Rouhani: Soleimani's death was directed by the Zionists

Iranian President claims former President Donald Trump was “a mercenary of the Zionist regime”.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday accused Israel of "directing" the US military to eliminate former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a deadly air strike in Baghdad in January 2020.

“The martyrdom of General Soleimani was directed by the Zionists, even though [former US President Donald] Trump was the commander and killer,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting, according to i24NEWS.

The Iranian President also labeled Trump “a mercenary of the Zionist regime” and added that “all his actions were provoked by the Zionists.”

“Of course, the previous US presidents were friends with the Zionists, but were not mercenaries,” he said, according to i24NEWS.

Rouhani’s remarks came just days after a leaked recording of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was made public, in which the top Iranian diplomat could be heard lamenting Soleimani’s influence and power.

Rouhani said the audio was leaked just as talks in Vienna, which would see the US rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement, were "at the height of their success so that it creates discord inside" the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian President, who has ordered a probe into who leaked the "stolen" recording, praised Zarif for his track record and achievements but also set out his position on the relationship between Iran's military and diplomacy.

In addition to the comments about Soleimani, the leaked recordings of Zarif also included a controversial claim that former US Secretary of State John Kerry informed the Iranian Foreign Minister of more than 200 Israeli operations in Syria. Kerry denied the reports.