Khamenei breaks his silence and comments on "Zarif" leaks

English - منذ 14 يوم و 19 ساعة و 27 دقيقة
NewsYemen, agencies:

On Sunday, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei, said that some of what Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made was a "big mistake," following a voice leak in which he talked about the priority of the military field at the expense of diplomacy in Iran.

Khamenei said in a televised speech, "The country's policies consist of economic, military, social, scientific and cultural plans, including foreign and diplomatic relations," as he claimed.

He considered saying, "One part denies the other, or the other opposes this, does not make sense ... This is a big mistake that should not be made by an official in the Islamic Republic."

He added, without mentioning Zarif by name, "We heard comments from some of the country's officials that were a reason for surprise and regret ... We heard that anti-Islamic Republic media also published these comments ... It is unfortunate to hear these."

And he considered that "some of these statements were a repetition of hostile comments by our enemies," especially the United States.

Last Sunday, media outside Iran published the three-hour recording, in which Zarif talks about the role played by Major General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by an American air strike in Baghdad last year, to control his country's foreign policy, and that the military field takes priority over diplomacy in Iran.

Soleimani enjoys a high position in Iran, especially after his assassination. For many years, he commanded the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guard, entrusted with foreign operations, and is one of the most prominent architects of Tehran's regional policy.

The recording, which was published less than two months before the presidential elections and in light of discussions with major international powers to revive the agreement on Tehran's nuclear program, sparked criticism from conservatives opposed to the government of moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

"In the Islamic Republic, the military field is the one that governs (...) I sacrificed diplomacy for the sake of the military field, instead of serving the diplomatic field," Zarif said in the recording.

In his speech, Khamenei reminded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not alone in determining the country's foreign policy.

"Foreign policy everywhere is determined by institutions higher than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ... prominent officials are the ones who determine foreign policy, of course the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also participates," he said.

However, he said, the ministry "is the one implementing" these policies.