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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton and contributors Hirad Yaldaei, and Ali Javaheri. 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.
Key takeaway: The head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization (PDO) called Saudi Arabia Iran’s “main threat.”
PDO Head IRGC Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali accused “inexperienced Saudi leaders” of adopting “offensive strategies against Iran.” He specified that the two countries are competing in “military, economic, and cyber fields.” Iranian officials have increasingly prioritized the improvement of Iran’s cyber capabilities over the past several years. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, held live-fire drills on October 4 in the Persian Gulf in a move likely to inflame tensions between the two countries.
IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour announced that the IRGC killed 12 members of an unnamed terrorist group along the Iran-Iraq border. He claimed that the group received “support” from the U.S. and Israel. Iranian security forces clashed with Kurdish separatist groups on a near-weekly basis from May through September, including several cross-border attacks into Iraq.
- Paul Bucala and Shayan Enferadi analyze the implications of recent instability in Iranian Kurdistan in “Iran’s Kurdish Insurgency.”
- The Critical Threats Project team explains the significance of Iran’s upcoming 2017 presidential election and tracks important electoral developments in “Iran Presidential Election Tracker: Updates and Analysis.”
- J. Matthew McInnis argues that Iran has likely recognized its limit in managing Iraq’s fractious political sphere in “Big questions in Iran’s great Iraq game.”
Military & Security
Jalali: Saudi Arabia is the “main threat” to Iran. Passive Defense Organization (PDO) Head IRGC Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali called Saudi Arabia Iran’s “main threat.” He stated that “inexperienced Saudi leaders” have adopted “offensive strategies against Iran.” Jalali specified that Iran competes with Saudi Arabia “in military, economic, and cyber fields” and called for Iran to “forecast necessary scenarios in the event of a cyber war.” He also alluded to the recent OPEC agreement and stated, “Of course the Economic and Finance Ministry had a great success, and Saudi Arabia was forced to reduce oil production. They are searching for any way to damage the oil sector.” Some suspect that cyberattacks may have caused fires at several Iranian petrochemical facilities over the past three months as tensions increasedbetween Iran and Saudi Arabia over management of the Hajj pilgrimage. (Kayhan)
IRGC kills 12 “terrorists” along western border. IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour announced that the IRGC killed 12 members of “a team affiliated with counter-revolutionary and terrorist groups” on October 4. The clash occurred along the Iran-Iraq border in Kermanshah province and injured three IRGC members. Pakpour added that the group intended on entering Iranian territory to “spread insecurity” in the country. He also claimed that the group received “support” from the U.S. and Israel. (Tasnim News Agency)
- Khamenei: Capabilities and preparedness of law enforcement must improve day by day.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised Iran’s police as a “pillar” of progress and “public calmness” for the country on October 4, which marks Law Enforcement Forces Day. He stated, “The capabilities and preparedness of law enforcement, and the faith and determination of its personnel, must be improved daily.” (Tasnim News Agency)
- Top clerical body warns Rouhani administration over negotiations with U.S. The Assembly of Experts released a “serious warning” to President Hassan Rouhani’s administration to avoid non-nuclear negotiations with the U.S. on October 3. Its statement called for the Rouhani administration to take a “strong stance” against America’s “oath-breaking” in the nuclear deal’s implementation. It also read, “Negotiations with America on the nuclear issue and the JCPOA demonstrated that this [American] administration, with its arrogant temperament, has not ceased its hostility and stone-throwing against our nation and Islamic system. It is not trustworthy in any other field.” The Assembly of Experts is a top clerical body constitutionally charged with electing the supreme leader’s successor. The assembly also reiterated Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent warning against the “polarization” of Iranian politics. (Kayhan)
Setad subsidiary signs oil contract. Persia Gas and Oil, a subsidiary of Setad-owned Tadbir Energy, signed a $2.5 billion contract modeled off of the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) to develop the Yaran oilfield, which is located in southwestern Iran. Setad, also known as the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO), is a business conglomerate under the control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is estimated to be worth more than $95 billion. (Khabar Online)
- NIOC director: Oil production should reach 5.2 to 5.7 million barrels per day. Ali Kardor, the managing director for the government-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), stated that Iran will achieve its targeted crude oil output of four million barrels per day (bpd). He added that “Iran’s rivals in the oil industry are rapidly raising their output, which means Iran should also make every move to increase withdrawal from its underground reserves.” Kardor emphasized that Iran must maintain its 14 percent share in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and that its oil production capacity “must reach 5.2 to 5.7 million bpd in the future.” (Asr Iran)