Iran's Zarif: I'm Not Really in Charge


In a leaked recording, Iran's foreign minister admits he's not in charge of foreign relations in his own country. Instead, says Javid Zarif, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp makes decisions on international affairs, often keeping him in the dark.

The New York Times, which first published the leak, said the recording originated as a confidential, internal interview with the foreign minister.

“In the Islamic Republic the military field rules,” Mr. Zarif said in a three-hour taped conversation that was a part of an oral history project documenting the work of the current administration. “I have sacrificed diplomacy for the military field rather than the field servicing diplomacy.”

Zarif also reveals that IRGC head Qassim Suleimaini and Russia's government worked together to undermine the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Mr. Zarif said Russia did not want the agreement to succeed and “put all its weight” behind creating obstacles because it was not in Moscow’s interests for Iran to normalize relations with the West. To that end, Mr. Zarif said, General Suleimani traveled to Russia to “demolish our achievement,” meaning the nuclear deal.

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