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.
- Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani congratulated the Yemeni government on reaching a deal with Yemen’s Ansar Allah (the political wing of the Houthis). Shamkhani called the agreement a path towards reconciliation and said “Military cooperation and governance reforms in the public interest has created hope. This country continues to move in the direction of fulfilling its wishes. Yemen’s strategic location in the region and influence is necessary for the promotion and enhancement of the condition of the region.” (Mehr News)
- Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized US airstrikes in Syria and said:
- “The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely monitoring the American-led airstrikes in Syria. Given the consequences of this action, Tehran will actively assess the situation and consult with Syrian authorities as well as other regional and international parties, including the United Nations.”
- “Terrorism will grow because [America] leans and is reliant on its previous interventionist solutions. The fight against terrorism does not rest on Hollywood-style adventurism.”
- “From Tehran’s view any military intervention on Syrian territory without permission from the Damascus government and adherence to international law is not acceptable; the fight against terrorism cannot serve as the logic for violating national sovereignty.” (IRNA)
- First Deputy to the Head of the Judiciary Branch, Hojjat al-Eslam Mohseini-Ejehi, said Iran must look at US “green lights” with “skepticism.” He then expressed confidence that Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani would “break the back” of ISIS.
- First deputy of the Head of Judiciary Branch said, “Iran…is a sovereign country and the region’s problems cannot be solved without Iran’s participation, and Iran is influential in the global equation”.
- Hojjat al-Eslam Mohseini-Ejehi said, “The relationship with America is not the path to happiness”. “Until America removes itself from its evil behavior we cannot work with it”.
- In reference to the atrocities committed by ISIS in the region Hojjat al-Eslam Mohseini-Ejehi said, “The backs of terrorists like ISIS break and people are freed” because of “the efforts and programs of Kerman Commander Qasem Suleimani”. (Mehr News)
- President Hassan Rouhani addressed a conference in New York and said: “I don’t have any plans to meet with Obama. America’s plan to attack ISIS positions in Syria is illegal”.
- Rouhani added“It does not paradoxically make sense for one country to say I am fighting terrorism and simultaneously help political groups opposed to one of the governments in the region”. (Tasnim News)
- Commander of the IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari spoke at a gathering to commemorate the Sacred Defense (Iran-Iraq war)and said “We should always strive to be on the front lines.” “This doesn’t mean we have to be present on the Iraqi and Syrian fronts but that we have to be on the front lines of the Islamic Revolution and this falls on the Basij and the IRGC.”
- “Today the government of the sovereign state of Iraq is a Shiite government whose policies are very much consistent with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
- “The leaders of the Iraqi people see that they [Americans] are always seeking to plot against the country and take revenge against them.”
- Jafari ended with “Iran’s capability today from a material standpoint is 10 times that which it was during the Holy War, and even more so, and the presence of the support of the people and the faith and determination of the people in support of the regime is increasingly growing.” (Sepah News)
Military and Security
- Defa Press has released a picture of IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani reportedly in Iraq. The report claims that this is the most recent picture of Soleimani in Iraq. (Defa Press)
- Deputy Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami unveiled Iran’s first armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. He stated that “after various stages of research and field tests by successfully destroying the targets, the Bahool and Qaveh Elahi are ready to enter the combat units of the armed forces.” (Defa Press)
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his British counterpart Philip Hammond. The two sides discussed bilateral relations and nuclear negotiations. (ISNA)
- Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian chaired a political committee meeting between Iranian and Kuwaiti officials in Tehran to discuss bilateral relations and regional security. Both sides called on enhanced cooperation in solving regional crises. (Mehr News)
- President Rouhani met with the Prime Minister of Japan. The two sides discussed the broadening of their economic partnership and the environment. (Tasnim News)
- First Deputy to the President Eshagh Jahangiri congratulated Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the country’s National Day, and expressed hope for increased cooperation with Saudi Arabia. He expressed hope for increased cooperation with the Saudis “towards mutual interests.” (Asr Iran)
- Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham reiterated that Iran and the P5+1 have not reached an agreement on the links connecting Iran’s centrifuges and said “In the course of technical and expert talks, different plans have been brought to the table and reviewed by the negotiators.” (Tasnim News Agency)
- IRGC weekly editorial Sobhe Sadegh published an op-ed concerning the nuclear negotiations and mentioned American concessionsregarding the dismantling of centrifuges, the possibility of sanctions relief in the case of an agreement, and asserted that America must respect the nuclear rights of Iran:
- “Since the American demands concerning enrichment have been ineffective, diplomats on Saturday announced that the two sides discussed a new proposal stating that the centrifuges will not be dismantled, but the connection between them will be cut.”
- “A diplomat who requested anonymity told the Associated Press that any form of agreement can result in the loosening of sanctions.”
- “Any plan can fail however due to the ‘extremists’ in the American Congress.”
- “Americans have no right to extend their hands towards Iran’s nuclear rights. They must seek proposals that will remove their concerns while preserving the sanctity of Iran’s nuclear rights.” (Sobhe Sadegh Online)
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