Iranian families slam Zarif for slandering Soleimani – The Jerusalem Post

In Iran a series of families of “martyrs” have sent a message in the wake of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s insults against the late Qasem Soleimani. An audio of Zarif giving an interview in which he slammed Soleimani and appeared to suggest the IRGC had undermined him, has led to controversy. The message is directed to “dear Dr. Zarif, honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” It notes the publication of the recent audio file and seeks “to prevent the distortion of the line of resistance and the great benefits gained for Islamic Iran by this dear martyr [Soleimani].” It says the Soleimani’s role was portrayed unfairly in Zarif’s leaked tape. It says that it does not “correspond to reality and now the question arises why these ambiguous words should be said at some point. That he is not alive and cannot seem to defend himself against your words? Is this a tradition of fairness and morality? Mr. Zarif, the published words were so unfair,” the letter says. It says that Zarif had disputed the “regional decisions of Haj Qasem Soleimani” but notes that without Soleimani “you could not conduct diplomacy in the region as you wished…you have been negotiating with Europe and the United States for a long time, and these negotiations are not limited to your eight-year responsibility in the government…In previous periods, you did not achieve a tangible achievement for the people of Iran, but not for the reason that you cowardly linked it to the decisions of the dear martyr [Soleimani] and expressed it.” The letter goes on to note that “we explicitly state that you have been unable to achieve the desired result since the beginning of the negotiations at different times, but each time you attribute this failure to others other than yourself under various pretexts.” They basically accuse Zarif of being incompetent and putting blame on others rather than Iran’s enemies.   The letter argues that it was Soleimani’s abilities that made Iran strong and thus provided Zarif his negotiating power in the first place. “It was because of the power that was provided to you by the unparalleled courage of Sardar Soleimani, because no country is willing to negotiate with the diplomat of a defeated country.” The letter is interesting because it casts doubt on Zarif’s timeline of Russian intervention in Syria. It notes that Syria was in crisis for years prior to Russia intervening in 2015. “The Syrian regime has gone through a crisis, to which they answered yes. Now the question arises, if Syria was not in crisis, why did Mr. Putin come to the conclusion almost a year later that he should intervene militarily on Syrian soil?” In essence this justifies Soleimani meeting with Putin about the intervention in Syria.  

The letter is part of a growing pushback against Zarif in Iran. Meanwhile, Zarif has been doing negotiations for Iran in Doha and other areas. He has also backed a ceasefire in Yemen after meeting with the Houthis. He also had a meeting in Baghdad and Kuwait. His meetings abroad are designed to show he still has worth to Tehran as members of parliament and others are displeased with his actions and disgusted by the leaked tapes. Although Iran wants to blame the West for the leaked tapes, many officials also feel disappointed in Zarif.

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Iranian families slam Zarif for slandering Soleimani – The Jerusalem Post

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