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:  The Supreme Leader pushed back against President Rouhani’s comments concerning guardianship of the Islamic Revolution and reinforced the IRGC’s constitutional duty to protect the revolution, while IRGC Commander Major General Jafari reaffirmed his commitment to preserving revolutionary values.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hailed the IRGC as guardians of the Islamic Revolution and its achievements. Khamenei stated that the IRGC bears the burden of protecting the nation and insisted that the IRGC is best equipped to identify and counter threats to the Islamic Republic. Khamenei also reiterated his order to prevent any foreign influence over the Iranian nation and stressed that the “way to deal with this kind of influence is to be armed with the strong logic of the Islamic Revolution…” IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari and IRGC Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani proclaimed that IRGC’s institutional role and responsibility is “incomparable.”


Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

  • Supreme Leader: IRGC is a “symbol” of the Islamic Revolution. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a gathering of IRGC commanders on September 16 in Tehran. The Supreme Leader expressed his admiration for the IRGC and insisted that no one bears the “institutional responsibility to protect the Islamic Revolution like the IRGC.” Khamenei reinforced the IRGC’s constitutional duty to ensure national security and underlined the importance of sustaining organizational growth. He urged IRGC commanders to endow Iranian youth with institutional identity and knowledge in order to avoid a “generation gap.” Khamenei also stated:
    • “When we say protect the [Islamic] Revolution… [it is] because the Revolution is still alive. If there were no threats then it would not be necessary to protect the Revolution, [however], the threats [facing the Islamic Republic] must be recognized.”
    • “The IRGC is a conscious observer that sees and understands internal external issues. IRGC intelligence should constantly monitor threats.”
    • “The enemy’s infiltration is among the major threats that [Iran] faces. The way to deal with this kind of influence is to be armed with the strong logic of the Islamic Revolution…”
    • “We must strengthen the intellectual and spiritual foundations of the revolution so that in no way is there any disorder along this great path…”
    • “In order to infiltrate the country in cultural fields, the enemy tries to change, distort, or damage those beliefs which have been pillars of the society.”
    • “The enemies of the Islamic Revolution have already chanted slogans such as 'restoring peace and security’ in the region, but they [the U.S. and its allies] brought nothing except insecurity and a wild and rough terrorism which triggered a devastating war in the region. Take a look and see if you can find security in the region…”
    • “They [the enemies] are waiting for the nation and political system to get tired in order to achieve their goals, for example in ten years when I may not be here...”
    • “The slogan of ‘democracy’ in the region is headed by the Americans, [but] now one of their main problems and Achilles heel has been [exposed], because the most backward and dictatorial regimes in the region continue to commit crimes with America’s support. These two statements are contradictory, because our power and influence is a result of [our] revolutionary spirit and of course if we place [our values] aside we will be weak.”
    • “The enemy has admitted that Iran has become a powerful country that can have a significant impact on regional developments, but they advise Iran at the same time to avoid such a belief in order to join the international community.”
    • “Certainly, economic and security influence is dangerous and has severe consequences, but intellectual, cultural, and political influence from the enemy has a much higher risk.”
    • “When a country is under political influence, then it will move and choose its way based on the will of the arrogant powers.” ( (
  • Rouhani: We must plan for the post-sanctions era. President Hassan Rouhani discussed plans for nuclear facilities and the economy in the post-sanctions era.
    • On the economy: Rouhani stressed the continuing need for “knowledge-based businesses” and stated, “In the post-sanctions era, we must see the world and plan based on that… They say, ‘We needed knowledge-based businesses in order to provide for the needs of the country under sanctions… and we drove young people to science, knowledge, and building products [to satisfy] the needs of the country. But today, when sanctions have been lifted and many of our needs can be provided more cheaply and quickly from the outside world, the era of these businesses has expired.’ If someone thinks this, they are making a huge mistake.”
    • “In all of our visits and meetings with representatives from European and non-European countries who came to Tehran, we have told [them], ‘If you want to come to Iran, you must bring investment and new technology, and we will welcome you.’”
    • “Participation with others in scientific fields and production is a shortcut. They can quickly double the country’s growth rate.”
    • On nuclear negotiations: “Our efforts in the [nuclear] negotiations were not just to preserve past accomplishments. Rather, in the framework of the JCPOA agreement, the groundwork has been prepared for movement and swifter growth in the direction of research, development, and new knowledge in the field of peaceful nuclear work.”
    • On the Arak reactor: Rouhani reiterated that the “primary goal of the Arak reactor” was “the production of radiopharmaceuticals and issues relating to nuclear medicine.” He added that the Arak reactor “will also be modernized with the cooperation of two members from the P5+1.” 
    • On Fordow: Rouhani addressed criticisms that Iran fortified the Fordow facility and stated, “We responded to them: ‘When you have things [e.g. the military option] on the table, we are compelled to bring facilities relating to research and development under mountains so that the things on your table become ineffective.”
    • “Finally, they accepted that half of the centrifuges at Fordow remain active and the other part of Fordow be converted to a research center… Fordow will be a center for enrichment and new research in the nuclear field…” (
  • Velayati: “If the nuclear issue had been solved in Almaty, it would not have taken this long.” Ali Akbar Velayati responded to former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili’s comments on the sidelines of a visit with a German delegation in Tehran. The Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor criticized Jalili’s role as nuclear negotiator and noted that “if the nuclear issue had been resolved in Almaty, it would not have taken this long.” (Entekhab)
  • Zakani submits written request for Amano to attend the JCPOA commission. Ali Reza Zakani wrote a letter addressed to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif requesting that IAEA Secretary General Yukiya Amano attend a session with the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the JCPOA during his trip to Tehran. The Chairman of the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the JCPOA claimed that the meeting would be a good opportunity for commission members to ask Amano questions regarding IAEA inspections. Zakani had previously invited Amano to the commission, at which point Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said that Zakani must submit a written request. (ICANA)
    • Zakani invites Rouhani, Ali Larijani, and Amoli Larijani to attend the JCPOA commission. Ali Reza Zakani formally invited President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani to attend the JCPOA commission and deliver statements on the JCPOA. (Fars News Agency)
  • Araghchi: Iran will resume its nuclear program if a signatory violates the JCPOA. Abbas Araghchi stated that that JCPOA is a "bilateral issue" and that "the parties are required... to not violate" the agreement under the UN Security Council. The Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs stated that any country that not does follow the JCPOA "must accept the consequences." A violating country will receive "heavy" legal repercussions, while allowing the other side to "renew their [former] activities." Araghchi further stated, "In case of a cancellation of the JCPOA, Iran can resume its peaceful nuclear energy programs without any restrictions." Araghchi also stated that if U.S. Congress tries to defeat the agreement, then the international community should accept the "political and legal fees" while Iran's "strategic program resumes." (Mashregh News)
  • JCPOA commission will submit report before October 2. Hossein Naghavi Hosseini told reporters that the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the JCPOA will submit its final report on the JCPOA to an open session of Parliament before October 2. The Spokesman of the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the JCPOA noted that the Supreme Leader’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati was unable to attend the commission’s session on September 16. Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani, another member of the commission, told reporters that Velayati will likely attend a session of the commission next week. (IRIB) (Tabnak)            
  • Alavi warns of political partisanship. Hojjat ol Eslam Mahmoud Alavi attended the afternoon session of the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the JCPOA on September 16. The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Head claimed that Iran “must take advantage of this opportunity” and warned that “society must not move towards polarization” in the wake of the nuclear deal. Alavi added that “anyone who moves society towards polarization is helping the enemy.” (ILNA)
  • Ayatollah Khazali passes away. Ayatollah Abolghasem Khazali Boroujerdi died on September 16 at the age of 90. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts and the head of the Al Ghadir International Foundation. He was also a former member of the Guardian Council. (Tabnak)


Military and Security

  • Jafari and senior IRGC commanders meet with Supreme Leader. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari and a number of other senior IRGC commanders met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on September 16. The IRGC Commander stated, “We will properly protect the principles, values, and achievements of the Islamic Revolution with all our power; we will never allow opponents…to open the way for the enemies’ influence [in Iran].” He continued, “In order to counter the enemies’ new ploys, the IRGC is convinced that simultaneously with the increase of the power and precision of its missiles, it must look to increasing the range of the Islamic values and models needed by the [Islamic] Revolution.” (Defa Press)
  • Soleimani: IRGC’s role in preserving the Islamic Revolution is incomparable. IRGC Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani highlighted the IRGC’s duty to protect the Islamic Revolution and its achievements in a meeting with IRGC commanders and officials in Tehran on September 16.  The IRGC Qods Force Commander said that if Iran’s enemies rob it of the “spirit of the Revolution….only one specific word in the title ‘Islamic Republic’ will remain.” Soleimani warned, “One of the basic reasons for enmity against the Islamic Republic is the spirit [of the Revolution]… In this way, the IRGC’s role in preserving the revolutionary spirit… is a unique and valuable role, and cannot be compared with any other position.” Soleimani also stated, “East Asia and Europe are considered America’s competitors; Latin America and South America are also [in] America’s backyard, they do not provide the source of America’s [position as a] world power; the geographic [area] wherein America has suffered the most fundamental and major damage is West Asia.” (Mehr News)
  • Salami discusses Iran’s ballistic missiles. In live remarks on state television on September 15, IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated, “There are no restrictions on missile launches on any number of targets; all of these capabilities [missiles and other capabilities], are ready, whether underground or out in the open, wherever necessary.” The IRGC Deputy Commander continued, “Each of America’s air bases whose planes can reach Iranian airspace and their aircraft carriers are in the range of Iran’s…unique ballistic missiles.” He also stated, “We have a unique ballistic missile that perhaps only Russia and America have; countering this missile is nearly impossible.” Salami added, “The IRGC has had an extended security mission, and has powerful and expanded intelligence networks domestically and abroad, which is used to support the missions of the IRGC.” Salami denied that Iranian armed forces have a “direct presence” in Syria. Salami also denied IRGC Qods Force Commander IRGC Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s “presence in Russia.” (Sepah News)
  • Supreme Leader reportedly meets with Rouhani, Ali Larijani, and Amoli Larijani to discuss cyber threats. The Supreme Leader’s Chief of Staff Hojjat ol Eslam Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani stated that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Judiciary Head Sadegh Amoli Larijani to discuss “the threats that the cyber world poses to the younger generation.” (Fars News Agency) 


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Nobakht: President Rouhani to travel to New York. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht confirmed that President Hassan Rouhani will travel to New York, stating that "this trip is certain." The Planning and Strategic Supervision Deputy to the President also stated that President Rouhani has received "many requests" for visits by other heads of state. Nobakht stated that each request "will be reviewed" to determine that there is no “effect on [Iran’s] national interest." (Entekhab)
  • Boroujerdi: UN peace plan will not succeed. Alaeddin Boroujerdi met with German politician Kurt Beck in Tehran, where the two discussed Iran-European relations. The National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman also discussed the Syrian civil war. He claimed that UN peace plan will not succeed and added that “if the solution for the crisis in Syria is not based on reality, it will not have any result.” (ISNA)
  • Salehi discusses shipping enriched uranium to Russia. Ali Akbar Salehi met with Sergei Kiriyenko, the Head of Russian nuclear company Rosatom, on the sidelines of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head stated, "Our relations with Russia are very special, particularly in this sensitive era [of nuclear energy]." Salehi stated that both countries discussed the matter of purchasing Russian fuel, while also discussing the "issue of when, how and in what matter" to transport enriched uranium to Russia. In addition, Salehi commented on Russia’s commitment to improving Iran's design of "their existing centrifuges" so that it "can generate stable isotopes." (YJC)
  • Ravanchi: Iran willing to improve relations with Germany. Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi discussed Iran-Germany relations and mutual interests during a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
  • Ghalibaf arrives in Budapest. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf arrived in Budapest to inaugurate the Tehran-Budapest Sisterhood Commission. The Tehran mayor was welcomed upon his arrival by Budapest Mayor István Tarlós and Iranian Ambassador to Hungary Mohammad Reza Morshedzadeh. (IRNA) (E)



  • Indian oil company offers proposal to develop gas field. ONGC Videsh Ltd., the overseas component of India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), offered Iranian authorities a “fully integrated proposal” worth up to $10 billion to develop the Farzad B offshore gas field. (Press TV) (E)
Arrow down red
Oct '15
Sep '15
Aug '15