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 Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, and Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin, Caitlin Pendleton, and Jordan Olmstead. 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: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif acknowledged that Iran has changed the “nature” of its involvement in Syria.

Foreign Minister Zarif stated, “We have changed the nature of our presence in Syria.” Zarif claimed, however, that Iran does not have “military personnel” in Syria and added, “Our presence includes military advisors, and nothing more.” Zarif’s comments come amidst Western media reports that Iranian troops have joined President Bashar al Assad’s forces and Lebanese Hezbollah in a ground offensive in Syria supported by Russian airstrikes.

An al Houthi delegation led by Supreme Revolutionary Committee Deputy Chairman Nayef al Qanis held a press conference in Tehran.

In an interview with Russian media, an unnamed Iranian official denied reports that Russian cruise missiles launched from warships in the Caspian Sea crashed in Iran on the way to targets in Syria.

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis and AEI Research Assistant Tara Beeny analyze recent the Iranian parliamentary moves toward a resolution concerning the JCPOA, and examine how this internal debate provides insight into Iran’s plans for compliance with the nuclear agreement, in their most recent blog post, “Is Iran already gaming the nuclear deal?


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Zarif: There are Iranian military advisors in Syria, but not “military personnel.” Mohammad Javad Zarif stated, “At the current moment, only Iranian advisors are present in Syria, not military personnel.” The Foreign Minister added, “We have changed the nature of our presence in Syria. Our presence includes military advisors, and nothing more. I have reviewed this matter and have confidence that it is correct.” He also questioned the motives of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Syria by claiming that the coalition is “just a show” and meant to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Zarif stated that Iran “supports the intervention of anyone in the fight against ISIS, so long as they are honest with their intentions.” (Tabnak)
  • Al Houthi delegation holds press conference in Tehran. An al Houthi delegation visiting Iran held a press conference in Tehran. Supreme Revolutionary Committee Deputy Chairman Nayef al Qanis condemned the Saudi air strikes in Yemen as the Saudis’ attempt “to establish the dictatorship of the house of Saud.” He “noted that the main purpose of these attacks in Yemen is the creation of tribal problems in the country.” He said that Yemen has embarked upon “military operations against al Saud gradually.” He stated, “We never attacked the Saudi people, and always attacked the Saudi army.” He continued, “From now on, the type of our operations will vary; an example of this is Yemen’s attack yesterday on a warship belonging to the Saudi-led Arab coalition…” (IRNA)
    • Deputy Parliament Speaker Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi Fard met al Qanis in Tehran on October 7. (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Iranian official: The Russian missile claims are part of the West’s propaganda war. In an interview with Russian media, an unnamed Iranian official denied U.S. media reports that four Russian cruise missiles fired at Syria have crashed in Iran. The Iranian official stated, “Iran’s Defense Ministry believes that reports about the crash of this missile are part of the West’s propaganda war against Russia.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Khamenei’s Chief of Staff: The Supreme Leader will not forget the Hajj tragedy. Hojjat ol Eslam Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani reiterated Iran’s call for a comprehensive investigation of the Hajj stampede led by Islamic countries. The Supreme Leader’s Chief of Staff criticized Riyadh for “sabotaging” attempts to investigate the Mina incident and warned Saudi officials that the Supreme Leader will “not drop” this issue. (Raja News)
  • Supreme Leader’s Hajj Representative: Iranians are still missing from the Hajj stampede. Hojjat ol Eslam Ali Ghazi Askar stated that 69 Iranian pilgrims are still missing after the Hajj stampede. The Representative of the Supreme Leader for Hajj Affairs also denied reports that the missing Iranians “are in prison or somewhere else.” Deputy Head of Hajj Operations Hamid Mohammadi stated that the identities of 30 bodies have not yet been determined. (IRIB)
  • Yemeni embassy in Tehran is open. According to Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), Yemen has appointed its new chargé d'affaires in Tehran; however, the Yemeni diplomat’s name was not released in the report. (ISNA
  • IRGC general: The Supreme Leader forced the Saudis to change their behavior. IRGC Brig. Gen. 2C Yadollah Javani praised Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent comments on an Iranian response to Saudi mismanagement following the Hajj tragedy as “very important and strategic.” He stated, “The IRGC has the necessary readiness and capability to execute” any command from the Supreme Leader. The Senior Political Advisor to the Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC continued, “Before the Supreme Leader’s remarks the Saudis obstructed and disregarded, but after his [the Supreme Leader’s] stance, their behavior changed.” Javani continued, “Al Saud has felt it is in a position such that it can do anything and no one will force [the Saudis] to be accountable…The Supreme Leader forced al Saud to respond, and they understood that the Iranian nation will not allow the encroachment of its rights.” He stated, “Nobody can compete with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region.” (Mehr News)
  • Nasrallah: “Saudi Arabia is responsible for the bloodletting in the region.” Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of supporting ISIS and claimed that Saudi Arabia is “responsible for the bloodletting in the region.” (Ettelaat)
  • Mesbah Yazdi: All wars and crimes occur with the cooperation of the U.S.  Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi stated that the U.S. was behind the Hajj stampede. The Assembly of Experts member claimed, “Today, all wars and crimes occur with the cooperation and planning of the U.S.”  (Rasa News)
  • Polish parliamentary delegation to visit Iran on October 10. A Polish parliamentary delegation including Parliament Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz is set to visit Iran on October 10. Borusewicz is scheduled to meet and thereafter hold a joint press conference with Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. (Fars News Agency)
  • Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance: Iran will boycott the Frankfurt book fair.  The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance released a statement that Iran will boycott the Frankfurt book fair, the world’s largest trade fair for books, after organizers of the fair invited Salman Rushdie as a guest speaker. (Tasnim News Agency


Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

  • Rezaei: Supreme Leader has the final say on the JCPOA. Mohsen Rezaei stated, “The government’s diplomatic efforts in foreign policy are commendable, but they [government officials] should take care that they are not exposed to the enemy’s manipulation; of course, our [Supreme] Leader is very careful [about this].” The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary stated, “Parliament should declare its opinion; because this [issue of approving the JCPOA] is a national issue, however, ultimately, the Leader of the Revolution will decide [on the JCPOA].” He also noted, that “one of the confusions with respect to the JCPOA is that it is still not clear what attitude the governments of America and Europe will have with respect to sanctions. Do they want to cancel or suspend sanctions? Or do they want to maintain some sanctions and not maintain some? This matter is in a cloud of ambiguity.” (


Military and Security

  • Khomeini: The people should not feel like they are being unnecessarily controlled. Hojjat ol Eslam Hassan Khomeini called the duty of police “difficult and delicate” and stated, “The police’s responsibility is like that of the armed forces… The difference between the police and armed forces is that the armed forces, in addition to [having] the responsibility of providing security, must also transmit a sense of peace to society.” The grandson of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini also stated:
    • “The police must want society to be psychologically relaxed. On one hand, they must deal with offenders and criminals… On the other hand, the people must feel that their peace and security have been protected, and they should not feel that they have been placed under unnecessary control. Society must not be an environment in which the people feel insecure.”
    • “Security is the most important pillar of society. Since antiquity, providing security has been the most important government responsibility.” (ILNA)
  • Alavi: Security is the most fundamental need of human society. Hojjat ol Eslam Mahmoud Alavi credited the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for foiling “the arrogance’s subversive actions to create insecurity in our country” during the month of Ramadan. The MOIS Head called security “the most fundamental need of human society” and stated, “Thanks to the Supreme Leader’s management, our intelligence forces, and the soldiers of the Hidden Imam [MOIS members], our country enjoys excellent security. This security does not exist in regional countries. Every day innocent women and children are killed by terrorists and takfiri groups.” Alavi also censured Saudi Arabia by claiming that the Hajj stampede demonstrates the “incompetence and ineptitude of the al Saud regime.” (Mashregh News)
  • Ezzatollah Zarghami: The enemy wants to corrupt our younger generation. Ezzatollah Zarghami, former head of Iran state media outlet Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), warned that the “enemy” is using cyberspace as a means to influence the younger generation in Iran. The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution member claimed that cyber networks have become a “target” for the enemy. (Gerdab)  



  • Delegation from Royal Dutch Shell in Iran. A delegation from Royal Dutch Shell reportedly traveled to Tehran on October 3 in order to meet with Iranian government officials and business leaders. (Press TV)  
  • Nobakht: The government must reduce inflation even further. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht reiterated the government’s responsibility to continue reducing the inflation rate during a discussion on the 6th Five-Year Development Plan on October 7. The Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President also stated, “Despite all the sanctions and pressure, the government was successful by bringing inflation below 15 percent and turning negative economic growth into positive growth... The government is obligated to reduce this inflation [even further] and lift pressure from the shoulders of the people.” Nobakht also called sanctions “ineffective.” (Mehr News)
  • Oil ministry denies agreement with BP. Akbar Bahmat Allahi denied reports that the Ministry of Oil has reached an agreement with BP for the development of Iranian oil fields. The General Secretary of Public Relations for the Ministry of Oil emphasized that while “the Ministry of Oil has entered negotiations with a number of countries and companies...none of those [negotiations] have reached an agreement and no contracts have been awarded.” (Alef)
  • Iranian company will sign deal with Mercedes-Benz. Managing Director of Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing (IDEM) Gholam Reza Razzazi announced that IDEM will sign an agreement “within weeks” to cooperate with Mercedes-Benz over the production of Arna mini-trucks, Arna mini-buses and Actros trucks. IDEM is a subsidiary of Khodro, the premier Iranian automobile manufacturer. (Press TV) (E)
  • Iranians now able to purchase goods from eBay and Amazon. Managing Director of the Iran Post Company Hossein Mehri announced that Iranians are now able to purchase goods from Amazon and eBay through a new partnership between Amazon, eBay and the Iran Post Company. (Alef)
  • Iran and Romania sign trade MOU. A delegation from Iran’s Chamber of Commerce met with Romanian trade officials in Romania, where the two sides signed an MOU to expand trade between the two countries. (ISNA) (E)
Arrow down red
Nov '15
Oct '15
Sep '15