Tehran, Iran – In a controversial audiotape leaked last week, Supreme Court President Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly condemned comments made by Iran’s top diplomat about internal power struggles.
During a televised address on Sunday, Khamenei said he was “surprised and saddened” that the diplomat had not heard directly from Mohammed Jawad Zarif’s comments on the power and influence of the late Maj. Gen. Cossem Solomon.
“Some of these comments are hate speeches by our enemies, repeating the words of the United States,” he said, as the anti-Iranian media released the tape.
Iran International, a London-based Saudi-sponsored channel sponsored more than three hours of what was considered a seven-hour secret government oral history program.
Taps said diplomacy must be “sacrificed” in order to refer to the activities and politics of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), especially the Guts force on the outside, particularly the “field.” Sholaymani until the assassination by the United States last year.
Shortly after the signing, Solomon went to Russia to sabotage Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, and complained that he was in the dark about a number of issues, including Iran’s operations in Syria and Iraq.
Khamenei noted on Sunday the continued opposition of the United States to Iran’s growing influence in the region, which is why former President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Solomon in January 2020 by a drone strike in Baghdad.
“We should not say things that express the sense that we are repeating what they say, whether the Goods are in the army or the martyr Cholamani,” the Supreme Leader said.
He emphasized that Iran’s foreign policy, like that of the rest of the world, was not designed by the Foreign Ministry and was simply being implemented.
In Iran, that duty rests with the Supreme National Security Council, a group of high-ranking officials from various national regimes.
The end for the sheriff?
Khamenei’s remarks will certainly further embolden hardliners who cannot stop calling for the foreign minister – and the government – and his resignation.
It seems unlikely that Zarif will step down, especially as his term ends in several months and negotiations to revive the nuclear deal are underway in Vienna, and the Supreme Leader’s condemnation casts a shadow over his future in Iranian politics.
The foreign minister, who is a relatively popular figure in the weaker centralist and reformist factions, has repeatedly stated that he has no ambitions of becoming a candidate in the upcoming June presidential election.
The industry diplomat had previously said he might be interested in continuing to work in the foreign ministry, otherwise he could step down from his university teaching role.
Earlier on Sunday, he apologized for the injury he had inflicted on Solomon’s family, and said his “honest” words to future officials did not detract from Solomon’s efforts to keep Iran and the region safe.
In an online post a few days ago, he said that his comments were not about Solimani, who added pride to his efforts to establish peace in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight against the ISIL (ISIS) militant group.
Following Khomeini’s speech, Zarif published another online post in which he lamented that the Supreme Leader’s comments were an end point to all discussions and that his comments on “transforming experiences honestly” were leaked and disturbed Kameni’s peace of mind.
Earlier this week, President Rouhani called for an end to sanctions on Iran, a crackdown on the country’s nuclear program and an attempt by separatists to sabotage multilateral efforts in the Austrian capital.
Rouhani has instructed his intelligence ministry to find out who leaked the tape, and similar efforts are underway in the judiciary and parliament.
The president fired Hesmodin Ashna, his adviser and head of the Center for Strategic Studies of Presidential Offices, for being responsible for organizing the interview with Zarif.