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.


  • In a message to the National Conference on Population Change and Its Role in Various Transformations of Society, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned against an aging population:
    • “What is important is that our country needs more population with its natural capacity and special political geography.”
    • “Why do individuals prefer to have only a single child? Why do they prefer to only have two children? Why do women and men avoid child bearing in a way? These [issues] must be observed to see what their causes are.”
    • “Why has the marriage age increased in our country? Does a seventeen, eighteen, nineteen year old not need to extinguish their sexual desire and sexual instinct? Well, they say from the other side that they do not have houses, work, or income. We should see what we can do so that these are all provided.”
    • I still believe that our country is not a 75 million person country, our country is a 150 million person country. Now we have taken the minimum and said 150 million, but more can be said as well.”
    • “When we are thinking about the condition of a family with four or five kids on their shoulders, you should also think about the help that these four or five children can provide for the country's advancement when they grow up and find work and occupation.”
    • “There has been a [tendency] to emulate Western life or European life that has led to this, and its legacy has reached us.”
    • “In some Western countries today they are seeing harm from this reduction in pregnancy and they are regretful. In some Western countries there is certainly no reduction in pregnancy, meaning highly populated families, for example, American families with ten or twelve kids. How is it that an Iranian family who wants to emulate it must only have one or two children!” 
  • Senior cleric Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani echoed Supreme Leader Khamenei’s message about an aging population and stated, “Our system is an Islamic system, and this matter is unacceptable for the world of Arrogance [West]. Therefore, it has continuously caused nuisances for us, and now Obama says ‘the choice of a military attack is on my table.’ Who answers this potential attack? Can we answer countless ground, air, and naval attacks with an aging or half-aging population?”
  • Member of the Cultural Parliamentary Commission Morteza Hosseini talked about a proposal for incentivizing child-bearing to address the concerns of an aging population that is expected to be announced in three weeks:
    • “Numerous incentives for child-bearing and marriage in this proposal are being forecast.”
    • The cost will be about 10 trillion tomans [about $4 billion], to be spent primarily on “education, universities, and Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting [national media organization].” 
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Universities Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Mohammadian talked about the leadership of the Supreme Leader and the help he provides to the government, while criticizing “infatuation with America”:
    •  “Despite the different political attitudes in the government [from Ahmadinejad to Rouhani], with the tactful leadership of Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader, the Revolutionary train progresses on its own rail. In the post-Revolutionary years, the train of the Revolution has nowhere gone off its rail, which is a point of power for the regime.”
    • “The policies of the Supreme Leader have always been such that they protect the work of the government. Because the burden of administration is very heavy and the government is the most important part of the Islamic Republic, it means it is responsible for administration.”
    • “We must not be suspicious of the government, nor is it correct to view it pessimistically, but rather to see the stage with open eyes and analyze it, and wherever it is necessary, enter the field. If it is necessary, remind it, if there is a need, the government must be protected. This work of amr beh ma’rouf [enjoining the good and forbidding the evil] is also under the consideration of the Supreme Leader.”
    • “Inside and outside the country, various [issues] have occurred based on the love of and infatuation with relations with America. The situation has become such that some of the work is considered completed and the problems of the country said to be completely due to the lack of relations with America.”
    • “The important point is to tell the youth that there is a difference between relations and negotiations. One can negotiate with even the worst enemy, and even have an agreement.... In the negotiations one must not forget all of the previous hostilities of the enemy. If we forget this point, we will fail in the negotiations.”
    • If the negotiations succeed and legitimize Iran, that is good, and we would be able to get rid of the sanctions and prove our legitimacy. If, as is the usual process of the [past] years, there is not success, we will again not have lost anything and will have shown the true face of America to the people of the world.” 
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif reminded Iranians to be patient with their expectations of Rouhani’s government:
    • “About 75 days have passed since the formation of the 11th Government, and it is not possible to solve all of the problems of the country in this brief time.”
    • “To change the outset, one has to be patient, because one cannot reach their goals with a difficult road, so it is necessary for all to be patient and help the government’s mood in order to avoid problems.”
    • “It is not possible to progress the current state of the country with internal clashes, because without internal consensus, reaching the high goals of the regime becomes impossible.” 
    • Zarif made this speech during the 11thJoint Iranian-South African Commission in Pretoria, during which he also spoke to the importance of South Africa: “South Africa is considered one of the most important countries of the African continent, among the most important actors of the Non-Aligned Movement, and one of the active and influential actors on the international stage. Tehran gives great importance to its relations with Pretoria.”
  • Combatant Clergy Society member Hojjat al-Eslam Jafar Shojouni reacted to recent NSA spying of European countries and criticized the family of founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:
    • “Imam [Khomeini] talked with conviction in relation with three things: America, music, and hejab.”
    • “If relations with America had any benefits, America would not interact with its European allies this way…. The economic situations of America and Europe are getting worse and worse every day and America’s allies have not benefited at all from it. In such conditions some inside [Iran] say we should eliminate ‘Down with America.’”
    • In the month of Ramadan, I went to communist China and North Korea. People there respected the Imam more than the Imam’s family [respects him].”
    • “Must Imam’s granddaughter say ‘I love Haydeh and Mahasti [famous Iranian singers]’ and want to break taboo? Has our government become taboo and idolatry?
    • “I once told [Khomeini’s most prominent grandson] Mr. Hassan [that] the Imam is like the Prophet. He said, ‘how so?’ I said. ‘the Imam’s relatives are anti-revolutionary just like the Prophet’s. The Prophet’s relatives acted against his wishes and commands just like after the Imam’s passing.’ Mr. Hassan laughed.” 
  • Tehran Temporary Friday Prayer Leader Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Sadighi told listeners to be wary of America during his speech at a martyr’s remembrance:
    • “The Supreme Leader has commanded many times that the key to solving the problems is not negotiations with America.”
    • “Likewise, over the last years, America has had its hand in the blood of researchers, scientists, youth, and innocent people of this land, as if they can strike our roots.” 
  • Islamic Revolution Martyrs Cultural Collection Director Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Reza Zaeri stated, “The slogan of ‘Down with America’ is not separate from our religious beliefs regarding Ashura .and actually we say this ‘Down with America’ from the same angle that we cry at Imam Hossein’s mourning.” 
  • Head of the Special Committee to Investigate the Problems of Sistan va Balouchestan Amir Khajasteh said: “After members of the commission returned from Sistan va Balouchestan to examine the issues and problems, they formed this committee in order to follow up on water-provision, security, and civil issues as quickly as possible. These issues are being examined with the presence of Dr. Larijani so that the rights of the province of Sistan va Balouchestan are pronounced.”  
  • Expediency Discernment Council Implementation and Information Deputy Gholam Reza Farouzesh spoke about Ali Akbar Velayati’s appointment to the leadership of the Council’s Center for Strategic Research, previously led by Hassan Rouhani:
    • “Mr. Velayati was invited by Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to be the Head of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council.”
    • “Given the negotiations taking shape and the division of work, Mr. Velayati accepted the responsibility and quickly began his activity in this center.” 
  • Presidential Deputy of Women’s Affairs Shahindakht Moulavardi  met with Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani to encourage him to use Islam to improve women’s societal role:
    • “Some problems, like a seven percent increase in divorce and five percent decrease in marriage during the first six months of this year, are a threat to the familial institution.”
    • “A new wave has entered female graduates causing their presence and participation in the intellectual community. Using the comments of the marja’ taqlid in this context has been very effective.” 
  • Islamic Guidance and Culture Minister Ali Jannati expressed his hope that religious films would become more widespread: “Religious cinema is realistic and promising. Students and clerics must make an effort to achieve its goals… . Some of the worries of religious people about the cultural attack of the West have been lifted. With the presence of students and clerics, and by its correctness, religious cinema is on the move.”


  • Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani entered Shanghai on the third day of his visit to China on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart  Zhang Dejiang. Larijani will visit two economic and civil regions of the country, as well as meet with Head of Shanghai Congress Yin Yicui. The trip is aimed at expanding bilateral economic and political cooperation between the two countries. 

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