Iran News Round Up

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

Key takeaway: The IRGC may strike additional anti-regime militant locations in Northern Iraq and possibly in Pakistan.

The IRGC launched seven Fateh-110 (B series) short-range ballistic missiles against two Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) locations in northern Iraq on September 8. The strike marks the second extraterritorial IRGC missile strike since the Iran-Iraq War. The IRGC previously launched six Zolfaghar medium-range ballistic missiles against ISIS targets in Deir ez Zour Governorate, Syria in June 2017. The strike against the KDPI follows a significant uptick in border violence along Iran’s northwestern border between Turkey and Iraq as well as in Iran’s southeastern border along Pakistan. Regime officials have warned neighboring countries, namely Iraq and Pakistan, that Iran will target anti-regime militants across borders if insecurity continues and if neighboring countries fail to control militant activities.

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from September 8 - 14.

Military and Security
[c]
{{current_n + 1}} of 2 cards
September 17, 2018

IRGC launches missile strike against KDPI in northern Iraq

IRGC launches missile strike against KDPI in northern Iraq. The IRGC Aerospace Force Missile Unit launched seven surface-to-surface Fateh-110 (B series) short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) in a strike against Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) locations near Koye, Erbil Governorate, in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 8. The IRGC Ground Forces Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Unit provided a live feed of strike to the IRGC command center during the operation. The IRGC missile strike reportedly killed between 11 and 15 KDPI members, including senior leaders, and wounded at least 20 during the operation. The IRGC likely launched the strike from Khaseban, East Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran. The IRGC stated that the strike was in response to increased insecurity along Iran’s northwest border with Iraqi Kurdistan, after Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) militants attacked an IRGC outpost near Kamyaran, Kurdistan Province on September 7. Deputy Interior Minister for Security Hossein Zolfaghari previously warned that Iran will target terrorists across its borders if neighboring countries do not act against terrorist groups in their own countries on July 23. Iran’s northwestern and southeastern borders have experienced increased levels of insurgent violence in recent months (Tasnim News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency) (Twitter) (Twitter)                                  

  • Bagheri suggests IRGC may launch more strikes against Kurdish militants. Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Chief IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri warned that the September 8 IRGC missile strike against Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) targets in Iraqi Kurdistan “could happen again… if insecurity-producing events continue” on September 11. (Defa Press)
September 17, 2018

Khamenei appoints Shah Safi as Artesh second coordination deputy

Khamenei appoints Shah Safi as Artesh second coordination deputy. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Artesh Brig. Gen. Hassan Shah Safi to the position of Artesh second coordination deputy on September 12. Shah Safi will serve under Artesh Coordination Deputy RADM Habibollah Sayyari. Shah Safi previously served as the Artesh Air Force commander until Khamenei appointed Artesh Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasir Zadeh to replace Shah Safi on August 19. (ILNA)

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/06/18/1824221/%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B5%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AC%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%B9%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%84-%D8%B4%D9%84%DB%8C%DA%A9-7-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86%D8%AF-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%AD110-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%84%D9%87-220%DA%A9%DB%8C%D9%84%D9%88%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%B1%DB%8C

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/06/18/1824131/%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%AF-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D8%B4%D9%84%DB%8C%DA%A9-7-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7

3. Twitter
https://twitter.com/Nima_Bakhtiyari/status/1038864472889339904

4. Twitter
https://twitter.com/SinaNoorikhani/status/1038738010450345984

5. Defa Press
http://defapress.ir/fa/news/308477/

Citations & Links

1. ILNA
https://www.ilna.ir/fa/tiny/news-667687

Domestic Politics
[c]
{{current_n + 1}} of 2 cards
September 17, 2018

Rouhani appoints Seif as presidential adviser

Rouhani appoints Seif as presidential adviser. President Hassan Rouhani appointed recently-ousted Central Bank of Iran (CBI) head Valiollah Seif as presidential adviser for monetary and banking affairs on September 13. Rouhani dismissed Seif as CBI head on July 25, replacing him with Abdol Nasser Hemmati. Seif’s dismissal followed weeks of increased hardliner-led pressure on Rouhani to “change his economic team.” Hardliner-led pressure began after merchant-class protest on June 24 in Tehran over economic grievances. Economic protests in Iran frequently targeted Seif, oftentimes blaming him for Iran’s deteriorating economic condition. (President.ir)

September 17, 2018

Ahmadinejad-era chief of staff sentenced to six and half years in prison

Ahmadinejad-era chief of staff sentenced to six and half years in prison. Tehran Province Chief Justice Gholam Hossein Esmaeili announced the sentencing of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s First Vice President and later Chief of Staff Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaei to six years and six months in prison on September 12. The First Branch of the Tehran Revolutionary Court system charged Mashaei for three different crimes, including collusion to commit a crime against the regime and spreading anti-regime propaganda. Security officials previously arrested Mashaei on charges of spreading propaganda against the regime in March 2018. Esmaeli also noted that the Islamic Revolutionary Court is still reviewing and may later announce other charges against Mashaei, including charges of espionage. Mashaei has a 20-day period to request an appeal. The court also sentenced Ahmadinejad-era adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr to four years in prison. The Judiciary previously sentenced Ahmadinejad’s former Vice President Hamid Baghaei to 15 years in prison on March 13. Ahmadinejad has been a vocal critic of the Judiciary in recent months and has called for the resignation of Judiciary head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani. (ISNA)

Citations & Links

1. President.ir
http://president.ir/fa/106064

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
https://www.isna.ir/news/97062110940/%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D9%87-%DB%B6-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%88-%D9%86%DB%8C%D9%85-%D8%AD%D8%A8%D8%B3-%D9%85%D8%AD%DA%A9%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%B4%D8%AF-%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%AD%DA%A9%D9%85-%D8%BA%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%A8%DB%8C-%DB%B5-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AD%D8%A8%D8%B3-%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
[c]
{{current_n + 1}} of 2 cards
September 17, 2018

Anti-Iraqi protests take place in southwestern Iran

Anti-Iraqi protests take place in southwestern Iran. Iranians in Abadan, Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran staged anti-Iraqi protests on September 6. Iranian protesters chanted anti-Arab and anti-Iraqi slogans, and called on Iraqis to leave Iran. The protests follow a significant increase in Iraqi tourism in Iran to purchase provisions and other goods at low costs due to the significant devaluation of the Iranian rial in recent months. Iraqi tourists’ shopping has reportedly resulted in many shops running out of critical goods such as fish and chicken, leaving local Iranian citizens unable to purchase many provisions. The protests also come after widespread reports of Iraqis traveling to Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province to visit brothels and to wed Iranian women at the invitation of the IRGC and regime. Iranians have characterized Iraqi visitations as “pilfering” Iran, and the increased tourism has resulted in an increase in anti-Arabism amongst Iranians. The protests came one day before Iraqis in Basra, Iraq set fire to the Iranian consulate during protests on September 7. Marivan County Mayor Mohammad Shafei announced on September 11 that critical goods “directly connected to people’s livelihoods” can no longer be taken across the border. Marivan County, located in Kurdistan Province near the Iran-Iraq border, has also experienced a rise in Iraqi tourists. (Instagram) (Instagram) (Aftab News)

September 17, 2018

Ansari travels to Geneva to discuss Syria

Ansari travels to Geneva to discuss Syria. Deputy Foreign Minister for Special Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari traveled to Geneva, Switzerland on September 10 and met with Russian and Turkish diplomats to discuss the Syrian Civil War and the formation of a Syrian constitutional committee. Ansari met with UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, Turkish Deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Sedat Onal, and Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev. Ansari’s talks in Geneva follow a high-profile meeting in Tehran between President Hassan Rouhani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 7. Putin and Rouhani blocked Erdogan’s attempt to institute a ceasefire ahead of the beginning of a pro-Syrian regime offensive in Idlib Governorate. Ansari’s meetings in Tehran precede the next round of Russian-backed Astana talks expected to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan on an unknown date. (IRNA)

Citations & Links

1. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnblLUih5Zf/?hl=en&taken-by=manotoofficial

2. Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bna8QNTl9bn/?taken-by=amadnews.official

3. Aftab News
http://aftabnews.ir/fa/news/544969/%D8%AE%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AC-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%85%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%85%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B9-%D8%B4%D8%AF

Citations & Links

1. IRNA
http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/83029244

TIMELINE
Arrow down red
Sep '18
Aug '18