the JCPOA’s “Implementation Day,” which is when the IAEA will also verify Iran’s compliance with its accepted commitments. U.S. enforcement of nuclear-related sanctions will end on Implementation Day as well. The Joint Commission established by the JCPOA will convene for its first meeting in Vienna on October 19. (IRIB)
  • Larijani: Parliament’s decision on the JCPOA was not rushed. Ali Larijani denied claims that Parliament’s decision to approve the implementation of the JCPOA was rushed. The Parliament Speaker criticized “individuals” who are “commenting without information on this matter” and stated, “Unfortunately, some are upset at the people’s happiness.”
    • Larijani added that the country’s economic problems have been intensified by both sanctions and mismanagement. He stated that Article 44 of the Constitution “unfortunately has not been properly implemented... The bad implementation of laws is a disaster for the country, such as subsidies, which were a very good idea in principle but were bad in implementation.” He said that Parliament, “not the government,” must be the institution to change the country’s economic strategy “because every government has been unable to come and change the country’s economic strategy. Governments are agents of implementation.” (YJC)
  • Salehi: The AEOI is ready to implement the JCPOA. Ali Akbar Salehi announced the “complete readiness” of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to begin preparations for implementation of Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA on Adoption Day. When asked whether Iranian commitments must be undertaken “chronologically,” Salehi responded, “It is not so that Natanz is the first step, then Fordow, then other steps. These [steps] can be executed at the same time.” (Tabnak)
  • Araghchi: The Joint Commission is reviewing its next steps. Abbas Araghchi stated the Joint Commission – which is comprised of Iran and the P5+1 and established by the JCPOA – held its first session on October 19. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, who is also the head of Iran’s JCPOA Follow-Up Commission, stated that the Joint Commission will review “the next steps” for the JCPOA and “will make decisions regarding documents that must be prepared, which include the subject of Arak and other topics. (Alef)
    • Araghchi: Iran may sell its enriched uranium instead of diluting it. Araghchi stated on October 19 that Iran will begin collecting its “surplus” centrifuges “in a few days” and that an order from President Hassan Rouhani to the AEOI is still needed in order to begin implementation. The Deputy Foreign Minister, who travelled to Vienna in order to participate in a session of the JCPOA’s Joint Commission, stated after the session that Iran “had good discussions with one of the countries for the exchange of enriched uranium for natural uranium, and we are striving to execute our commitments in the shortest amount of time possible. We expect this process to conclude within several weeks.” He added that Iran may sell its enriched uranium “to a foreign country” in exchange for natural uranium. Araghchi added that the JCPOA “will likely be implemented before the end” of 2015. (Fars News Agency)
  • Haghighat Pour: The PMD file for Iran has been closed. Mansour Haghighat Pour discussed the recent statement from the IAEA confirming the completion of its investigation into Iran’s nuclear past. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Vice Chairman said that the statement marks the closure of the “PMD [Possible Military Dimensions] file for Iran’s nuclear program.” He also stated that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano confirmed during his trip to Iran in late September that the PMD file for Iran will be “quickly closed.” Haghighat Pour stated, “We are currently waiting for the realization for Amano’s promise to conclude the PMD file for Iran’s nuclear program… With the closing of the PMD file, the inspection of military centers is in no way acceptable, and in no way do we accept this matter.” (ICANA)
  • Shamkhani: The Emad missile test was not in violation of Resolution 2231. Ali Shamkhani responded to accusations that Iran had violated UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions during an interview with reporters at sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary stated that Iran had not accepted UNSC Resolution 1929—which bans Iran from engaging in ballistic missile activity—and asserted that the recent Emad missile test did not violate UNSC Resolution 2231  approving the JPCOA. Shamkhani added, “Iran will not stop its defensive or deterrence capabilities because of any threat.” (Fars News Agency
  • Parliament’s Board of Directors: Shariatmadari did not have enough information to make accusations about members of Parliament. Conservative news outlet Kayhan published a statement by Parliament’s Board of Directors accusing Kayhan managing editor Hossein Shariatmadari of “slander.” Shariatmadari insinuated in an October 15 editorial that Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spread the rumor that the Office of the Supreme Leader had coordinated with Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani to expedite the vote on the JCPOA resolution. Parliament’s Board of Directors claimed that Shariatmadari did not have sufficient information to make this accusation and asked, “Why, without sufficient information did [Shariatmadari] slander other individuals?” The statement added, “Instead of reforming its position after the Office of the Supreme Leader issued its statement regarding the review process of the JCPOA, Kayhan put forth other incorrect accusations.” (Kayhan)
  • Najafi: Iran will implement the Additional Protocol as a “confidence-building measure.” Reza Najafi announced on October 18 that Iran will “provisionally implement” the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT] as a “confidence-building measure.” Iran’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA Board of Governors stated that the Additional Protocol will be implemented following the JCPOA’s “Implementation Day” and added that Parliament will need to approve the Additional Protocol first. (ILNA)
  • MOIS Head: Qualified candidates should not be disqualified from elections. Hojjat ol Eslam Mahmoud Alavi spoke on the sidelines of a summit with the heads of national universities and higher education institutions. The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Head stated that it is the "the right of the people" to participate in the elections "as a symbol of democracy." Alavi added that candidates meeting qualification requirements “should not be deprived" of the opportunity to participate. He also noted that there will be a "full and comprehensive [layer of] security" for the elections. (Raja News)

Military and Security

  • Suspects arrested after drive-by shooting kills two during Ashura ceremony. Rahman Mousavi announced the arrest of two suspects in a drive-by shooting that killed two Shi’a worshippers and injured two others during an Ashura ceremony on October 16 in Dezful, Khuzestan. The Deputy Police Chief for Social Affairs described the shooting as a “terrorist incident” and called for Iranians to “refrain from spreading rumors through some social networks and sites.” Ahmad Ghareman, the public prosecutor in Dezful, stated, “The police report indicates that the incident was a security [incident], and the matter lacks any type of personal or tribal motive or characteristic.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Fadavi: There are no dangers to Iran’s “territorial waters.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi discussed security developments on the sidelines of a ceremony commemorating IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani. The IRGC Navy Commander stated in response to the recent U.S. comment's on Iran's missile testing that "America lost [on the nuclear deal] and they are angry..." He added that there are “no dangers” that will threaten “our territorial waters." (Sepah News)
  • IRGC officer killed in Syria. ABNA reports that IRGC Colonel Muslim Khizab was killed in Syria during the course of an “advisory mission,” according to media reports. Khizab led the Ya Zahra Battalion of the 14th Imam Hossein Division for “years.”(ABNA)
  • Supreme Council of Cyberspace holds meeting. The Supreme Council of Cyberspace held a meeting on October 17 in order to coordinate and discuss policies relating to information technology. President Hassan Rouhani, who is also the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, called for facilitating the public’s usage of the internet while also preventing the “abuse” and “damaging effects” of the Internet. (


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Khamenei: The world must not forget the Hajj stampede. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the September 24 Hajj stampede outside of Mecca in a meeting with officials tasked with organizing the Hajj pilgrimage. The Supreme Leader stated, “This incident should never be forgotten; the diplomatic system and the Hajj Organization are obliged to decisively pursue this issue.” Khamenei stated, “This disaster occurred as a result of the host government’s negligence; but in any case, this is not a political issue but a debate over thousands of Muslims…” He noted that “unfortunately,” Iran alone amongst the Muslim countries protested the tragedy. Khamenei “called…keeping this important issue alive an important duty” of the Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, and stated, “It should not pass in silence and oblivion; it should be raised in the international community for years.” Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi stated, “Serious follow-up is continually being carried out in collaboration with other organizations to determine the status of the remaining Iranian victims.” (
  • Jafari: “We are now witnessing the formation of 100,000 individuals in Syria to fight against instability.” IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari discussed the death of his advisor IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani in Syria during a televised interview. The IRGC Commander stated, “Now we are witnessing the formation of around 100,000 individuals in Syria to fight against instability, and the martyred commander Hamedani had a large role in this [mobilization].” Jafari also praised Hamedani’s role in the Iran-Iraq War and organizing the response to the 2009 Green movement protests. Jafari added:
    • “He [Hamedani] voluntarily went to this region [Syria] and he knew that the only way to deal with this type of instability was organizing popular forces…He had a high level of experience and the command of the Syrian front requested his abilities in advising and operations; this duty was of course a temporary duty and he went out on this task maintaining his previous position. After the completion of this duty, he returned to Iran. However, God requested his honorable martyrdom…at the very front that he loved.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Abdollahian: Iran will “strengthen” its “advisory” presence in Syria., Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated, “We will strengthen our advisory measures to fight terrorism in Syria,” while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a memorial ceremony for IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani. (Tasnim News Agency)
    • Abdollahian holds telephone conversation with Bogdanov. Abdollahian and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov discussed events in Yemen and Syria during a telephone conversation on October 16. (Press TV) (E)
  • Kamal Kharrazi: Assad is our red line. The Head of the Strategic Council of Foreign Relations Kamal Kharrazi reiterated Iran’s commitments to the Assad regime during the Munich Security Conference. Kharrazi, who is also the former Foreign Minister, stated that Assad is Iran’s “red line” and “must stay.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Rouhani meets with German foreign minister. President Hassan Rouhani met with German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier on October 16 in Tehran. Rouhani stated, “Tehran and Berlin should use the post-JCPOA opportunities and expand and deepen cooperation in all areas of interest…Although there may be some differences among countries on some issues, however, settlement of such problems as terrorism is possible through commitment of all countries to the basic and important principles and by avoiding double-standards." Steinmeier stated, “There have been many joint endeavors to reach an agreement, therefore now I am here in Tehran to start a serious move for the revival of the high-level ties based on the existing potentialities.” ( (E)
  • Rouhani: “Iran has and always will be alongside the Lebanese people, government, and resistance.” President Rouhani met with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in Tehran on October 18. Rouhani reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to Lebanon, stating “Iran has and always will be alongside the Lebanese people, government, and resistance.” President Rouhani also called for combating terrorism in the region and expressed that Iran “more than ever in the wake of the nuclear deal will be active in the region in order to create and expand stability and security.” (
  • Shamkhani: Tehran and Berlin can cooperate to restore stability to the region. SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmer in Tehran on October 18. The two discussed possible areas of cooperation between the two countries, including in the fight against “terrorism and extremism” in the region. (Tasnim News Agency)
    • Shamkhani: The U.S. is not taking any actions to defend Iraqi Kurdistan. SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan, in Tehran on October 19. Shamkhani criticized U.S. efforts in the region and claimed that the U.S. was not taking “any action” against ISIS’s attempts to infiltrate Iraqi Kurdistan. Shamkhani also urged for unity among Kurdish groups in order to counter the threat posed by ISIS. (YJC)
  • Iran censures attack on Shi’a mosque in Saudi Arabia. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham condemned the attack on a Shi’a mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia which killed five and wounded nine. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. (Press TV) (E)
  • Boroujerdi meets with Syrian ambassador to Iran. Alaeddin Boroujerdi met with Damascus’ Ambassador to Tehran Adnan Mahmoud to discuss regional stability. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman stated that Iran is attempting to "achieve peace and stability and eliminate terrorist groups in the group, particularly in Syria." He added that with the "strength of recent victories in [Syria]," dialogue can help "end the crisis" for the Syrian people.  Boroujerdi stated that the U.S. policy has not only failed to weaken terrorist groups in Syria, "but [the terrorists] have been strengthened." (IRNA)
  • Judiciary Head: West has launched “Farsi-language satellite channels” in Iran. Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani discussed how Western culture is entering into Iran during a meeting with Supreme Judiciary officials. The Judiciary Head stated that reports indicate that the West has launched "more than 100...Farsi-language satellite channels" that aim to affect the "cultural influence in our society." (IRIB)
  • Iranian diplomat: There has been no change in Iran’s presence in Syria. An unnamed Iranian official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied reports that Iran had sent forces to Syria. The official claimed that “there has not been any change in the cooperation and Iran’s advisory presence in Syria.” (ISNA)



  • Zanganeh: 500,000 bpd increase in oil exports day after sanctions removed. Bijan Zanganeh announced that Iran plans on increasing oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) the day after sanctions are removed, emphasizing that Iran does not “need permission from anyone to export our oil.” The Oil Minister also stated that phases 15 and 16 of the South Pars oil field will be opened in early November. (IRNA) (E)
  • Karbasian: Iran will tender 15 mining projects in the next four months. Mehdi Karbasian announced that Iran will tender 15 mining projects producing iron ore, steel, chromite, aluminum, bauxite, copper, zinc and gold over the next four months. French, Italian, Russian, and Chinese firms all plan to invest in Iran’s mining sector, and Japanese firms are reportedly interested in exploring investment opportunities. The Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade stated that he expects several agreements to be signed when President Hassan Rouhani visits France and Italy in November. (Press TV) (E)
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