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 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.


  • Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani praised President Hassan Rouhani's UN speech yesterday and said:
    • “It is said in the Qur’an that those who state God’s message are spreading the Islamic system. The President’s speech in New York was in truth on this basis. Peace is Islam’s doctrine and, therefore, the President’s statements in New York were spreading God’s message. Two points are introduced in the matter of jihad: Sometimes jihad occurs with military defense but sometimes jihad is political. In certain statements this is true, and this is what the Supreme Leader meant in his heroic flexibility speech.” 
  • Former IRGC commander and current Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf also reacted positively to Rouhani's UN speech: 
    • “The heroic flexibility approach is the same approach of continuing the road of jihad and interaction through a position of strength. In reality, the heroic flexibility approach is continuing that same heroic battle of the Sacred Defense in the diplomatic organs. In our interactions, we must not forget the enemy’s nature." 
    • "If defensive jihad was the necessity of resistance, heroic flexibility can be the resistance’s requirement in the fourth decade [of the revolution] at the apex and blossoming of the system and its strength."
    • "It is useless to think that sanctions will be voided, relations established with some countries, and problems alleviated in a single night."
    • "Today, the administration possesses valuable capital with the support of the people’s vote at hand, with the management of the Supreme Leader in the country’s political environment, and in the diplomatic environment with the Supreme Leader’s blessing, which we must optimize."
    • "The respected administration must resolve some issues in the shortest amount of time by using consensus, wisdom, and the spirit of resistance.” 
  • IRGC Cultural Deputy and Adviser to the IRGC Commander Hossein Saffar Harandi praised President Rouhani’s UN speech as “reasonable and logic-based.” He added, “All the Western countries fear the effective penetration of the Islamic Revolution and Islamic Iran in the world, and so they have used the Iranian nuclear matter as an excuse and basis for unequal sanctions against the oppressed Iranian nation to stop the wave of Iran’s Islamic Awakening in the world.”  
  • President Rouhani had a sit-down with the Asian Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and spoke on his platform of moderation in the elections and his hopes to ease tensions through this moderation. He added that relations between countries are intertwined, but that these challenges can be confronted with cooperation. He said that he does not believe in a zero-sum game, but that countries can arrive at win-win solutions. In regards to nuclear negotiations, Rouhani stated that there are primary agitators against Iran using false claims, and all know who they are. He concluded by saying, “Pressure, intimidation, and threats can only poison the atmosphere.” 

Military and Security

  • IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani attended the commemoration of Javaran village and nomad martyrs and discussed Iran's regional hegemon status:
    • “The world’s respect to the Iranian President is the enemy’s humility and their statements are due to the Iranian nation’s resistance and perseverance. This event would not have occurred in history without the sacrifice and presence of you, the nation."
    • "What achievements did the American army have with a $700 billion budget in Afghanistan and Iraq or the Zionist regime army, that is this regime's foundation and is known as a citizen-soldier army. Every latest technology given to this system has been defeated against popular and regular organization in Lebanon in the Twenty-two Day War [2008 Gaza War], the Thirty-three Day War [2006 Israel-Hezbollah War], etc."
    • "They expended approximately $3 trillion for the war in Iraq but the American army was unable to gain immunity in Iraq for [even] a single flight and exited Iraq with disgrace."
    • “They are mistaken to say that Iran has devoured the region because devouring is their culture and not that of the Iranian nation."
    • "The result of all war in the region was the Iranian nation's victory.
    • "Spirituality, the Supreme Leader’s truthful words, perseverance of the Iranian people and its effect on other nations were the basis for perseverance and you [addressing the West] were defeated and the Iranian nation victorious.” 
  • IRGC Air Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced the deployment of "Shahed 129" combat drone , result of "true scientific jihad," to enforce border security, reportedly costing 100,000 tomans [approximately $33] per hour to operate. He added that the drone can carry up to eight missiles with a 200 kilometers striking capability against stationary and mobile targets. 
  • IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari inaugurated the latest “complete Iranian-IRGC production” IRGC Air Forces “Shahed 129” combat drone with the capability “to protect the Islamic homeland's vast borders whether confronting bandits or any other insecurities…” He stated that “Unknown Soldiers [MOIS agents] were able to transform the [RQ170] from a reconnaissance to a combat drone within a year.”
  • Jafari also spoke at length on television about a variety of subjects, ranging from threats to the nation to President Rouhani’s election to the Supreme Leader’s Heroic Flexibility speech:
    • “The question is what is the Islamic Revolution, which the IRGC is responsible to protect and must continue to help, most threatened by? And the answer to this question is that there is not one single thing, but that it differs in every time and area.”
    • “The biggest threat to the Islamic Revolution after the Imposed War [Iran-Iraq War] is the [2009] Sedition [post-election protests.] I was both in the war and the Sedition, and the front was far heavier and more serious to the Revolution in the [2009] Sedition than the war.”
    • “It is a time when we say the enemy does not dare attack the Islamic Revolution [because of] our preparedness and the presence of the people aiding religion. Likewise the divine victory and fear that God puts into the heart of the enemy are the biggest factors of deterrence.
    • “The [2013] elections were a Political Epic just as the Supreme Leader had predicted. Praise be to God that this occurred and the elections were held well and safely.”
    • "If one day the enemy becomes rational and understands that threats, pressure and the use of violent language with Iran provides the opposite [results], there may be groundwork for negotiations.”
    • “In the same place as strength, there must also be flexibility. This heroic flexibility is to say to the enemy that we are sitting here and talking and seeing whether they understand or not. They must look at themselves and see that Iran will never submit against forceful language, and they must cut it out.”
    • “Heroic flexibility means that we do not deviate in any way from our principles, but rather that within a framework of our principles and based on the true line of the Revolution, we will speak and defend our rights.” 
  • Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan stated, “The limitations of the Dominant System is a grand capital for the amazing blossoming of divine talents….When today the enemies imagine invading Islamic Iran in their heads, they will certainly remember the honorable era of the Sacred Defense, which was not at all possible without this great nation.” 
  • Deputy IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Abdollah Eraghi spoke at a martyr’s memorial during the Week of Holy Defense and discussed Iran-Iraq War history and Iran’s successes against Saddam’s forces, connecting the importance of the war to current events: 
    • “The task of individual persons is to guide the young generations to the strong Islamic background of the country that they provided, by which Iran is today considered one of the most secure countries in the world, and in which the Basij currently  provide great security in the frontier regions and border cities."
    • "The exhibition of military capabilities in the Epic Parade of [September 22] is a sign of the readiness and capability of the Armed Forces, whose task in current times is to protect the system and improve the country.” 
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani appointed Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as Head of the Center for Strategic Defense Research. Shamkhani previously held this position. Vahidi was Defense Minister for President Ahmadinejad’s second term. He is also currently the Head of the Political, Defense, and Security Committee of the Expediency Council. 

Nuclear Issue

  • The respective negotiating teams of Iran and the P5+1 met yesterday for their first negotiations on the nuclear issue, and will continue their negotiations in Geneva on October 15. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Affairs Representative Catherine Ashton led their teams.  Zarif and John Kerry also held bilateral talks on the sidelines of this meeting, marking the first high-level negotiations between Iranian and US ministers in thirty-five years. Zarif said, “In this meeting, the Iranian side again emphasized the nuclear rights of the nation of Iran. 


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