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) Commander Maj. Gen. Ali Jafari spoke on the anniversary of the 2009 Pishin, Sistan va Baluchistan bombing which killed several high ranking IRGC commanders, including then Deputy Commander of the IRGC Noor Ali Shooshtari:
    • “Investment by enemies outside the region to create insecurity in border areas has failed.”
    • “The most important issue we have inside the country, in regions like the southeast or Kurdistan, is the theme of unity between Shi’as and Sunnis and tribes; and because at this sensitive point this is also an issue, it’s an issue that martyr Shooshatari understood well; and stood until his death to advance this goal.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Administration Spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht attended an event hosted by the Qom Religious Seminaries Islamic Propaganda Office and announced, "None in this administration and country can go further than the Supreme Leader's policies and lines...The administration is this nation's child. All have a duty to support the Islamic system and government."  (Fars News Agency
  • Head of the Velayat Global Network Ayatollah Mohammad Hosseini Ghazvini discussed the death sentence of prominent Saudi Shi'a dissident Sheikh Nemr Bagher alNemr, calling it Riyadh's attempt to stir sectarian division following defeats "in Syria and Iraq." He then warned that the price of Nemr's execution would be harbinger of "popular protests and the destruction of the House of Saud." (Mehr News

Military and Security

  • IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani addressed the press about the US ISIL strategy during a commemoration ceremony held for martyred IRGC commander Nour Ali Shoushtari. Soleimani criticized the US policy in Syria and said “[they] will not be successful,” adding:
    • “I’m sure any move, large or small, including America’s war against terrorism and the terrorist acts of ISIL will have no other result other than failure… If something is lacking in truth, [the strategy] will not be successful.”
    • “The reason for this is that all actions taken against Iran, Shi’as, and Islam have failed, because there is no truth in these [measures].”
    • “There have been many storms, but what were the results?”
    • “The reason for Islam’s success and Iran’s is due to the truth embraced within it… These terrorist events have failed for its designers.” (Defa Press
    • The ceremony was also attended by IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, and IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh. (Defa Press
  • IRGC Ground Forces Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Abdollah Araghi discussed the IRGC’s role in Iraq and Syria, security in the Northwest and Southeast border regions of Iran and said:
    • “Tribal leaders have organized forces in the Southeast and Northwest of the country and thereby have created a relatively stable security environment in the region.”
    • “The ground forces are the backbone of the IRGC and are running the mission [of security].”
    • With regards to Iraq and Syria, Araghi said “The [IRGC] ground forces in these two countries have an advisory role.”
    • “Iran, for centuries has lived peacefully with its neighbors and any form of aggression from its eastern borders will be answered with legitimate action… [Especially] in a region where the eastern neighbors do not apply the same rules [referring to Pakistan].”
    • Regarding the recent attack in Saravan and Pakistan’s response: “If there’s information on terrorist elements in the country, we are willing to cooperate…” (Tasnim News Agency
  • IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh blamed the US and its policies for regional instability and said:
    • “As a result of America’s actions, countries in the region are insecure, but Iran is witnessed to be an island of stability.”
    • “Today our country is a stable country that should be appreciated.” (Defa Press
  • IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi responded to requests at a news conference to speculate about the formation of a Persian Gulf joint naval force to deal with Iran:
    • “We are family with countries of the region, and it’s possible for members of a family to have their differences, but we are all Muslims and Islam is great and we will all gather under one banner.”
    • “Other countries like America and Britain want to portray the conflict as the main issue, but all the countries in the region are aware that they are the little brothers of great countries like Iran, and Iran is their support.”
    • “Countries in the south of the Persian Gulf know Iran as a country that is able to help them and they know that American and Britain do not have their interests in mind while Iran is a benevolent country.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour spoke about the situation on the eastern border after the attacks on Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) earlier this month and spoke about Iranian involvement in Iraq:
    • “Thanks to the martyrs the situation in the region is good, and the situation in the east and in Sistan is very good.”
    • “Recently we have witnessed events in the east that are the result of a lack of security in the countries to our east, of course this countries has taken many measures on the border and the Basij in the Baluchistan province have taken measures to stop this.”
    • “Unfortunately Pakistan has abandoned its borders, but Iran has good control over its borders and even outside its borders, we have mastered moving in Iraq and we have intelligence chiefs deep inside Iraq.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Iran unveiled three new radar systems including the “Hafez” at a ceremony attended by Deputy Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami and Artesh Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Commander Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili. The system is designed to locate various air targets including aircraft and missiles at low and medium altitudes. (Tasnim News Agency
  • Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri discussed the strength of Iran’s military and its place in the nuclear negotiations:
    • “The strength of the Iranian military is a red line in the nuclear negotiations; the military will not be allowed to enter this arena.”
    • On the US-led campaign against ISIL: “people of the region will not allow America to establish itself long-term.”
    • “I hope that with the help of regional governments, especially the government and military of Pakistan, we will be able to stop terrorists’ acts… of course, Iran’s toleration in this area is not great, and if the Islamic Republic of Iran is obliged, it will take preventive measures in this area.” (Fars News Agency

Regional Development and Diplomacy

  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with United Nations special envoy to Syria Steffan de Mistura to discuss the latest developments in Syria. Shamkhani said:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran, under its humanitarian and principled policies for the provision of security in the region, will continue confrontation with the terrorist groups and is ready to cooperate with the United Nations as the only legitimate source in this regard.” 
    • “In spite of the Syrian government’s readiness to hold political dialogue with different Syrian groups, irresponsible behavior of certain Western and regional countries as well as arming the opponents and provoking them to kill the people has been the main obstacle to the establishment of calm in Syria.” (IRNA
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Secretary-General Ramezan Abdullah in Tehran. During the meeting Zarif reiterated Iran’s support for Palestine and said “Iran will always stand by the Palestinian nation and assist them in the reconstruction of war-torn Gaza.” (Mehr News
  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani is scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al Abadi tomorrow in Tehran. The two sides will discuss recent developments in Iraq and enhancing bilateral relations. (Fars News Agency
  • Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with PIJ Secretary-General Ramezan Abdullah and spoke about the 50 day Gaza war and Rafsanjani spoke of a new plan to counter the Israeli army:
    • “The Iron Dome and the evils of the brutal Israeli soldiers failed to bring security to the Israeli people.”
    • “The world understands that the people are tired and frustrated with the killing of children, women, and the elderly.”
    • “If you want Israel to fall to its knees by its own strength then you have to plan new steps that will take them by surprise.”
    • “From the beginning of the fight against the Pahlavi regime we knew our duty to the oppressed people of Palestine.” (Fars News Agency
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hosted Lebanese Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Samir Maqbal in Tehran, conveying the Islamic Republic's "full readiness" for "any political, security, and intelligence cooperation" in combating "terrorist and extremist groups." (IRNA)  
  • Defense Minister Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan spoke on Iran’s promise to arm Lebanon:
    • “We should be ready again in the future to equip Lebanon and to help them against ISIL and other terrorists groups…. These items, which are mainly ground-based and are for dealing with terrorist groups, are ready to send to Lebanon… Anything we put in the hands of the Lebanese army now, is an urgent action for response to a possible threat.”
    • Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel: “The Iranian defense minister has agreed to a large proportion of requirements of the Lebanese army, and this gift is an unconditional gift without restriction; however, it should be passed by the Lebanese government’s cabinet so that its procedures can be approved.”  (Fars News Agency)
  • Mohammad Salem al-Ghaban, a member of the Iranian-backed Badr Organization, was elected as Iraq’s interior minister. (ABNA)

Nuclear Talks

  • International and Legal Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi briefed the National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission on recent developments in the negotiations, reportedly telling MPs that the US has accepted 4,000 operational centrifuges in a future program, marking a break from the previous American demand of 1,300 operational centrifuges. Araghchi noted, however, the "differences" remain with regards to the "volume of enrichment" and "the complete lifting of sanctions." (Mehr News)


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