The Iran Project

Ayat. Khamenei rebukes FM Zarif over leaked remarks on foreign policy

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei rebukes Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for the latter’s “wrongful” remarks about Iran’s foreign policy, the Quds Force of the country’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the force’s martyred commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a live televised speech on Sunday in reference to a leaked audio file featuring allegations by Zarif about some occasions in which the country’s foreign policy had been “sacrificed” in favor of the force’s activities.

The Leader voiced regret and surprise at the comments, calling the IRGC’s Quds Force “the biggest effective factor that prevents [enactment of] a passive diplomacy in the West Asia region.”

Therefore, “one should not talk in a way that causes foreigner’s remarks to occur to the mind,” Ayatollah Khamenei advised.

The Westerners oppose Iran’s leading an active foreign policy, and rather prefer that the country falls back under the dominion of its former Western-backed tyrannical rule of the Pahlavi regime, the Leader highlighted.

“This force carries out the policy of the Islamic Republic. The Western countries persistently want the foreign policy of Iran to come under their flag. They have been wanting this for years. Iran was under Western domination both in the later years of the Qajar dynasty and under the Pahlavi rule. The [Islamic] Revolution freed Iran of their dominion and now they are trying to restore that dominion,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

It is because of this opposition that the West frowns on any indication of such active foreign policy such as the Islamic Republic’s expanding its ties with China, Russia, and also its neighbors, the Leader stated.

The Leader said, “I know many cases wherein high-ranking officials of neighboring countries wanted to visit Iran and the Americans opposed it. We cannot step back in the face of their demand. We must act forcefully.”

Still referring to Zarif’s comments, Ayatollah Khamenei said some remarks “are repetition of the US [officials’] remarks. Suppose that Americans have been angry with Iran’s [regional] influence for many years. They were angry with Martyr Soleimani for this reason and this is why they martyred him.”

“We must not say something that would bring to mind the idea that we are repeating their remarks, both about the Quds Force and about Martyr Soleimani himself,” the Leader emphasized.

General Solaimeni was martyred along with his companions in a United States’ drone strike against Baghdad early last year.

During his lifetime, General Soleimani won reputation as the region’s most popular and decisive anti-terror commander. He was martyred while paying an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Foreign Ministry’s remit

“A country’s plans include military, scientific, cultural and diplomatic plans, and their totality makes up a country’s policy. It’s meaningless for one sector to negate the other and this is a major error, which must not be committed by the officials of the Islamic Republic,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei said nowhere in the world does the foreign ministry set a country’s foreign policy outlines, but there are higher authorities that set the main lines of a country’s foreign policy and the foreign ministry just carries out those policies.

In the Islamic Republic, the foreign policy is determined at the Supreme National Security Council in the presence of the country’s authorities, and the Foreign Ministry should implement it using its own methods, the Leader remarked. He underscored, “We must not talk in a way as if we do not accept the country’s policies and in doing so, make our enemies happy.”

Upcoming presidential elections

Meanwhile, the Leader called for the massive participation of the Iranian people in the forthcoming presidential election, warning against efforts made to dissuade people from participating in high numbers in the polls.

Ayatollah Khamenei identified such remarks as the ones that were made by the top diplomat as counterproductive discourse that discouraged a high electoral turnout. Such talk reflected previous statements made by enemies of the Islamic Republic, especially those statements, which were made to undermine the Quds Force and General Soleimani, the Leader said.

“When people take part in elections [in multitudes], no power can harm the country. Therefore, anybody who takes part in the election, makes an effort for [determining] the country’s fate and its future,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

The Leader also warned against efforts made to discourage people by casting doubts on various aspects of elections, including the governing bodies and especially the Constitutional Council.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that despite some efforts made in a number of past elections to influence the voting process and the poll results, none of those efforts were important enough to affect the final result of the polls.

The Leader added that those who want to run for the election must believe in the basic principles of the Islamic establishment and not cast doubt on them.

Ayatollah Khamenei also advised those hoping to run in the election to avoid making promises they cannot keep.

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