A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analysts Mehrdad Moarefian, Marie Donovan, and Paul Bucala, with contributors Ryan Melvin, Caitlin Pendleton, and Jordan Olmstead. 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:  Advisor to the Commander of the IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani was killed in the vicinity of Aleppo city on October 8.

IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani was killed while reportedly supervising Syrian military operations near Kuweires Airbase east of Aleppo city. The media arm of the IRGC, Sepah News, claimed that ISIS militants had killed Hamedani but did not provide further details. Hamedani’s funeral is scheduled to be held on October 11 in Tehran. His body will then be buried in Hamedan. Hamedani played a key role in organizing the Syrian government’s paramilitary forces that have helped President Bashar al Assad cling to power. Hamedani was also the advisor to IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari.  

Hamedani’s death has elicited a number of statements from Iran’s senior leadership. President Hassan Rouhani praised Hamedani’s role in strengthening the “Islamic resistance front” while IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari blamed Hamedani’s death on “mercenaries” of the U.S. and Israel.

CTP Analyst Marie Donovan discusses the importance of Hamedani’s death in her latest blog post, “Iran loses a key player in its Syria strategy.”

AEI Resident Fellow J. Matthew McInnis analyzes the strategic and operational calculations behind Iran’s cooperation with Russia in Syria and examines ways this new alliance may go awry in his most recent blog post, “Iran’s risker game in Syria.”

Reactions to IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani’s death in Syria

  • Hamedani’s funeral set for October 11 in Tehran. Mashregh News reported on the details of IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s “martyrdom in Aleppo” on the night of October 8. Hamedani’s body is scheduled to arrive in Tehran on October 9, and his funeral will be held on October 11 in Tehran. Sepah News, the media arm of the IRGC, claimed that “ISIS terrorists” had killed Hamedani.  (Mashregh News) (Sepah News)
  • Rouhani praises Hamedani. President Hassan Rouhani praised IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani for his performance during “his advisory mission to strengthen the Islamic resistance front in the fight against the terrorist group ISIS.” Rouhani also praised Hamedani’s role in the Iran-Iraq War and the formation of the IRGC.  (President.ir)
  • Jafari blames “mercenaries” of U.S. and Israel for Hamedani’s death. IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari claimed that IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani was killed by terrorist “mercenaries” of the U.S. and Israel. The IRGC Commander praised Hamedani for his contribution to the “resistance” against the U.S. and Israel and stated, “The bright torch of this endless jihad shall not be extinguished… The enemies must know that the path of resistance and opposition to the Zionists, and opposition to the Americans’ influence, will continue strongly in Muslim lands.” (Mehr News)
  • Firouzabadi calls Hamedani a “visionary leader.” Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi issued a statement on IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s death which praised Hamedani’s "gallant" efforts in the “trenches of the defense and security of the Islamic Revolution.” The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief also called Hamedani a "visionary leader" in the resistance against the United States. (Defa Press)
  • Rezaei: Hamedani “did not spare any effort to protect Islam.” Mohsen Rezaei stated that everyone who knew IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani “recognized that he was a brave, patient, sincere and devoted commander.” The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary warned that “our enemies must know that although we have lost a dear brother and commander…hundreds more like Hamedani are armed and present on the front to defend justice.” (IRNA)
  • Zarif calls Hamedani “brilliant and tireless” in fight against terrorism. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued a statement describing IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani as “brilliant and tireless in [his] advisory mission in the fight against terrorism, extremism, and occupation.” (Ghatreh)
  • Pakpour: Hamedani’s death will strengthen our resolve in the fight against terrorism. IRGC Ground Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour praised IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s service and stated, “Martyrdom is the only reward that can equal this brave commander’s endeavors.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Ali Larijani issues condolences for Hamedani’s death. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated that IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani was killed “by ISIS forces in the region of Aleppo during the mission to defend the [Sayyidah Zaynab] shrine.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Judiciary Head commends Hamedani’s service. Judiciary Head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani praised IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s combat record and added that Hamedani “considered martyrdom to be his pride. How blessed is it, that he received his wish…during his advisory mission to strengthen the Islamic resistance front?” (IRNA)
  • Shamkhani releases statement on Hamedani’s death. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani issued a statement offering condolences for IRGC Brig. Gen. Hamedani’s death. Shamkhani praised Hamedani’s role in the fight against the takfiris and assured Iranians that the “terrorists in Syria” would be “completely destroyed.” (Mashregh News)
  • Salami: Hamedani played a key advisory role in the war against the takfiris. IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami stated that IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani “played a key advisory role in the war against the takfiris” and that Hamedani “was martyred during his latest mission for the execution of this advisory role.” Salami added that Hamedani’s advisory role included “preparing the Muslim Syrian nation against the danger of civil war and, particularly, against the danger of the takfiris.” (Tasnim News Agency
  • Defense Minister: Hamedani’s martyrdom will strengthen resistance against terrorism and Zionism. IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan praised IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s “valued role” in the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War.  The Defense Minister also commended Hamedani’s role in the fight against “takfiri-Zionist groups” and stated, “Without a doubt, the martyrdom of Hossein Hamedani will cause the fighters in the resistance front for the eradication of terrorism and Zionism to grow more determined and stronger.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • IRGC Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi: “Jihad was an integral element of Hamedani.” The President of the Strategic Defense Studies Center and former Qods Force Commander IRGC Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi praised IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s combat record, adding that “jihad was an integral part of Hamedani.” (Mashregh News)
  • Jazayeri: The U.S. is responsible for Hamedani’s death. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri claimed that the United States is responsible for IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani’s death in Syria. The Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy emphasized that “the Islamic resistance will take revenge for the blood of Hamedani and other martyrs.” (ISNA)
  • Kowsari: Hamedani helped form the popular defense in Syria. Parliamentarian Mohammad Esmail Kowsari praised the role of IRGC Brig. Gen. Hamedani in Syria. Kowsari, who was the commander of the IRGC 27th Mohammad Rasoul Allah Division during the Iran-Iraq War, noted that Hamedani played a leading role in advising the Syrian armed forces. Kowsari stated, “With Hamedani’s suggestion, the mobilization known as the popular resistance was formed in Syria.” The National Security and foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission member also noted that Hamedani facilitated “cooperation” between the Syrian Army and the “popular forces.” IRGC Brig. Gen. Hamedani was the commander of the IRGC 27th Mohammad Rasoul Allah Division from 2009 to 2011. (Mehr News
  • Ayatollah Hamedani: Commander Hamedani “always valued martyrdom.” Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani commended IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani for having “a very effective presence...in Iraq and Syria, especially Syria.”  (Fars)


Domestic Politics and Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

  • Boroujerdi: The JCPOA commission’s report was damaging to the interests of the nation. Parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi reiterated his criticisms of the report of the Special Parliamentary Commission to Review the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) during an interview with Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). The NSFP Parliamentary Commission Chairman claimed that it was likely only two members of the special commission, Ali Reza Zakani and Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, wrote the report. Boroujerdi also claimed that “university professors” helped write the report. In any case, Boroujerdi argued that the commission’s report was “damaging to the interests of the nation.” (ISNA)
  • Haghighat Pour: Some Parliamentarians are “creating obstacles” to block the approval of the JCPOA. Parliamentarian Mansour Haghighat Pour stated: "The Parliament's single-emergency plan on implementing [the] JCPOA will be presented to Parliament on Sunday..." The NSFP Parliamentary Commission Vice Chairman added that the "JCPOA will be approved by the majority of the Parliament members, and the sabotage of its few, but loud-spoken opponents will lead nowhere." (IRNA) (E)
    • Hossein Sobhani Nia: We must make a decision as soon as possible on the JCPOA. NSFP Parliamentary Commission member Hossein Sobhani Nia praised the single-emergency plan on the JCPOA and urged for lawmakers to make a decision “as soon as possible” on the nuclear deal. (ISNA)
  • Avaz Heidar Pour:  Zakani should not have been the head of the special commission. Conservative parliamentarian Avaz Heidar Pour criticized the JCPOA commission’s review of the nuclear deal during an interview with Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA). The NSFP member stated, “The controversy over the JCPOA commission’s final report shows that Ali Reza Zakani does not have the capability to be the head of a parliamentary commission.” (ILNA)
  • Interim Tehran Prayer Leader: Why is the Parliament rushing on reviewing the nuclear deal? Hojjat ol Eslam Kazem Sedighi praised the JCPOA commission’s report during his Friday sermon. The Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader, however, criticized Parliament’s plan of granting “conditional approval” for the JCPOA. He claimed that Iranian lawmakers were “rushing” and “did not wish to pay attention to the destiny and honor of the nation.” Sedighi also condemned the U.S. for bombing the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Mehr News


Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Ohadi: It is possible some Iranian Hajj victims are buried in Mecca. Saeed Ohadi stated that Saudi officials could have "possibly" buried some Iranian bodies near Mecca. The Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization stated that "due to the high number of victims" from the Hajj stampede, Saudi officials "attempted to bury some of the [Iranian] bodies in the morgue next to Mecca..." (ISNA)
  • Abdollahian: The Saudis have released two Iranian pilgrims from jail. Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Saudi Arabia had released two Iranian pilgrims that had been detained in the aftermath of the Hajj stampede. (IRINN)
  • Rezaei: Saudi Arabia will seize other regional countries following Yemen. Mohsen Rezaei condemned Saudi Arabia’s “aggression” in Yemen and warned that Saudi Arabia will intend to seize Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait if they are successful in Yemen. The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary also discussed his return to the IRGC, stating, “I donned the uniform once more in order to prove my service. Before Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen, I had predicted that condition in the region would change.” (Alef)



  • Iran and Japan set to sign agreement on an investment pact. A "basic agreement on an investment pact" is set to be signed between Iran and Japan. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on October 12 to officially review the terms of the agreement.  (Press TV) (E)