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

  • Head of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani passed away on October 18. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s message praised Mahdavi Kani:
    • “This zealous and devout scholar was one of the first tough fighters for the difficult path of the revolution and [one of] of the brave and honest loyalists to the Imam. This great and pious man was a heavy weight on the scales of truth and fact, and always emerged in the position of a religious scholar, an honest politician, and an outspoken revolutionary.” (Sepah News)
    • The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) also issued a message following Mahdavi Kani’s death. (Defa Press)
  • Head of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi announced that spies from foreign intelligence services have been arrested in the southwestern province of Bushehr, bordering the Persian Gulf.  He did not specify the intelligence service or how many were arrested. He said: “today, there is a battle of intelligence services, and the services interact with one another to achieve their desired goals.” (Defa Press)
  • IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari stated that “a range of revolutionary missiles have covered all the occupied Palestinian territory from north to south. This means the fall of the regime [Israel], which is counted as a great achievement.”
    • On the regime’s conceptualization of Shi’ism and its relationship to Shi’ism historically: “After 1,400 years of the history of Islam and Shi’ism, for the first time an Islamic government, headed by the supreme leader which guarantees the Islamic and religious governance, has been formed; and this revolution prevails.” (Defa Press)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi in Tehran. Khamenei reiterated Iran’s support for the new Iraqi government and said:
    • “Iraq is a great country with great influence on the region and can play a major role in bettering the current security situation.”
    • “The current situation in the region, including Iraq, is the result of irresponsible policies of foreign powers…”
    • “We will not forget the great service of Mr. Nouri al Maliki to Iraq and this region.”
    • “We are with you and your administration, and like the previous government we will be strongly defend you.”
    • “We believe in the strength of growing ties between Iran and Iraq, thus, the Islamic Republic will not hesitate to facilitate that.”
    • “As we have already stated we believe that the Iraqi people and government can overcome their security problems.”
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran sees Iraq’s security as friendly and brotherly country.”
    • “Iraq is a geographic unit and the separation of Sunnis, Shi’as, Arabs and Kurds is meaningless.” (ISNA)
  • According to a recently released image by Shi’a media outlet ABNA, IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani appears to be standing with Iraqi Shi’a militiamen Asa’ib Ahl al Haq (AAH) in Iraq. (ABNA)
  • Head of Iran-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group Ramezan Ali Sobhanifar will lead a five-member delegation to Russia to meet with Russian parliamentary, economic, and political officials. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • First Deputy to the President Eshagh Jahangiri met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and spoke about Iran’s continued support for Iraq against terrorism:
    • “Countries that support terrorist groups in Iraq will undoubtedly have to face these groups in the future, and the problems and terrorist threats will not be limited to areas they want, but will come upon them as well.”
    • “I am confident that with the measures the Iraqi authorities have taken, that the Iraqis will defy the odds and come out victorious.”
    • “I assure you that the Islamic Republic of Iran is at Iraq’s side with all of its capability and the great nation of Iraq will be victorious.” (Fars News Agency)
  • President Hassan Rouhani met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and reiterated Iran’s support for Iraq against terrorism and talked about the futility of airstrikes:
    • “Iran was at Iraq’s side from the beginning and will continue to support the Iraqi people and military and will not hold back any form of assistance from Iraq.”
    • “The terrorists highlight the innocent victims from airstrikes from the Great Powers and more immature youth will join their ranks, and the organization will continue to exist.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Petrushev for talks concerning international and regional issues and Secretary Petrushev spoke about Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program:
    • “Iran and Russia share a common vision concerning the preservation of territorial integrity in Iraq and Syria.”
    • “During the bilateral talks today we discussed many regional and international topics of shared interest, and considering the views of the two countries a memorandum of agreement was signed that sets the framework for future cooperation in cooperation I various sectors, especially in the economy and security sectors.” (Mehr News)
    • Secretary Petrushev: “Iran has an inalienable right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the remaining issues should be resolved through political dialogue with the countries of the P5+1.” (Mehr News)
  • Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with United Nations Special Envoy to Syria in Tehran and spoke about avoiding past mistakes with Syria and respecting its territorial integrity:
    • “Success in Syria depends on considering the reality of the situation in Syria and avoiding a repeat of the mistakes that have been made in the past in the political arena.”
    • “America’s unilateral efforts weaken the role of the United Nations. Establishing a buffer zone inside Syria is a violation of the sovereignty of this nation, and the situation will become more complex. Unfortunately some parties that are in the Coalition against ISIL are at the same time linked to the terrorists.” (IRNA)
  • Armed Forces General Staff Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi spoke about ISIL in Iraq:  
    • “With the attack of ISIL against the Kurdish region of Iraq and Kobani the Kurdish people have been hurt.”
    • “Today the Zionists and their allies have killed Islam and Muslims, and their coalition against ISIL has actually been hiding their support of ISIL.” (Defa Press)

Military and Security

  • Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari met with Chinese Rear Admiral Wang Yang during a formal visit at the Shanghai Naval Base. Sayyari said “This trip is suitable for the pavement of bilateral cooperation between the naval forces of two countries.” (Fars News Agency)

Nuclear Talks

  • Head of the Iran nuclear negotiations expert team and Foreign Ministry Political and International Affairs Director Hamid Baidinejad announced that the Iranian delegation will arrive in Vienna on Wednesday for expert-level talks scheduled until Thursday. The negotiations will be centered on enrichment capacity and complete removal of sanctions and the duration of a final nuclear deal.  (Mehr News)  


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