Iran News Round Up

The Iran News Round Up ran from February 2009-September 2018. Visit the Iran File for the latest analysis.

Key takeaway:  A senior military official reiterated Iran’s opposition to the IAEA’s investigation of Iranian military sites.

Artesh Deputy Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan stated that the Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) “has designed the general position and under no circumstances will permission be granted for the inspection of military sites.” Pourdastan’s comments follow Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati’s statement that Iran would not comply with any IAEA request to access Iranian military sites.

Iranian officials’ objection to the IAEA’s investigation of its military sites is in opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which permits the IAEA to request access to military sites under certain conditions. Iran’s opposition is unlikely to impact the IAEA’s certification of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, however. The IAEA has not visited any military sites since the June 2015 signing of the JCPOA and has not indicated that it will request access to such sites.

President Donald Trump’s administration extended selected sanctions relief for Iran under the JCPOA. The move is separate from the administration’s October 15 deadline to certify to Congress whether Iran continues to comply with the nuclear deal. The Treasury Department also designated 11 entities and individuals for supporting “designated Iranian actors or malicious cyber-enabled activity.”  

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from September 13.

Nuclear Deal Developments
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September 15, 2017

Pourdastan: Under no circumstances will there be any inspections of military sites.

Artesh Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan stated that the “Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) has designed the general position and under no circumstances will permission be granted for the inspection of military sites.” (YJC)

September 15, 2017

Zarif: Inspections cannot be an excuse to get state secrets.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Yukiya Amano’s statement that the IAEA does not “distinguish between inspections of military and non-military sites.” Zarif noted that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the Additional Protocol’s “frameworks [are for] the inspection of sites where nuclear activities are present.” Zarif stated that the IAEA “has proven several times” that “Iran has [not had any] undeclared activities.” The IAEA can request access to visit certain locations - if it “has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities” at said locations. Zarif also said that “inspections cannot be an excuse to [get information] on state secrets,” citing Annex 1, Section Q, Paragraph 74 of the JCPOA. Zarif made these comments prior to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 13. (Tasnim News Agency) (Mehr News Agency) (JCPOA) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

  • Najafi: U.S. has contradicted “text and spirit” of the JCPOA. Iran’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA Reza Najafi commented that the “JCPOA is [just] like any other agreement,” where all the parties need to participate with “mutual respect” and “goodwill.” Najafi also mentioned that the U.S. has contradicted the “text and spirit” of the JCPOA. The IAEA representative referred to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s late-August visit to the IAEA as an attempt to “weaken the reputation” of the IAEA. Najafi called on the IAEA to not be “neglectful” in its “protection of [Iran’s] commercial, technical, and industrial secrets as well as other confidential information that is presented to the agency.” (Ettelaat) (Alef)
  • Zarif meets with Putin to discuss the JCPOA. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that the JCPOA is a not a negotiable agreement and that all signatories must remain committed. Zarif met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia on September 13. Iranian and Russian representatives are addressing de-escalation zones in Syria during talks in Astana, Kazakhstan from September 14-15.
  • Zarif also tweeted, “The JCPOA is not (re)negotiable. A ‘better’ deal is pure fantasy.”  (Defa Press) (Mehr News Agency) (Press TV) (E) (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Twitter)

Citations & Links

1. YJC

Citations & Links

1. Tasnim News Agency

2. Mehr News Agency


4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

5. Ettelaat

6. Alef

7. Defa Press

8. Mehr News Agency

9. Press TV

10. Tasnim News Agency

11. Twitter

Domestic Politics
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September 15, 2017

Vahidi appointed as EDC chief of staff.

Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) Head Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi appointed former IRGC Quds Force Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as his chief of staff. Vahidi served as defense minister under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Mehr News Agency) (Mashreqh News)

September 15, 2017

Rouhani: Governors can remove obstacles to attract foreign investment.

President Hassan Rouhani called on provincial governors to “remove obstacles” within their respective provinces in order to “attract investments, create employment, and [bring about] economic prosperity.” Rouhani also said that governors can accelerate development of their provinces by attracting “foreign investment.” Rouhani and his cabinet recently appointed seven new provincial governors. ( (

Citations & Links

1. Mehr News Agency

2. Mashreqh News

Citations & Links



Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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September 15, 2017

Hamedani meets with senior Hezbollah officials.

Prominent hardliner Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani met with Lebanese cultural and religious figures as well as with senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon on September 13. Ayatollah Hamedani served as the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s religious envoy in Europe. Defa Press did not provide further information regarding the individuals with whom Nouri Hamedani met. (Defa Press)

Citations & Links

1. Defa Press

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