Khamenei did not mention the foreign minister by name, but said in a televised speech, “This was a big mistake that should not have been made by an official in the Islamic Republic.”
He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not define foreign policy anywhere in the world, “there are senior officials who make decisions and determine policies, of course the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is involved in that.”
He stressed that the ministry “is the executor,” adding that “there is the Supreme Council for National Security, and all officials are present in it. Decisions are taken and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must implement and push them through its own means.”
Khamenei said, “The Quds Force was able to put the independent policy of the Islamic Republic in the region into effect.”
In a post on Instagram, following Khamenei’s speech, Zarif apologized for the comments that “harassed” the supreme authority in the country.
The foreign minister expressed his hope that he would be able to work “with one mind and one heart” alongside other officials, “to implement the orders of the Supreme Leader for the perfect progress of dear Iran.”
Zarif’s leaked speech deals with several files. These include Iranian interference in the Syrian file, Iranian-Russian relations, and the file of the Ukrainian plane shooting down.
The leak mainly revolves around the role of Qassem Soleimani in Iranian foreign policy. Russia.
The publication of the recording came 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, of which Zarif was the most prominent engineer.
And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously confirmed that the recording was taken from a 7-hour conversation, and it came within the framework of documenting the era of President Hassan Rouhani, who is close to completing two consecutive terms in the presidency.
After the audio leak was revealed, Iran imposed a travel ban on 15 people, and the authorities said that the interview was produced for state records and not for publication.
Zarif is the face of Iranian diplomacy, as he deals with a range of issues, including the talks his country is conducting with world powers with the aim of reviving the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, from which the United States withdrew 3 years ago.