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

Military and Security

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Haji Zadeh said: 
    • On Iran’s downing of an Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): “After this action, some large countries sent us messages of congratulations… the Israeli aircraft did not post information online; but the information was stored in it, so by destroying it,  [the UAV] did not send any information.”
    • “This is a spy plane, and usually countries do not comment on these UAVs, but given what we know of them in Syria and in some other places such as Karabakh, we are already familiar with this type of aircraft…”
    • “Fighter aircraft are created for carrying out military operations and targeting certain parts of the country, and if we can discover them, we can see the damage; but the spy planes are primarily small and secretive… detection, interception, and destruction of these aircraft is very, very difficult.” (Sepah News)
  • Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Deputy IRGC Maj. Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid touched on Iran’s regional resistance strategy and said:
    • “Today, some of our commanders are providing advisory assistance to Iraq and its army, in addition to the resistance in Lebanon, Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance movement [Hamas and PIJ].”
    • "The situation in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon... shows that there must be more intellectual and structural cohesion than before." 
    • “Unfortunately some intellectuals say, ‘but Reza Khan’s army could not resist the Russian and British armies,’ [however], it is clear that the IRGC and Basij Resistance can withstand multiple enemies.”
    • “If it were not for Imam [Khomeini] there would be no IRGC or Basij and this war would be like previous wars…” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour attended a ceremony unveiling the latest IRGC weaponry:
    • Rotating three-cylinder cannon named “Asefeh,” used to target low flying objects.
    • High explosive roadside mine named “Ramait,” said to be capable of destroying armored vehicles with an effective radius of 100-150 meters.
    • Sniper rifle 5.56mm round named “Fateh.”
    • Pakpour said “These systems are ready for mass production.” (Defa Press
    • Pakpour discussed Iran’s drone capabilities and said “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are currently conducting non-stop missions day and night.” He added, “The Islamic Revolution considers global arrogance its greatest enemy, and is ready to respond to any act of aggression at any location, especially in the northwest and southwest.”(Mehr News
  • Artesh Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that “Iran’s ground forces are prepared to help Iraq.”  Pourdastan added:
    • “We are major contributor of assistance and advice to our brotherly and friendly neighbor Iraq.”
    • “One of the main tasks of the armed forces is to repel any threat to our national borders. [Additionally] it provides defensive capabilities against regional and trans-regional threats and intelligence services.”
    • “Red lines are very far from our borders.”
    • “Today we are faced with a new wave of threats. We as an arm of the Islamic Republic of Iran must establish and strengthen our capacity to deal with such threats.”
    • “If I want to point to how these takfiri groups came about, I would have to go back and refer to the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
    • “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, America as the sole superpower introduced a theory that new powers are emerging and if Americans do not deal with it America will face challenges. The challenge was unity between Sunni and Shi’as and the Islamic Revolution is the prerequisite for it.”
    • “America’s main goal is confrontation with Iran.”
    • “We will not allow ISIL terrorist group to approach the country’s borders. We are fully prepared to counter them.” 
    • “If ISIL intends to come near the country’s borders, we will target them deep inside the Iraqi territory.”
    • “If Americans are truly honest in their character and want to deal with ISIL, they need to confront the countries that provide them with weapons and financing.” (Defa Press

Official Statements

  • IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani spoke in Kerman about the Iran-Iraq War and the 33 day Israel-Lebanon War touting Iran has “thousands of organizations like Hezbollah”:
    • “No enemy has tried harder than during the 33 day war in Lebanon and there is not more trained and classic enemy than Israel, and so they were completely surprised that the strongest army in the world lost to the hand of children fighting in the name of Hezbollah. Iran has thousands of organizations like Hezbollah and millions of people like those in Hezbollah.” (Tasnim News Agency
  • IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari discussed the origins and ongoing efforts of the regime to combat ‘soft war’:
    • If the War of the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War] lasted eight years, the soft war has no time or end.”
    • “If in the hard war, the enemy was the initiator of the war; but [regarding] the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini started the soft war with the enemy, and it is because of things that were said during the Revolution…. This is one of the differences between the two wars, that you can see the enemy and feel his hostility in the hard war. In the soft war, the enemy is invisible and it is hard to recognize him; this diagnosis requires insight.”
    • Resistance in the soft war is holy, and just as people had their role in the hard war, and [their] absence could have changed the war, so their presence in the fight against the enemy in the soft war is crucial.”
    • On the “political and cultural field” within the “soft war”: “This field is plainly crucial to the Supreme Leader; if anyone doubts this pathway, it cannot be expected that he [the doubter] takes effective action.”
    • “In the Sacred Defense, over 90 percent of the forces were young people; and today, similarly, the young faithful are believers which strive for the destiny of the soft war.”  (Sepah News)
  • Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri spoke on the cooperation between the United States and ISIL:
    • The cooperation between America and ISIL is ongoing… Management, logistics, and equipment for ISIL and terrorists in the region are being provided by foreign services, headed by America.”
    • “It appears America is changing tactics and is thereby trying to bring back a new presence in the region for itself.”
    • “From the past to the present, their plan has persisted, and Americans and foreign intelligence services, using the Persian language, to acquire their own objectives and matters, especially in the case of the Iranians.”  (Sepah News)
  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani censured the West for its policies on terrorism and said:
    • “The West has adopted a tactical approach vis-à-vis terrorism; its dual policy further encourages terror acts.”
    • “Western countries are concerned about the Takfiri ISIL and other terrorist groups in the Middle East region because they are now being challenged by the terrorists whom they financed.”
    • “The countries that nurtured terrorist groups should acknowledge their past mistakes instead of accusing others of supporting terrorism to win concessions.”
    • “We are serious in fighting terrorists and we will never join false coalitions.” (ISNA
  • Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani spoke concerning coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria and about Iran’s role in the conflict:
    • “Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria will not be successful.”
    • “The evil of ISIL will not go away except with the help of Iran.”  (Mehr News
  • In response to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Speech, 224 Iranian MPs signed an open letter denouncing Cameron for alleging Iran “supports terrorist organizations.” (Fars News Agency

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Astrakhan, Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Caspian Sea Littoral States Summit. (Mehr News)
  • Russia hosted the fourth Caspian Sea Littoral States Summit with the Presidents of Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan in attendance. President Rouhani spoke about how the Caspian Sea nations will work on key issues:
    • “In one day four documents were signed by Caspian Sea nations, we will witness increased cooperation between the Caspian Sea nations.”
    • “Today the heads of the Caspian nations have announced their ideals, which are as always that this sea remains a sea of friendship, peace, security, and cooperation.” (IRNA
  • Basij Organization Commander IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi spoke about plans to help the people of Gaza:
    • “The Basij organization and the Imam Khomeini Relief Organization on October 1 , the day to help children in Gaza, will gather help from Basij bases, mosques, and tombs of saints to help the people of Gaza, especially children.” (Defa Press)
  • President Rouhani met with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and emphasized continuing good relations between the two countries despite foreign interference:
    • “The security and development of Iran and Azerbaijan are interconnected, and we must not allow others who oppose friendly relations between the two countries to make a dent in the relationship.” (Tasnim News Agency
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York to discuss the upcoming summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states and nuclear talks. (Mehr News
  • Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholam Hossein Dehghani dismissed UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s statements at the UNGA session regarding the disputed Gulf islands and said “The remarks by the UAE foreign minister about the three islands amount to interference in Iran’s internal affairs.” (Mehr News


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