A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team.
- Iran and Iraq Relations Expansion Headquarters Secretary Rostam Ghassemi visited Irbil, Iraq for talks aimed at developing economic cooperation and trade exchanges between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan. Ghassemi, recently the Oil Minister under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. and IRGC Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base Commander.
- Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Deputy for Industrial Preparation, Support, and Research Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hejazi announced the construction of new missile defense systems: “After reaching the conclusion after three years that cooperation is not possible…between us and another country.” Iranian officials have previously criticized Russia for not delivering the advanced S-300 missile defense system. Hejazi credited the Supreme Leader’s guidance for helping Iran build its own version of the S-300.
- Artesh Ground Forces Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Kioumars Heidari announced that Iran’s army will be equipped with new advanced, precision solid-fueled missiles with a reported range of 300 KM (186 miles). The missiles reportedly have “fast mobility” and pinpoint accuracy.
- President Hassan Rouhani met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz in Tehran and reportedly discussed developments in Syria, increasing security measures and cooperation along the Iran-Pakistan border. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to travel to Iran in May.
- President Rouhani met with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. Rouhani called for greater ties between Austria and Iran and said European Union sanctions “should not be an obstacle to the economic relations between the two countries.” Rouhani also urged the P5+1 in his remarks to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
- Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also met with FM Kurz. Rafsanjani said “The majority of the Iranian people and the educated” support the Rouhani administration’s effort to increase Iran’s ties with outside countries. He added that, while there is a “bright prospect” to a resolution over the nuclear issue, it remains complicated and “due to political goals under the pretext of the nuclear program it is difficult to predict an outcome.”
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos Lopez in Tehran; the two sides discussed expanding economic relations between Tehran and Managua. Zarif also expressed President Rouhani’s desire to expand relations with Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega.
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