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 AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributor John Lisnewich. 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.
- Fars News Agency criticized “political involvement of some cinema actors” after actress Mahnaz Afshar visited the residence of freed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
- Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati discussed issues of hejab. He also discussed Syria and advised IRGC commanders to avoid greed:
- “The President said in the Cultural Revolution Council meeting that hejab and chastity [violations] should be pursued, but without extremism. We also say to pursue it so it is not at the level of talks, as well as delegate agents to pursue it in order to see where chastity and the hejab are implemented and where they are not.”
- “Implementing the chastity and hejab law is difficult in the street, market and along the beach, but not impossible; implementing this law is easier in hospitals, offices and universities.”
- “Americans also seek to conduct a strike so they can show off their power, but on the other side know that military intervention in Syria will have a costly end for them.”
- “Reason dictates that Syrian matters should be resolved with political meetings and negotiations...”
- “The IRGC emerged based on virtue, faith and obedience to the Leader of Muslims. In the IRGC, the best, healthiest and simplest forces were trained so that these forces could also be present in many ministries and places. If there is a need for force, the priority certainly goes to the IRGC because these individuals have passed their test.”
- “IRGC commanders must maintain the current spirit so greed does not emerge in them, because if they pursue money they will no longer be considered Guardsmen.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member MP Mohammad Saleh Jokar discussed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “heroic flexibility” speech:
- “This matter will never lead to surrender and compromise. Heroic flexibility means insisting upon principles and resistance in the path of defending the given rights of the Iranian nation.”
- “In this type of diplomacy, reason and logic rule. By considering temporal requirements we will defend the nation’s rights.”
- “In heroic flexibility, the strategy is the same as the system’s broader strategy, but the tactics differ.”
- Senior Advisor to the President Akbar Torkan praised “heroic flexibility” and said, “Heroic flexibility does not mean retreating against the enemy, but rather achieving the system’s interest by relying on principles and values.”
- Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol-Hoda stated, “We must enter the field flexing at the enemy from a position of strength and smiling diplomatically.”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader in Isfahan Province and Isfahan Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Yousef Tabatabaei Nezhad stated,“Heroic flexibility is not retreating from the country’s Islamic strength, rather it is a harbinger of victory.”
- Expediency Discernment Council member and Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref stated, “Reformists must learn from the past and pursue a reasonable trend alongside the people. They will certainly reach results with this move and gain the majority in the next Parliament.”
- Fars News Managing Director Nezameddin Mousavi met with Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev at the Organization of Asia News Association (OANA) and emphasized the necessity of “independent country's medias forming a media narrative independent of global approaches.”
- Representative of the Supreme Leader in Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs Hojjat al-Eslam Salman Ghazi Asgar stated, “We are attempting to separate Hajj from the political relations of the two countries [Iran and Saudi Arabia] so that if one day political relations are not positive, no harm will be inflicted upon these ceremonies.”
Military and Security
- Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi discussed confronting “economic corruption, because these are harmful to investing in production and creating jobs in the country.” He added, “If behaviors and actions based on values come from observing Islam’s standards, the system does not want to have even a single prisoner.”
- IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated, “The IRGC is the only institution that was able to change the military and security calculations and formulas of humanity's greatest empire. The IRGC is the only institution that was able to block the path of Arrogance’s domination over the Islamic world and intelligently identify the revolution’s future opportunities and the evolution of combat with Arrogance.”
- Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi addressed Tehran Friday Prayer and discussed exporting the Islamic Revolution, Syria, and Iranian military doctrine and warned against attacking Iran:
- “In reality, the bandanas that our Basijis tied to their heads and the same Islamic resistance spirit were transferred from Iran to Lebanese Hezbollah and the Muslims and mujahedin of Palestine. This spirit and doctrine of Resistance went to Lebanon and Occupied Palestine.”
- “In the years before the Revolution, I was present in southern Lebanon and among Palestinians for a time…. Most of them were under the influence of pan-Arab or Marxist thought, but currently this Islamic Awakening, Islamic Resistance, Islamic Revolution, Sacred Defense and this spirit that is under Islam’s flag liberated Palestine and spread to the region.”
- “With God’s grace, Iran's army has transformed into a strong, experienced and capable army twenty-five years after the [Iran-Iraq] war’s end, and is now considered a powerful army in Western Asia.”
- “The reality is that the Americans were defeated in the Syrian scene. This demonstrates the power of Iran’s penetration in affecting political, moral and psychological matters and, most importantly, the wise leadership of the Supreme Leader.”
- “Iran’s military strategy is a completely defensive strategy. Islamic Iran will not start any war within its military strategy, but it does possess unimaginable power to confront potential invaders, and this power is also beyond Iran’s political borders.”
- “Both the Americans and the Zionists know Iran’s power and must avoid even thinking about attacking Iran. Eight years of Sacred Defense must be a great lesson for them and Iran’s neighbors. The Americans know how vulnerable they are in the region and the Zionist regime also knows this. Remember the Supreme Leader’s speech [at the beginning of the year].”
- The Tenth Cyber Hezbollah Conference took place today in Tehran with the theme of “Syria and Our Task.” Syrian Deputy Ambassador to Iran and Cultural Advisor Abd al-Mowali al-Noqri attended the conference and praised the “cyber activities of Iranian youth” as “very important.” “Syrian events documentary maker” Soheil Karimi provided the keynote address and said, “Our military presence in Syria is not necessary. But there is no reason for us to be indifferent to Syrian matters. Each must understand the Syrian war environment in some way. If Syria falls today, we must wait for them to strike Imam Khomeini Airport [in Tehran] with mortars.”
- Head of IRGC Public Relations Brig. Gen. 2C Ramazan Sharif announced that the IRGC will lead the national Armed Forces marches this upcoming Sunday.
- IRGC Socio-Cultural Deputy Hamid Reza Moghaddam Far addressed the “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” program and discussed the IRGC’s readiness to support security, military and cultural institutions to achieve the Islamic Republic’s goals, as well as IRGC involvement in politics, adding that the IRGC is not merely a conservative force:
- “The IRGC has two primary duties. One is its inherent duty and the other is support. IRGC’s inherent duty is the military dimension and preparedness to defend the homeland. The IRGC’s second duty is the Basij Organization. The IRGC’s third duty is the duty of cultural depth creation outside the borders. Imam [Khomeini] said Hezbollah cells must be created in the world, and the IRGC feels responsible for this and the IRGC Quds Force is concentrated on this. Another duty and message that is on the IRGC’s shoulder is the support and specific IRGC duty. There are many organs to govern and service the people that sometimes need help.”
- “The IRGC’s identity means the Islamic Revolution's identity and it is defined by that."
- “The IRGC’s dignity is not partisanship and is completely separate from these discussions.”
- “The IRGC must know currents, deviations and lines because if it does not know these currents well, it cannot protect the Revolution and its achievements or prevent deviations within the Revolution.”
- “Certainly, an [IRGC member] cannot be a party member and intervene in its currents. But must he not vote? For example, in the recent presidential elections, a respected individual had said that ‘I know that the opinion of one of the IRGC senior commanders’ [Referring to IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani reportedly preferring then-candidate and former IRGC commander Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf]. Every individual has an opinion and votes for himself, and the IRGC has never told all Guardsmen to vote for a certain person.”
- “The IRGC has never meddled in elections, we have never had a case regarding IRGC meddling, and introducing this matter is more an excuse to attack the IRGC and its pure forces supporting the Revolution.”
- “This approach is closer to reality [that IRGC is a force created to preserve the Revolution] but is not the whole truth, and the IRGC cannot be summarized like this. Because it is possible that it can be imagined as a conservative force, for the IRGC to just sit and watch when a threat and attack emerges against the Revolution for it to defend against it, while if nothing happens it will stand on the side and not do anything. Therefore, this outlook is within the conservative and threat central complex.”
- “The IRGC is not solitary, meaning it will prepare its shoulder where it is necessary to carry the weight of many responsibilities that advance the Revolution. This IRGC presence is sometimes in the scientific, construction, soft war, or cultural arenas, and as such, the IRGC must enter these fields.”
- “Another individual that I can name in this field [that the Supreme Leader made prominent in the media] is Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani. It has been more than twenty years that he has been responsible for commanding and transferring the Revolution’s message beyond the country’s borders. But you see that it has been only a few years since he has become known. That was done by foreign media with attention to the discovery of his photograph in the IRGC Kerman 41st Sarallah Division and the announcement of [this presence].”
- “The most important message and IRGC and Basij duty in the  sedition was its timely awareness in increasing and informing. I believe that political currents must thank the IRGC for this political understanding and awareness. Because in the  sedition, the scene was not military. Rather the scene was a Velvet Revolution and color scene and street marches and this was due to the deception operation in the  sedition and introducing the accusation of cheating and such matters.”
- At the same program, Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander Brig. Gen. 2C Ebadollah Abdollahi discussed IRGC economic activity and denied that IRGC is private sector competition:
- “The IRGC is never a competitor and has never made the scene tighter for the private sector. It only conducts its duty based on its message. Just as we were successful with the people’s Basij during the war, we will enter into construction work where we know that a weight is left on the ground.”
- “Some discussions are unfair and an extortion of the IRGC complex. We enter the construction field based on duty and have never been a private sector competitor. IRGC and Khatam ol-Anbia is a security umbrella to defend the private sector!”
- “We have had many discussions with Energy and Road ministers and [President’s First Deputy Eshagh] Jahangiri. Large projects that are at hand have required securing credit and must be operationalized soon.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Operations Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Shadmani discussed “heroic flexibility” and stated, “Where it is necessary, we are prepared to cooperate with the world and will show flexibility as well, but a heroic flexibility that is followed by the people’s victory…. The Supreme Leader stated the ‘heroic flexibility’ matter from a religious view, meaning Islam is a flexible religion but not mindless and indulgent.”
- NSFP Chairman MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi reacted to recent reports regarding the closure of the Fordow nuclear facility in exchange for sanctions relief and stated, “With sanctions relief, Fordow will not be closed. Fordow is an official active nuclear site and the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide based on its national interests…. Negotiations surrounding the Iranian nuclear matter must certainly take place with the centrality of sanctions relief.” He added that current efforts to increase 20% uranium enrichment is “with the goal of securing fuel for Tehran nuclear reactor” for “medical affairs.”
- Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi submitted a proposal to reform the IAEA structure at the Fifty-Seventh IAEA General Conference and urged the agency to increase the number of central council members and reconsider the composition of states holding permanent seats.
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced that the value of Iranian petrochemical products will be able to increase from the current amount of $20 billion to more than $40 billion. He added, “The petrochemical industry can cause Iran’s distancing from crude sales policies…”
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