Tension is building between Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Jihad Watch reported last week:
In a leaked interview, sure to be embarrassing for Iran, its foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bashed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and indirectly, the late Qassem Soleimani, who was a hero by Iran. Zarif said “he was forced to sacrifice diplomacy in favor of operations by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.” He also “accused Soleimani of ignoring his pleas to refrain from using the Iranian national airline for transportation to Syria.”
Now comes news that “the comments sparked a furore within Iran’s political establishment because they showed a senior official complaining about a revered public figure and exposed division between the country’s civilian administration and the IRGC.” The role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is as much religious as it is political. At the start of the new year, as Iran unveiled its new missile city, the IRGC commander declared: “Allah be praised.”
The fracture between Zarif and the IRGC continues to gain momentum, with the Supreme Leader siding with the IRGC.
The leaked tape caused so much upheaval that Iran’s Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani blamed the leak on a dissident news channel, trying to derail nuke deal talks. So did Ayatollah Khamenei:
“Some of these comments are the repetition of the hostile talks of our enemies, the repetition of the words of America,” he said, pointing out that media opposed to Iran released the tape.
Odd that Iran’s foreign minister would confess such a news bombshell to a “dissident” news channel. The left hand in Iran does not know what the right hand is doing, and there are deep fractures. All the while Western leaders continue to bow to the regime in hopes of concluding a nuke deal, despite the fact that Iran has openly admitted to violating the last one. The whole deal was long ago exposed to be based on lies.
“Iran’s Khamenei Slams Top Minister Zarif After Leaked Audio Tape,” by Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg, May 2, 2021:
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly rebuked the country’s foreign minister for parroting the “words of the enemy” after a leaked tape emerged where the top diplomat disagreed with the strategies of a revered Iranian general.
Khamenei said the comments by Mohammad Javad Zarif in an interview published by a dissident, London-based news channel last week were “shocking,” and that they shouldn’t be repeated. The leader added in his statement on state TV on Sunday that Iran’s Foreign Ministry was mostly responsible for executing diplomatic policy, rather than designing it.
Khamenei’s criticism comes at a time when Iran is in the grip of negotiations with world powers, including the U.S., over reviving a nuclear deal that Zarif supports and helped broker in 2015. It also means he’s now very unlikely to attempt a bid to run for president in elections in June.
Rouhani Says Controversial Tape Leaked to Derail Nuclear Talks
In the tape Zarif said that he was often in the dark about many of General Qassem Soleimani’s plans and that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps often carried out policies that worked against his efforts to forge better ties with the West and secure the 2015 nuclear deal. He said military policy always trumped diplomacy in the Islamic Republic’s foreign affairs.
Shortly after Khamenei’s speech, Zarif published a renewed apology on his Instagram account, expressing regret for “personal comments that weren’t meant to be published” and said the supreme leader’s views on policy represented the “final word.”
Soleimani was assassinated in a January 2020 drone strike by the U.S. as part of former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran, which plunged the Persian Gulf into crisis and almost set off a war between the two countries.
The comments sparked a furore within Iran’s political establishment because they showed a senior official complaining about a revered public figure and exposed division between the country’s civilian administration and the IRGC…..