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 Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Diana Timmerman, and Marie Donovan. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

 (E) = Article in English


Official Statements

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a gathering of senior military commanders and advisors to discuss lessons from the Sacred Defense era (Iran-Iraq war). Khamenei said:
    • “First off, the Sacred Defense era became a sense of pride for Iran, because everyone knew and realized that a front comprised of all the elements of the military powers of the world had been formed, was it anything else? America, Europe, and certain countries that are Western lackeys used oil money in order to create an [arrogant front] to create instability and internal chaos.”
    • “The experience of the eight-year Sacred Defense proved that despite all limitations and pressures the Islamic Republic, with a shortage in capability, resources, and money… stood up to this [arrogant] front. For eight years they killed themselves so they could achieve their evil goal to undermine the Islamic system and implicate its internal problems to set the stage for collapse of the regime. However, the Islamic Republic stood tall and came out on top.” (


  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani censured US airstrikes in Syria, calling America’s rhetoric of defeating terrorism a “ridiculous political joke.” Larijani added:
    • “America’s president announced in a speech the other day, since Syrian government does not have the capability to destroy the threat [ISIS], America will step in personally. Do you really think anybody in the world actually believes your claim?”
    • “America’s claim of fighting ISIS terrorists in Syria is not acceptable as Washington and its allies have supported terrorists in the Arab country [Syria].”
    • “You [America] have created and supported terrorists [in Syria] and you will not allow the government of [Damascus] to fight them.”
    • “Airstrikes will kill and or displace civilians in the bombarded areas; leading to growing terrorism… regional countries can uproot terrorism on their own if America and its allies stop supporting militants in the region.” (IRNA)


  • Expediency Discernment Council Secretary and former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Rezaei spoke on the doctrine of the Islamic Revolution and the goals of ISIS:
    • “The Islamic Revolution’s doctrine is the doctrine of resistance.”
    • On ISIS, the West, and its goals: “The takfiris are betraying Islam… The West seeks Islamophobia, and is looking for various ways to achieve this goal. By the actions and crimes which they commit, the takfiris seek to achieve this end.” (Young Journalist Club)


  • President Hassan Rouhani discussed the international coalition against ISIS, the arrest of Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaeian, the nuclear negotiations, and the economic sanctions:
    • On the international coalition against ISIS: “Who has the competence to lead the coalition? How is it possible to do so without a complete understanding of the Middle East?” Rouhani “called for a ‘steadfast fight’ against ISIS but asserted that American airstrikes in Syria are in violation of international law and Western involvement in the affairs of the Middle East.”
    • Rouhani “stressed” that Rezaeian’s “arrest was not based on a power struggle between Iranian parties: ‘I do not believe that this issue was planned against my government.’”
    • Rouhani “expressed hope in the nuclear deal, but stressed that Iran must be able to maintain its nuclear program.” He noted that “the American sanctions are pressuring the Iranian economy, but once the pressure to continue trade relations with the countries that opposed the anti-Iranian sanctions continued, the sanctions will decline.”   (Young Journalist Club)


Military and Security

  • IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Haji Zadeh and IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi spoke in a special interview on national television about the importance of remembering the “Sacred Defense” (Iran-Iraq War), and on the latest events in Iraq and of how the Americans cannot engage in direct warfare with Iran:
    • Fadavi: “The Holy Defense is only being celebrated after 27 years, but God willing the owner of the Holy Defense, the Imam of Our Time, will return and until then we should be sure to cherish the 8 year Holy Defense.”
    • Haji Zadeh: “The fight against ISIS does not need 40 different countries and aerial bombings, The Iraqi nation is able to solve the problem themselves.”
    • “America knows that a war against Iran would be a failure, so they have entered into a soft war with economic pressure and they want to harm our country, but despite this our nation follows and obeys the Supreme Leader and is safe from attacks.” (Sepah News)


  • IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami spoke at a commemoration ceremony of the martyrs of the Ansar al-Mahdi Unit and touted Iran’s regional influence:
    • “The Islamic Republic is engaging its enemies thousands of miles away from its borders.”
    • “The arrogant powers have little influence in the Islamic countries.”
    • “During the Imposed War, America, European countries, and Arab countries joined together to defeat and bring disgrace to this nation.” (Sepah News)


  • Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari spoke in a television interview about his forces presence in the Suez Canal and Mediterranean:
    • “According to the Supreme Leader, the enemy knows we are present in the free waters of Bab el-Mandeb, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, etc… and we do not infringe on others or attack, but our presence is to be like the ‘buzzing of bees.’” (Young Journalists Club)


  • Law Enforcement and Security Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam spoke with reporters while traveling to Ardabil about border security in that region. He said:
    • “Border security conditions are favorable and the plan to close the borders has progressed well.”
    • “The goal of this trip is to assess the overall performance of the police (in Ardabil) and... we shall overcome any security gaps and we are trying to do this quickly”.
    • He added that the police pay special attention to this area because of its attractiveness to tourists. (ISNA)


  • Head of the Artesh Industrial Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Office Admiral 2nd Class Farhad Amiri unveiled an “advanced” surveillance system:
    • Amiri noted that “by using this system, stealth aircraft are discovered; and by providing the necessary notices, we keep these aircraft far from our country.”
    • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani said of the S-200 air defense system: “this is a Russian-made defense system, but we have made some major changes to it; the system has been modified in some ways such that the [original] manufacturer cannot be aware of the changes.”
    • Shamkhani noted that construction of an indigenous version of the S-300 “has been good.” (Defa Press)


  • Artesh Air Force Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Barkhor claimed that the Islamic Republic has successfully completed the “entire process” of overhauling a “number of” SU 24 bombers in Iran for the first time by experts at Shahid Dowran Air Base in Shiraz. (Defa Press)


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • In an open session of Parliament attended by reporters MP Ali Motahari spoke about how President Rouhani will not visit with President Obama but spoke positively about the meeting between Rouhani and UK Prime Minister David Cameron:
    • "In my opinion the meeting of our country's president with Obama at the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly is not expedient."
    • “The meeting of President Rouhani and President Obama is not advisable”. He added, “I also know that it is not in the President’s schedule”.
    • “This meeting (between Cameron and Rouhani) can be good and positive”. (Tasnim News)


  • Iraqi President Fuad Masum discussed the importance of Iran’s role in resolving regional crises, in an interview with London-based al Hayat. Masum said:
    • “Iran cannot be kept out of the campaign against ISIS and the Baghdad government needs Tehran on its side to fight the takfiri militants.”
    • “The anti-ISIS fight will not be successful without Iran.” (Nividar)


  • The Official Spokesman of Sadrist Leader Muqtada al Sadr, Sheikh Salah al Obeidi, told IRGC-affiliate media outlet Tasnim News Agency that the presence of international forces in Iraq is a "red line" for "Sadr and the Iraqis." Obeidi added:
    • “The invasion and occupation of Iraq should not be started again under the pretext of a new name to carry out a plot.”
    • “Expelling the American military in Iraq in 2011 was a historical achievement and a victory for the Iraqi nation. Do not let the [ISIS] name strip away this great achievement.” (Tasnim News Agency)


  • President Rouhani is scheduled to meet with several heads of state while in New York for the 69th United Nations General Assembly session, including the UN Secretary General, the Japanese Prime Minister, the Presidents of Turkey, France, Austria, and Venezuela, and the Prime Ministers of Britain, Georgia, and Lebanon. (Alef)



  • Iranian news agency reported that Tehran and Moscow reached 13 agreements related to Iranian agricultural exports to the Russian market: 
    • Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zangeneh and Russia’s Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, came to an agreement which was approved and signed by the Agricultural Committee of the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation.
    • The two sides agreed on the following: to form a working group on agriculture, to form a barter trade (direct) of agricultural goods, particularly livestock products and vegetables, Russian imports of fish and other seafood, summer crops, and other Iranian products, to organize a joint cooperation in the field of investment (private and public sector) in the agricultural sector, and to cooperate in joint scientific ventures and research in various fields of agriculture.
    • It is reported that the two sides will commence the joint cooperation soon. (Tasnim News)


  • President Rouhani proposed increased cooperation in natural gas endeavors between Tehran and Vienna in a meeting with his Austrian counterpart Hans Fisher at the sideline of nuclear negotiations, who welcomed the proposal as a step towards increased European energy security. The Iranian Oil Ministry and Austrian manufacturer OMV have been discussing a potential pipeline proposal since this past year.  (Mehr News)



  • Head of the Judiciary Branch Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani wished President Rouhani success and stated "Persevering ourvalues in the negotiations is the red line of the revolution, regime, and the Supreme Leader. We are praying for his success and...everyone in the framework of this system is supportive”. (Fars News)


  • Atomic Energy Agency of Iran Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi met with the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano and said:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran would like the negotiations [with the IAEA] to speed up and reach a conclusion as soon as possible because Iran’s nuclear activities are peaceful.”
    • “It was decided that the negotiations should lead to a tangible outcome and that they should not be an endless process.” (Mehr News)


  • Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader and Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Strategic Research Center Ali Akbar Velayat responded to reports that “Iran must enable 1500 centrifuges and disable the rest”:
    • “‘We, like you, heard the news; but the Iranian stance has been repeatedly declared by the Supreme Leader, and there is another position [of Iran’s] that the Americans are looking for.’” (Tasnim News
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