Muhammad Javad Zarif, a moderate figure, is the current foreign minister of Iran. He has been in office since 2013. Before this post, he has made his mark on many positions. He has also presented his services in the United Nations and national and international forums. Owing to his extended experience and well-known awareness of the world, Iran reached the Nuclear Deal and resultantly economic sanctions were lifted to a certain extent. But stepping back of the US President Donald Trump, the procedure of prosperity stopped, and Iran sank into the aforementioned restrictions once again. Before the current Iranian regime, tension and restlessness were felt among the people of Iran. It culminated in the elections and the Iranians chose Hassan Rouhani with his promise to make the people prosperous and reconnect them with the world.
Undoubtedly, the Iran-US relations have been cold for decades. The wave of these strained ties of the Iran-US sprouted just the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic government. And since then the country of Persians have come across many ups and downs. In 2019, FM Javad Zarif had to face the US checks. He was announced as “the illegitimate spokesperson of Iran” and different reactions came to the surface from many world countries. One of the European leaders condemned this attitude of the US and regret this decision.
In the ending week of the last month, a little part of the recorded long interview of the Iranian Foreign Minister was leaked. It would be better to say that that part of the interview was leaked intentionally as Zarif said that he would never surface his opinions if it had to be publicized. It becomes quite easy from his statement that all he said in that interview were solely his personal views to which everyone has the right to disagree. This interview was conducted by the noted Iranian economist and journalist, Saeed Lylaz. Saeed has been the advisor of Muhammad Khatami, the Iranian President. He is one of the towering critics of Mehmud Ahmadi Nejad and arrested many times. His owned newspaper ‘Sarmayeh’ was also banned in 2009. Whatever became part of this interview, contained the Iranian Administration, the factors and future mechanisms of Iran’s foreign policy and mention of the late General Qasim Sulemani. The leaked tape of the interview reached somehow in the hands of Iran-based News channel ‘Iran International’ and later on New York Times published it.
There are two points which sought the attention of everyone. First is the criticism of Zarif over Sulemani and the second unveils the Russian involvement in the Iran Nuclear Deal. According to Zarif, General Sulemani, who had been killed in the US Drones Airstrike in Iran, kept his influence and interference in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Qasim Sulemani was the commander of the Quds Force whose major motive was to target the secret agency of the US, CIA and weaken its allies via operations. This force launches full-scale military-style operations in the support of the Iranian allies outside the country. General Sulemani, according to an analysis, was considered the most powerful man of Iran after the Supreme Leader. A book titled “The Shadow Commander” has been written on General Qasim Sulemani.
Zarif said that the Foreign Ministry was following the cold-war strategy but he had to further it due to Qasim Sulemani and the purpose behind it was the Iranian role in the region. As an ally, Iran is seen active in Syria, Iraq and Yemen on fronts. Besides these fronts, she is also playing an active role in every region where the designs of the Saudi Kingdom work. Despite political and economic limitations, Persia backs the rebels and co-sect parties in the countries engulfed in civil war.
To this end, Iran recruits youth from different Islamic countries and is a cause of the formation of fully equipped militias. Pakistani youngsters have also been a part of this Iranian mission. Zarif also said that he had never been able to seek help for his support in his motives from Sulemani. It seems obvious that Qasim Sulemani influenced Zarif and the Foreign Ministry. Regretting Zarif also had the opinion that his role in the ministry was nil. He was angry with Sulemani over his intervention.
Second, General Sulemani was also found involved in the failure of Iran’s Nuclear Deal. The Youth of Iran feels uneasiness since when Iran is under the US limitations. In a way, Iran is disconnected from the world. On this ground, the Iranian elected government decided to step back from her previous policy of resistance and it benefitted the people of Iran and its economy.
While Qasim Sulemani, along with the edge of Russian, forwarded Iranian aims in burning Syria. Just after Iran agreed on the Nuclear Deal, General Sulemani went to Moscow which had its causes and effects on the said deal. Zarif also stated that his office was put in the dark about what was happening in Syria on the edge of Iran. The American Foreign Secretary unveiled that there had been 200 plus attacks on the Iranian forces. Based on Sulemani’s military-style operations in other Islamic regions, the US willed to step back from the deal. As a result, the Iranian economy remained in the grip of sanctions till Biden’s Presidency and the country had also to lose General Sulemani in the US Airstrike.
After facing much criticism from various sections of government and the public, Zarif apologized to the public and especially the family of General Qasim Sulemani over his opinions. The General Elections in Iran are very near. What will the leaked tape affect the Iranian Administration? We leave it till the official results of these upcoming elections.