Iran’s president orders Intelligence Ministry to identify those responsible for leaked Zarif audio

The Iranian administration says President Hassan Rouhani has ordered the country’s Intelligence Ministry to identify those behind leaking excerpts from an interview with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that was meant to be confidential, censuring the move as a conspiracy against national interests.

“The audio file was released by a vengeful television network, which is funded by petrodollars and has been fervently supporting the sufferings and intimidation of the Iranian nation ever since it was established. This is indicative of the fact that the interview was broadcast conspiratorially and selectively,” Ali Rabiei, the administration’s spokesman, made the remarks at a media briefing in Tehran on Tuesday.

The leaked tape had been recorded on February 24 as part of an “oral history” research scheme by Iranian economist Saeed Laylaz and was first released by a London-based TV channel funded by Saudi Arabia, which calls itself “Iran International.”

“This theft of documents is a conspiracy against the administration, the establishment, domestic unison as well as our efficient and honorable institutions. It is a conspiracy against our national interests,” Rabiei said. “The president has ordered the Intelligence Ministry to identify the agents of this conspiracy.”

Iranian authorities are waiting for Zarif to return from his trip to neighboring Iraq and offer the necessary explanations in order to clear up the misunderstandings, he added.

He added that “this file is indeed a cherry-picked excerpt from a very long interview, which was leaked for the sake of wicked intentions.”