FM Zarif defends General Soleimani in last round of nuclear talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has repeatedly defended the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) in his private meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry and in one of the meetings with P5+1 ministers in the last round of nuclear talks, a source close to the negotiating team said.

This comes as some are seeking to magnify what they call divisions between the IRGC and the country’s nuclear team.

“The Iranians are thankful for the bravery and sacrifices of the revolutionary guards who defended their country against Saddam’s invasion,” the same source quoted FM Zarif as saying in response to Western ministers in one of the final sessions of nuclear talks in Vienna.

“Zarif has told the ministers that the situation in Syria and Iraq would have been different from what is now if Major General Ghasem Soleimani [the commander of IRGC’s Quds Force] had not stood up to ISIL terrorists and other extremists,” the source added.