The leaked audio puts Zarif in a complicated position as the top diplomat revealed some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the internal political process in the Islamic Republic. The minister’s allegations about the military making important decisions instead of politicians might affect the upcoming presidential election in the country.
Tehran has not denied the authenticity of the audiotapes of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif talking to Iranian economist Saeed Laylaz on the decision-making process in the republic, but noted that his statements, first published by the news outlet Iran International, were ripped out of context.
The spokesman said the meeting between Zarif and Laylaz was not supposed to be an interview and its contents were never supposed to be published. The conversation was part of an “oral history” research project by the Iranian economist.
Contents of Zarif’s Bombshell Interview
In the recorded conversation with Laylaz, Zarif made a number of statements about the peculiarities of political processes in Tehran. He namely alleged that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) call all the shots and have the power to overrule Zarif’s Foreign Ministry.
The minister further complained that his authority is significantly constricted by both the IRGC and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The latter recently “forcefully rebuked” the foreign minister for straying from the official line by stating that Tehran is ready to work directly with the US in…