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 and Marie Donovan. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.   
For in-depth analysis on the latest headlines please visit

Official Statements

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke on the importance of pilgrimage for the improvement of relations between Iran and the Muslim world:
    • `“Building up walls between the Islamic Republic and the rest of the Islamic world is one of the devices of the enemy [against] the unity of the Islamic Ummah; and we must make the best use of the opportunity to go on Hajj of the Islamic Ummah to remove the artificial wall and change perceptions and false beliefs shaped by the false propaganda of the enemies.”
    • “Unity and brotherhood between Muslims is one of the fundamental principles of our religion, and in this time the Islamic Republic…. ‘Islamic Unity” is the slogan of the Islamic Republic, meaning the Islamic Ummah does not antagonize within itself and supports itself on major global issues.” (Supreme Leader)
  • Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Haeri-Shirazi discussed the death sentence of Shi’a cleric and prominent dissident Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr that was recently issued by Saudi courts:
    • “The penalty verdict of Sheikh al-Nimr is a sign of Saudi decline.”
    • “When they cannot come up with a reason for their actions, they show that force is always at their hands.”
    • Shirazi pointed to Syria and Iran’s growing influence as the reason for this verdict: “America and Saudi Arabia have for years wanted to intervene in Syria, and now they see Syria has learned from the fighting techniques of Iran and they are upset.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami attended a conference for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and spoke about the difficulty of predicting future conflicts:
    • “Today’s world is fluid and fleeting and wars cannot be predicted long in advance. Wars often occur with strategic surprise. For example, the World Wars began as the result of a tactical accident and this caused strategic policies to be affected.”
    • “The Imposed War of Iraq against Iran could not have been predicted more than a couple months in advance, even in the last days leading to the attack experts did not believe the problem was possible.” (Sepah News)

Military and Security

  • Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam addressed the press regarding the latest developments on the recent acid attacks targeting women, “we have the situation under control” in Isfahan Province:
    • “We are still investigating the matter and have not yet reached a definite conclusion.”
    • “If anyone is arrested and confesses, we will share this information with the public and media immediately. However, it is possible for anyone to be under suspicion in the investigation, but that does not mean they are responsible for the attack.”
    • “We have not seen such incidences in any other place, in Tehran one person was arrested in connection to such a threat.”
    • “The issue [or threat] is not so complex that by doing this to two or three people everyone should feel unsafe.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Parliamentary Representative of the people of Bandar-e Mahshahr, Habib Aghajeri, spoke about a recent military operation in Iraq and mentioned IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s  involvement in the operation:
    • “In recent days Iraqi armed forces conducted one of the largest military operations in the city of Jurf al-Sakhar with the support of the armed forces of the people and tribes, and dominated the surrounding area.”
    • “What is striking about this success is it once again shows the vital role of community groups who were led by Iraqi forces and by Commander Soleimani. Every media outlet and Western official acknowledges Maj. Gen. Soleimani’s power and influence in the region.”  (Tasnim News Agency)

Nuclear Talks

  • The next round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is scheduled for November 18 in Vienna, Austria. A source close to the Iranian nuclear negotiations team said:
    • “Last week’s expert-level talks between Iran and the P5+1 went well and results in all areas have been achieved.” (ISNA)
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi spoke about the difficult decisions of the P5+1 and that Iran does not accept classifying sanctions:
    • “We do not accept classifications of sanctions, the West must lift sanctions against Iran all together.”
    • “If Westerners are really hoping to find a solution to the nuclear issue of Iran then they must not look for excuses, but must deal with the reality of Iran.”
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects the gradual lifting of sanctions or any other similar agreement.” (ISNA)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Strategic Research Center and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati met with China’s representative in the P5+1 Wang Qun in Tehran. During the meeting Velayati censured the West’s double standards and said nuclear talks should advance in a proper framework. (ISNA)
  • Representative of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) Hojjat al-Eslam Jabar Rajabi visited Iran and spoke on Iran’s historic leadership in the resistance movement:
    • “As the free people of the world are aware, by straying out of Iraq and relying on the teachings of the Martyr Sadr, who was a former pupil of the dear Imam, were able to shake the earth from under the feet of the invaders by the power of faith. After the expulsion of America from Iraq, the axis of resistance in the region was complete and known to everyone; that same day, America admitted their inability to resist the axis of resistance…”
    • “From the first day, with the authority of the dear Leader of the free world Khomeini, this axis [of resistance], I was able to map them to neutralize and the reactionary Arabic, Hebrew, and American coalition could not undermine the resistance; rather, each day the axis of resistance finds more strength than the previous day.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi discussed Operation “Ashoura”, which wrested control of the city of Jurf al-Sakhar (south of Baghdad): 
    • “We freed Jurf al-Sakhar without the help of foreign countries…In this operation, we were able to change foreign countries’ viewpoint regarding the power of the Iraqi military forces.”
    • Among the members of the Shi’a militia AAH present during the liberation of Jurf al-Sakhar was AAH Deputy Secretary-General Hojjat al-Eslam Mehdi Tabatabai. News outlet ABNA released pictures of AAH members as well as a video with footage of Operation Ashoura. (ABNA)
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