Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif apologized for the unflattering review of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by the Americans, on May 2, the Associated Press reports.
At the end of April, audio recordings of a private conversation between Zarif and an Iranian journalist were released, in which he spoke about the subordinate position of the department he heads in relation to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). which, according to the minister, determines the country’s foreign policy.
Zarif’s conversation took place in March 2020 and was intended for internal use. However, as a result of the leak, the statements of the Iranian Foreign Minister became public, causing an international scandal.
During the conversation, Zarif expressed regret that the actions of Soleimani and his colleagues in the leadership of the IRGC complicate the work of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. So, Zarif points out that at the talks in Moscow in 2015 on the nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, Soleimani was against its conclusion and persuaded the Kremlin to support him in this matter, arguing that Moscow is also unprofitable to conclude a deal.
On May 2, in an interview with reporters, Zarif expressed hope that Soleimani’s relatives would forgive him for his words to the general. “I hope that the great people of Iran, all the admirers of the general and especially the great family of Soleimani will forgive me,” the minister wrote on his Instagram.
“If I had known that my words would be made public, I definitely would not have mentioned it,” Zarif said.
Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the leak of Zarif’s conversations a “deliberate attempt” to disrupt the indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal that has been going on since April.