Iran News Round Up

A selection of the latest news stories and articles published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Analysts.

Key takeaway: The IRGC missile strikes on Deir ez Zour, Syria, mark Iran’s first missile strike outside its borders in decades.

The IRGC reported that it fired “a number of intermediate-range, surface-to-surface missiles”  from IRGC bases in the western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan at ISIS positions in eastern Syria’s Deir ez Zour on June 18. Several Iranian outlets reported that the IRGC fired several “Zulfiqar” missiles. The Zulfiqar is a solid-fueled short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). The distance between Iran’s Kermanshah Province and Syria’s Deir ez Zour Governorate is approximately 650 kilometers.  

Iranian officials framed the missile strikes as a retaliation for the June 7 attacks on the Parliament and Imam Khomeini Mausoleum, which killed at least 16 people. Senior IRGC officials used the attacks as an opportunity to downplay American military capabilities in Iraq and Syria.  

This Iran News Round Up predominantly covers events from June 17-19.  

Reactions to Missile Strikes
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June 20, 2017

IRGC: Missile strikes designed to punish ISIS for Tehran terror attacks.

The IRGC issued a statement that it fired “a number of intermediate-range, surface-to-surface missiles… from the IRGC Air Force Force bases in Kermanshah and Kurdistan provinces.” The IRGC claimed it struck the “takfiri terrorists’ … command center, concentration points, and logistical centers used for assembling cars for suicide attacks in Deir Ezzur region… in a move to punish the terrorists” for the June 7 attacks.

  • The statement noted that the missile strikes were a “warning to the terrorists and their regional and transregional partners, that in the case of repeating evil actions against Iran, revolutionary rage and the flames of vengeance of the IRGC… will lead those responsible to burn in hell.”
  • Several Iranian news outlets reported the IRGC fired several Zulfiqars, a solid-fueled short-range ballistic missile. Fars News also reported that at least one of the missiles was a Qiam class missile. Fars News reported separately that the missile strikes killed senior ISIS commander Sa’ad al Husseini and as many as 360 other terrorists in the operation. (Fars News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency) (E) (Fars News Agency) (Tasnim News Agency) (ISNA)
  • Senior Advisor to the Foreign Minister Hossein Sheikholeslam specified that the Iran’s missile strikes targeted “the same region and point in which the terrorist operations in Tehran were plotted, and we destroyed the same region precisely.” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi also noted that Iran notified the Syrian government of the attacks ahead of time. (Fars News Agency) (E) (Press TV) (E)

 

June 20, 2017

Boroujerdi: IRGC missile strikes in Syria marks a new phase in the fight against terrorism.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the recent IRGC’s missile attacks brought about a fatal blow to ISIL in Syria and sent a message to “takfiri terrorists” and their regional supporters that any future attacks on Iran would not go unpunished. (Fars News Agency) (E)

June 20, 2017

Senior officials praise Iranian missile capabilities following missile strikes.

  • Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Chief IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri claimed that the U.S. and its allies - which Iran refers to as the “arrogant powers” - don’t have the capability to engage in clashes with us for now and of course, we don’t intend to [get involved] in clashes with them but we are in permanent rivalry with them in different fields.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated that the missile strikes were a “message… [that] the enemies should be vigilant, and… that we responded [to] the takfiri terrorists’ fireworks with missiles.” He also stated, “The enemies should know that Tehran is not London or Paris.” Hajizadeh noted that the IRGC drones captured footage of the strikes. Iranian and international news outlets have circulated the alleged footage. (Fars News Agency) (E) (ISNA)
  • Senior Political Adviser to the Supreme Leader’s Representative to the IRGC Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani promised that the IRGC will confront ISIS “with more serious measures and stronger slaps in the face if they continue their devilish acts.” (Fars News Agency) (E)
  • Foreign Policy Adviser to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati emphasized the missile attacks as “a sample and portion of the deterrent and high defensive capability of the country.” (Mehr News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329001178

2. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329001542

3. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960329000053

4. Tasnim News Agency
https://newsmedia.tasnimnews.com/Tasnim/Uploaded/Image/1396/03/29/13960329021311424111863410.jpg

5. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96032816241/%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%B1-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%87%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AA%DA%A9%D9%81%DB%8C%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B2%D9%88%D8%B1

6. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329001285

7. Press TV
http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/06/18/525740/iran-irgc-missiles-syria

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329001425

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329000736

2. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329000371

3. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96032916461/%D8%A7%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%AA-%D8%AF%D9%82%DB%8C%D9%82-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B4%DA%A9-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%88%DA%86%DA%A9-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%87-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%85%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B4%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AF%D8%B4%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86

4. Fars News Agency
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960329001542

5. Mehr News Agency
http://www.mehrnews.com/news/4008676/%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B6%D8%B9-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%B7-%D8%B3%D9%BE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B2%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AF%DA%AF%DB%8C-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA

Military and Security
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June 20, 2017

IRGC announces the death of Ansar al Furqan leader in southeastern Iran.

IRGC forces killed Jalil Qanbar Zehi, a leader of Ansar al Furqan, during an operation in Qasr-e-Qand County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Ansar al Furqan is a Sunni Baluch militant group designated by Iran as a terrorist organization. (Tasnim News Agency) (E) (ISNA

Citations & Links

1. ISNA
http://www.isna.ir/news/96032916909/%D8%B3%D8%B1%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%87-%DA%AF%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%87%DA%A9-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%87%D9%84%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%AF

2. Tasnim News Agency
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/06/19/1441100/irgc-forces-kill-terrorist-ringleader-in-southeast-iran

Regional Developments and Diplomacy
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June 20, 2017

Safavi praises Iraq-Iran-Russia-Syria coalition.

IRGC Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the Senior Military Adviser to the Supreme Leader, highlighted the success of the “coalition of Iran, Russia, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanese Hezbollah” in “stabilizing” Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime and in fighting terrorism in Iraq and Syria. Safavi said that Mosul is on the verge of liberation and claimed that “the situation in Iraq is likely to be stabilized by the end of this year.” (Fars News Agency)

  • Safavi also stated, “Americans in the region - especially in the areas of Iranian assistance in Iraq and Syria - are well aware of the IRGC’s operational and intelligence capabilities, and have suffered defeats from Iran.” (Fars News Agency)
June 20, 2017

Iran appears to deny Saudi Arabia’s claim it arrested three IRGC members.

Saudi Arabia’s Information Ministry stated that it detained three IRGC members from a boat approaching Saudi Arabia’s offshore Marjan oilfield on June 17. A Saudi official claimed that the boat carried explosives, and the IRGC team onboard had intended to conduct a “terrorist act” in Saudi Arabia’s territorial waters. The Saudi Press Agency stated that two other boats, presumably belonging to the IRGC, were present during the altercation but escaped.

  • Iran’s Interior Ministry claimed Saudi Arabian security forces fired on an Iranian civilian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf on June 17, killing one of the fisherman. The Interior Ministry said that weather caused two fishing boats to go off their charted course. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi condemned Saudi Arabia’s action as “inhumane” and contrary to international law. It is unclear whether Iran considers the alleged fishing boats interaction as a separate incident from Saudi Arabia’s alleged altercation with IRGC members. (Press TV)
June 20, 2017

Rezaei: The U.S. must accept the IRGC is sanction-resistant.

Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei congratulated the IRGC on its missile strikes in Syria in an open letter to IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari. Rezaei stated that the U.S. must accept that the IRGC is Iran’s “shield of dignity” and cannot be sanctioned. Rezaei warned the U.S. against engaging in a tug of war with the IRGC. (Fars News Agency)

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960329001021

2. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960328000686

Citations & Links

1. Press TV
http://217.218.67.231/Detail/2017/06/18/525699/Iran-Saudi-Arabia-Bahram-Qassemi-fisherman-coastguard/

Citations & Links

1. Fars News Agency
http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13960329000928

Casualties in Iraq and Syria
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June 20, 2017

Iranian hospital director killed in Syria.

Hamid Ghannadian served at the Syrian front as a director of a field hospital when he was killed on June 17. (Navideshahed)

Citations & Links

1. Navideshahed
http://navideshahed.com/fa/news/404731/%D8%AD%D9%85%DB%8C%D8%AF-%D9%82%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AF%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%85-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B9%DA%A9%D8%B3

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