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 Marie Donovan, Paul Bucala, and Caitlin Shayda Pendleton and contributors Ali Javaheri and Hirad Yaldaei. 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: Senior military officials called for the U.S. to end its presence in the Persian Gulf during ceremonies commemorating Sacred Defense Week, which marks the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War.
IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari stated that “it would be better if [the U.S. government] stopped wasting the American people’s assets and wealth through its malicious and harmful presence in the Gulf” during a ceremony in Bandar Abbas. IRGC Navy Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri also stated, “We regard the Persian Gulf as our home, and believe that no alien [forces] should be present in this region.” Their statements follow the recent uptick in Iranian vessels’ harassment of U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. The IRGC also unveiled several new missiles during a parade in Tehran, including a new variant of the Fateh 110 surface-to-surface missile. The parade also displayed Sejjil and Emad medium-range ballistic missiles.
The U.S. Treasury Department granted Airbus a license to sell 17 commercial aircraft to Iran as part of the company’s landmark deal to sell 118 civilian aircraft to national carrier Iran Air. The Treasury Department had sanctioned Iran Air in 2011 for transporting military-related equipment on behalf of the IRGC, including to Syria.
- J. Matthew McInnis argues that Iran has likely recognized its limit in managing Iraq’s fractious political sphere in “Big questions in Iran’s great Iraq game.”
Military & Security
IRGC Commander: U.S. should leave the Persian Gulf. IRGC Navy and Artesh Navy vessels participated in a maritime demonstration commemorating the first day of Sacred Defense Week in the southern port of Bandar Abbas on September 21. IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari stated, “Following the direction of the Supreme Leader and Commander in Chief [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], we tell the Americans that it would be better if they stop wasting the American people’s assets and wealth through their malicious and harmful presence in the Persian Gulf and go to the Bay of Pigs… This [the Persian Gulf] is our home, and we are very sensitive to the enemy roaming in our home.” IRGC Navy Deputy Commander RADM Ali Reza Tangsiri similarly stated, “We regard the Persian Gulf as our home, and believe that no alien [forces] should be present in this region.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency)
- Artesh Navy Commander RADM Habibollah Sayyari stated that the Artesh Navy will unveil a Mowj-class corvette “in the near future.” The Jamaran and the Damavand are two of the Mowj-class corvettes currently active in the Artesh Navy. (Fars News Agency) (E)
- IRGC Navy Commander RADM Ali Fadavi stated that “the underlying message of today’s parade” is that “Iran has increased its defensive and offensive abilities in the maritime arena.” (Tabnak)
Iranian armed forces hold parade in Tehran. Artesh, IRGC, Basij, and Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) units participated in a parade in Tehran marking the anniversary of the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War on September 21. “Foreign delegates” were also present at the ceremony.
- Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani vowed that Iran “has never intended to be aggressive but will give a powerful response to any aggressor” during a speech at the parade. (Fars News Agency) (E)
- IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, the new head of the Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS), vowed that Iran will continue to “hold all military tests and war games” without “any delays or suspensions.” (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- The IRGC unveiled several new missile defense systems during the parade. Iranian news agencies reported that one of the new systems unveiled, the Zulfiqar missile, is a variant of the Fateh 110 surface-to-surface missile capable of carrying a multiple reentry vehicle (MRV). It also possesses “pinpoint accuracy” and boasts a range of 750 kilometers, according to IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh. Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan will reportedly inaugurate the production line for the missile later this week. The parade also displayed Sejjil and Emad medium-range ballistic missiles. S-300 surface-to-air missiles were on display as well. (Tasnim News Agency) (Ghatreh) (Fars News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency) (E) (Tasnim News Agency) (E)
- IRGC claims that arrested “Pakistani terrorists” had Saudi support. The IRGC Ground Force Quds Base released a statement claiming that the two “Pakistani terrorists” recently arrested in Sistan and Baluchistan province “received financial support from Saudi Arabia.” Iranian authorities have repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia of backing militant groups along Iran’s western and southeastern borders. The IRGC Quds Base is the IRGC Ground Forces’ headquarters responsible for operations in Kerman and Sistan and Baluchistan provinces. (Tasnim News Agency)
Rouhani: Countries have not fulfilled their nuclear deal obligations until banking issues are resolved. President Hassan Rouhani met with British Prime Minister Theresa May after arriving in New York for the UN General Assembly on September 20. Rouhani urged European governments to “assure major world banks of [the] possibility of cooperation with Iranian banks” during his meeting with May. Rouhani stated that London can lead confidence-building efforts with banks for partnerships with Iran and added, “As long as some technical problems regarding banking and insurance issues have not been resolved, the obligations of the other party [under the nuclear deal] have not been met.” May reportedly raised the issue of a detained British-Iranian national recently sentenced to five years in prison. (Tasnim News Agency) (E)(Entekhab)
- Iran’s IAEA representative: Nuclear deal “in danger” without improvement in economic relations. Reza Najafi, Iran's Permanent Representative to the IAEA Board of Governors, emphasized Iran’s “adherence” to the nuclear agreement in remarks on September 21. He added that “Westerners must normalize their economic relations with Iran.” Najafi warned that the failure to improve economic and commercial relations “will put the future of the nuclear agreement in danger.” Iranian authorities have repeatedly called upon the U.S. to encourage Western companies to conduct business with Iran despite concerns over existing sanctions. (Fars News Agency)