Iran’s foreign minister has stressed his “long-time” friendship with Lieutenant General Qassem Solemani prior to the national hero’s martyrdom early last year, explaining that the remarks he is heard making in a leaked audio file, in which he sounds critical of some of the general’s actions, were segments from a confidential, pathologically-oriented argument meant to help boost convergence between the country’s military and diplomatic apparatus.
“I have been shouting out the vigor, humanity, pacifism and courage of Martyr Soleimani, not just before the great people of Iran and not only today, but before the entire world and for more than two decades,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday morning.
Zarif also attached a video of himself paying tribute to the late general on Tuesday while visiting a memorial built at the location of his assassination near Baghdad International Airport.
General Soleimani headed Iran’s anti-terror campaign in the region as the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force until his martyrdom, on January 3, 2020, in a drone strike directly ordered by former US president Donald Trump.
Zarif said he once again felt proud of Iranian heroes while standing next to the symbol of Trump’s desperate and criminal act.