Iran's government to investigate leaked recordings of Zarif

President Hassan Rouhani orders probe to identify who leaked "stolen" three-hour recording of Foreign Minister.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iran's government said on Tuesday that an investigation had been ordered into leaked audio of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bemoaning the military's influence, AFP reports.

President Hassan Rouhani ordered the probe to identify who leaked the "stolen" three-hour recording that has sparked anger among conservatives in the Islamic Republic, according to the report.

In the leaked recordings, Zarif could be heard saying, "In the Islamic Republic the military field rules. I have sacrificed diplomacy for the military field rather than the field servicing diplomacy."

Comments he made about Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm who was killed in a US air strike last year, hit a nerve.

Also included in the leaked recordings was a controversial claim by Zarif that former US Secretary of State John Kerry informed him of more than 200 Israeli operations in Syria. Kerry denied the reports.

"The president has ordered the intelligence ministry to identify the agents of this conspiracy," government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday, according to AFP.

"We believe this theft of documents is a conspiracy against the government, the system, the integrity of effective domestic institutions, and also against our national interests," he added.

Zarif has yet to comment on the controversy, but on Tuesday he posted an audio message on Instagram, saying "I believe you should not work for history... I say that don't worry about history so much, but worry about God and the people".

His ministry later published a video showing pictures of Zarif and Soleimani, accompanied with a quote it said was taken from the recording.

"I believe that our country suffered a great blow after the departure of martyr Soleimani," it read. "These are my beliefs and I have declared them everywhere, even in private meetings."



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