Iran’s FM Zarif Gives Shout Out to ‘Vigour, Humanity, Pacifism’ of Soleimani Amid Leaked Audio Row

The spat involving the audio recording of Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offering an insight into the alleged power wielded by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), leaked on 25 April, comes amid a return to international negotiations over the JCPOA and ahead of a June presidential election in the Islamic Republic.

Mohammad Javad Zarif has underscored his “long-time” friendship with Lieutenant General Qasem Solemani, a top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who was killed in a targeted US drone strike on 3 January 2020.

Iran’s Foreign Minister also attached a video of himself paying tribute to the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds Force on 27 April.

Zarif had visited a memorial erected at the site where the national hero was assassinated on orders from ex-president Donald Trump, near Baghdad International Airport. The Iranian FM said he was overwhelmed with pride for Iran’s heroes.

The Iranian Foreign Minister availed himself of an opportunity to clarify remarks he is heard making in a recently leaked audio file, where he appears to voice criticism of some of the late general’s actions.
Underscoring that they were ‘out of context’ excerpts from a confidential argument employed to help boost convergence between the country’s military and diplomatic apparatus, he wrote:

Zarif added that reducing a theoretical debate on the relationship between the two wings of the Islamic Republic…

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