Iranian President Rohani Initiates Investigation After Leaked Recording of Foreign Minister
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has opened an investigation after the leakage of an audio recording that reveals that Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, denounces the role of the late General Qassem Soleimani in foreign policy.
The audio recording was leaked to foreign media, which the Iranian government condemned.
“We think the data theft is a conspiracy against the government, the system, the integrity of the national institutions and also our national interests,” said government spokesman Ali Rabii. “The president has ordered the Intelligence Ministry to identify those responsible for that conspiracy.”
The New York Times published excerpts of a recording on Sunday in which it says that a conversation can be heard between Minister Zarif and the economist Saeed Leylaz.
According to the American newspaper, Minister Zarif confirmed on the recording that his role as a representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the world stage is minimal: it would be mainly Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or, more often, the Revolutionary Guards who are in control.
“In the Islamic Republic, the military field rules,” said Minister Zarif reportedly. “I sacrificed diplomacy in favour of the military field, rather than the military field serving diplomacy.” On General Qassem Soleimani, Minister Zarif said his death was a significant blow to Iran and that some of his actions damaged the country.