Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project's Iran research team. 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

Official Statements

  • President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech at the University of Tehran, reiterating his 2013 campaign pledge to reduce political involvement in the university system. Rouhani also defended his administration’s efforts during the past year:
    • “We strived for anyone removed due to weak reasons to return to their studying. Our effort was the establishment of a stable environment in universities, with all groups having their political views, and for all to know that this is a university, not a political club. It is not a center of partisanship activities, while anyone can be present in sociopolitical matters.”
    • “It was unfortunate that university organizations could not deliver their statements this year…”
    • “I may not be an expert in all matters, but I am an expert in national security.” (Mashregh News)
       
  • Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham stressed the need for cooperation with the Syrian government to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Kurdish border town Kobani:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran will soon send its humanitarian aid to residents and refugees in this area through the Syrian government.” (IRNA)

Military and Security

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Hazrat-e Mohammad Rasulollah Unit (Greater Tehran) Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini confirmed for the first time the role of former unit commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani in leading the IRGC’s Syria field operations:
    • "But what caused the [ISIS] defeat and retreat in Syria was the entrance of Hezbollah in the Syrian matter and the formation of a popular Basij group called Jaish al-Watani. Even though this organization has a long record in Syria, Brig. Gen. [Hamedani] was able to do beneficial work in the repeated formation of this organization to confront [ISIS]." (ILNA)
       
  • Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam addressed ambassadors and Chargé d'affaires in Tehran about ISIL advances in Kobani and US airstrikes. Moghaddam also called out state sponsors of terrorism and said:
    • “Despite the [aerial] bombardment carried out by some states, today, the advancements of terrorists in cities like Kobani indicate that there is not a serious attempt to deal with terrorists.”
    • “All countries take note that deception and lies in international cooperation have undesirable consequences [referring to ISIL]. Support for terrorism, although, in the short run may be beneficial for those countries that incite terror, nevertheless, they will be affected in the long-term and suffer the adverse effects of instability brought on by the terrorist predator they released and are no longer able to control.”
    • "Today, the enemies have created, strengthened and trained terrorist groups and tomorrow will trample state sovereignty and [intervene] under the pretext of the same terrorists."
    • "Security will be established in light of sincere cooperation." (Tasnim News Agency)
       
  • Head of the Ministry of Intelligence Services (MOIS) Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi briefed the Parliament on the agency’s annual report which included “takfiri” bombing plots and attacks along the Pakistani border.  Alavi rejected and denied an MP’s allegation that “seditionists have been employed in the new administration and intend to commit another coup d’état.” MP National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member Javad Karimi Ghodousi accused former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of being “the great actor” in the 2009 post-election protests. Karimi Ghodousi added, “I announce that I will always stand against sedition.”
    • Ghodousi led the parliamentary questioning: “The Intelligence Ministry rank-and-file is upset and concerned about your appointments. MPs gave me letters earlier in the morning and are concerned about the appointment of governors, county chiefs, and heads of organs…The Intelligence Minister has reduced its mission of confronting elements of sedition…Not only have you not confronted sedition in the past two years, but you have eliminated elements in the Intelligence Ministry who confronted these elements.”
    • “[We] discovered and neutralized two explosive vests that were intended for two province centers…Intelligence Minister operational measures against the enemy include the arrest of elements and teams linked with takfiri groups and the arrest of 130 elements in the provinces.”
    • “The enemy intends to inflict irreversible damage to our forces in the eastern and western borders. The Intelligence Ministry in cooperation with the Unknown Soldiers of the Imam of the Age have neutralized and killed a group that intended to plant explosives in the tasoua [fast day preceding Shi’a Ashura mourning] of Chabahar [ Sistan va Baluchistan province].”
    • “Just as the Imam [Khomeini] said: ‘anyone standing against this revolution will be destroyed.’”  (Mehr News)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati met with former French Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and spoke about nuclear talks and improving trade relations with other countries:
    • “We have been very clear and the Supreme Leader has been very clear about our position…we will not abandon our principles in the nuclear talks.”
    • “Iran is a country that is accustomed to dealing with sanctions and we cannot back down from our position.”
    • “In speaking with the former Foreign Minister of France I understood that France is at least ready to take more positive steps, of course he is not a current French official, and only French officials can act.” (IRNA)
    • “Due to the long relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran with Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, Iran will continue to send aid and demand other countries to send aid.”
    • “We helped Syria and Iraq battle terrorism and ISIL and support the [establishment of] security in Syria and Iraq.”  (Fars News Agency)
       
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also me t with De Villepin and Zarif spoke about the nuclear negotiations and Syria:
    • “The talks have reached a critical stage and Iran has put many proposals on the table, now the other side has to show their determination to reach an agreement. Unfortunately greed by some of the opposing members has prevented reaching an agreement.”
    • “The Syrian people will decide their own fate, and the role of the people and the current government must be considered in any type of solution. Those who are looking to replace the current government must realize that ISIL will replace it.” (Fars News Agency)
       
  • LEF Border Guards Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Zolfaqari underscored Iran’s support for newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani while speaking at the 65th annual meeting of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Program in Switzerland. (IRNA)
     
  • Palestinian Ambassador to Iran Salah al Zawawi praised the Supreme Leader for his call to arm the West Bank against Israeli occupation, back in July:
    • “Palestinians wish to equip their lands with weapons so they are able to free the occupied territories from the hands of the Zionist regime; arming the West Bank is a high priority.”
    • "I would like to stress that the remarks of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution need to be materialized." (ISNA)

Economy

  • Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced that “some of the elders of the [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries], OPEC must reduce their oil production” but refrained from accusing Saudi Arabia of engaging in “price war.” (Mehr News )
     
  • Economy and Finance Minister Ali Tayeb-Nia stated, “The circumstances for a great acceleration in the Iranian economy are coming together. Our primary need today is securing capital in the banking cycle.” (Alef)
     
  • Agricultural Jihad Minister Mahmoud Hojjati criticized Russia, stating that despite “all of its food limitations and needs it has not permitted the importation of even a kilogram of chicken meat from Iran, since it has passed all health inspections.” (Asr-e Iran)

 

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