On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif expressed his regret for his comments which had been heard in a leaked tape. His comments, particularly about the late commander of the elite Iranian forces, Qassem Soleimani, stirred controversy in Iran.
Sharing a message on his Instagram account, Zarif asked pardon for his comments from the family of Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by a US drone attack in January 2020.
In his message, Zarif said that “I hope that the great people of Iran, all the General’s lovers and especially the great family of Soleimani, will forgive me.”
The Iranian Foreign Minister also said that he believes his comments do not diminish the importance of Soleimani’s role in securing Iran. “If I had known a sentence from those words would have been made public, I certainly would not have said them,” he said in his post.
Following the leak incident, many lawmakers and former officials demanded Zarif’s resignation. It was also reported that Zarif is expected to bear testimony in front of the Iranian parliament’s internal security and foreign affairs commission about his statements, which were heard in the leaked tape.
In the leaked recording of Zarif’s interview, it was heard that he claimed that Soleimani worked with Russia to prevent the 2015 nuclear deal. Zarif also complained about the IRGC’s influence on Iranian diplomacy.