Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 26, 2021

Saudi Broadcaster 'Leaks' Context Free Quotes From Iran's Foreign Minister Talk - Should It Be Trusted?

A rather weird leak from Iran appeared yesterday. But even weirder is the reporting about it. From the New York Times:

Iran’s Foreign Minister, in Leaked Tape, Says Revolutionary Guards Set Policies

Javad Zarif of course did not say what the headline claims:

In a leaked audiotape that offers a glimpse into the behind-the scenes power struggles of Iranian leaders, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Revolutionary Guards Corps call the shots, overruling many government decisions and ignoring advice.

In one extraordinary moment on the tape that surfaced Sunday, Mr. Zarif departed from the reverential official line on Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the Guards’ elite Quds Force, the foreign-facing arm of Iran’s security apparatus, who was killed by the United States in January 2020.

The general, Mr. Zarif said, undermined him at many steps, working with Russia to sabotage the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and adopting policies toward Syria’s long war that damaged Iran’s interests.

If the Revolutionary Guard really 'calls the shots' and was against the nuclear deal why was it signed and sealed?

If Soleimani and/or Russia really wanted to 'sabotage the nuclear deal' why did it come into existence?

Russia by the way would have had no need to 'sabotage' the deal. It simply could have vetoed it during the negotiations or later at the UN Security Council.

“In the Islamic Republic the military field rules,” Mr. Zarif said in a three-hour taped conversation that was a part of an oral history project documenting the work of the current administration. “I have sacrificed diplomacy for the military field rather than the field servicing diplomacy.”

Well - if your ally Syria is under attack from U.S. backed Al-Qaeda terrorists and your neighbor country Iraq gets overrun by the Islamic State there is little that diplomacy can achieve. Those are issues and moments where the military is needed before diplomacy can take over.

Then comes a paragraph that is typical for the manipulative lying that distinguishes NYT scribbling from real reporting:

The audio was leaked at a critical moment for Iran, as the country is discussing the framework for a possible return to a nuclear deal with the United States and other Western powers. Talks through intermediaries have been taking place in Vienna.

It is not Iran that is discussing 'for a possible return to a nuclear deal'. Iran never left the deal. It is the U.S. that wants to reenter a deal the U.S., but not Iran, had left. Iran isn't discussing with 'the United States and other Western powers' but, through intermediaries, with the U.S. alone. That's because the other powers involved in the deal are a. not solely 'western' but include China and Russia and b. also never left the deal.

As for the authenticity of the 'leak' and real meaning of the selected few quotes from Zarif's talk consider the source:

The recording, of a conversation in March between Mr. Zarif and an economist named Saeed Leylaz, an ally, was not meant for publication, as the foreign minister can repeatedly be heard saying on the audio. A copy was leaked to the London-based Persian news channel Iran International Iran International, which first reported on the recording and shared it with The New York Times.

Iran International is not a 'London-based Persian news channel'. It is a Saudi government news channel with a studio in London that broadcasts in Farsi:

The media outlet is funded by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman via a Royal family tycoon owner and has close ties with all Saudi-backed groups and allies, including the son of the dethroned Pahlavi Regime, Reza Pahlavi and pro-Pahlavi monarchists who have long had intimate relations with Riyadh as well as the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) terrorists.

Given the source of the 'leak' and the very few context free Zarif quotes the NYT provides from it no conclusions should be drawn from them.

Posted by b on April 26, 2021 at 16:44 UTC | Permalink


National Enquirer level journalism. The truth always outs eventually.
The NYT is destroyinmg itself slowly but surely.
No doubt soon they will be headling stories like the Sunday Sport of the U.K. back in the last century.
London double decker bus found on moon.
Except the Daily Sport never took itself seriously.
Pulitzer prize journalism?
Rrize shmucks more like.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Apr 26 2021 16:58 utc | 1

Mistake 1 Destroying. Mistake 2 Headlining Mistake 3 Prize.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Apr 26 2021 17:02 utc | 2

I think Zarif (& Iran) has annoyed a lot of people (MbS & Neocons) of late and this is an attempt at payback ("You have to hit back!"). And to sow dissension in the ranks of ones enemies. How much truth there may be in the story will have to wait for more evidence, I am skeptical.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 26 2021 17:18 utc | 3

"The media outlet is funded by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman via a Royal family tycoon owner and has close ties with all Saudi-backed groups and allies, including the son of the dethroned Pahlavi Regime, Reza Pahlavi and pro-Pahlavi monarchists"

I think that should be sufficient information to speak to the quality, reliability and veracity of the "journaille" that inhabits that media space.

Posted by: Peter | Apr 26 2021 17:42 utc | 4

Goid article B.
You are correct, of course.
It may well be noting that the hit piece hit the air at the same time that foreign minister Zarif is in Baghdad discussing bilateral ties, not to mention while Iranian delegation is headed to talks in Vienna (headed by Mr. Araqchi, I believe).

Posted by: Josh | Apr 26 2021 17:47 utc | 5

A full three hour clip was published Saudi International. The quotes are a fair representation of what was said. This 'leak' seems to be the reformists campaign strategy for the upcoming presidential elections. Zarif blamed all the shortcomings of his tenure on the military, suggested that rather the diplomatic corps having to sacrifice for the military, the military should sacrifice for diplomacy. Examples he gave were for the IRGC to suspend certain operations in Syria to stop using the the Tehran Damascus air corridor to re supply Syria. He bragged about screaming at Lavrov that something was 'none of his fucking business' and portrayed China and Russia as the biggest obstacles to achieving the jcpoa deal, warning that those who wanted better relations with these powers were native and caught in a cold war mentality. This is a man who would make Gorbachov look like Che Guevara, and unfortunately maintains a relatively high personal popularity ranking. It's going to be an interesting campaign season.

Posted by: masoud | Apr 26 2021 17:47 utc | 6

This is asymmetrical warfare. It is an ongoing war. The shots over the bow are getting closer and closer to the ship. The Sauds face a good deal of pressure from the Kingdom's loss in Yemen after hundreds of billions of dollars spent on US weapons systems. Israel's recent explosion at a weapons plant and 'errant' missile landing near Dimona may be a tit-for-tat of the Natanz attack. Who knows. There is a war on.

Does it matter that the military wing of the government makes the critical decisions during an existential war against an axis of foes with evil intent? Perhaps it is the civilian government that lives in a dream world.

Posted by: gottlieb | Apr 26 2021 17:51 utc | 7

Masoud @7

Is there a full copy of the raw audio available anywhere?

(we can't use converted or normalised audio to determine anything ~ that's like comparing photopopies)

Posted by: S.O. | Apr 26 2021 18:42 utc | 8

I would tend to go with #7, Masoud. Havent seen Zarif or other Iranians questioning its authenticity. If its 3 yrs, the quoted lines make sense.

Nearing the current election season, Rouhani's and Zarif's desperation to get US back to the JCPOA is pretty obvious, which is some sense expected.

But, if the recording is true, doing it way before elections are over was suicidal..

Posted by: Seeji | Apr 26 2021 18:46 utc | 9

"Those are issues and moments where the military is needed before diplomacy can take over."

That`s a bit to easy. Both Iraq and Syria were and are international battlefields. Iran has been assisting the international regonised governments by training local militias but also had to deal with all the other parties. That naturally involves a lot of foreign policy making which is usually the task of the foreign minister. Soleimani, however, had made clear in his letter to Patreus that he alone had been responsible for Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

So for several years there had been a situation where Soleimani ran the foreign policy in the Near East while Zarif was in charge of the foreign policy in the rest of the world. The developments in the Near East do however strongly influence Irans relations to countries outside of the Near East. That left Zarif indeed with relatively little room to manouver. Soleimani was a great soldier and competent commander but he wasn`t a trained diplomat and foreign policy expert like Zarif.

Posted by: m | Apr 26 2021 18:48 utc | 10

thank you, m. the usa/israel although extremely sensitive about election meddling have no problem with regime change. i suspect there may be a small connection between saudi sudden interest in leaking this & the upcoming election.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Apr 26 2021 19:07 utc | 11

dealing with the USA doesn´t need too much diplomatic skill because diplomacy, to have full effect, should be carried out between two almost equivalent powers. if negotiations are seated on a wobbly military substrate then diplomacy is an uncomfortable accessory.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Apr 26 2021 19:10 utc | 12

Posted by: masoud | Apr 26 2021 17:47 utc | 7

Poor attempt at dis-info.
Trawl somewhere else.

Posted by: Mann Friedman | Apr 26 2021 19:15 utc | 13

Lol at the hasbara troll "Masoud" at 7. Shlomo, how's the weather in Tel Aviv? Have you come out of your hiding spot since the syrian rocket penetrated your iron dome?

Posted by: Humbert Humbert | Apr 26 2021 19:18 utc | 14

Mr. m

Diplomacy is the craft of risk management as risk minimization in the international arena.

Yet a successful diplomacy must be predicated on hard power for the most part, especially for Iran and the Iranian people.

To be concrete: no amount of diplomacy could have prevented the invasion of Iran in 1941 by USSR and UK.

Only hard power, sufficient to the task, could do so - which Iranians lacked.

When Judeo-Christain Mad King and his Vassals invaded and destroyed Iraq, all bets for diplomacy between the United States and Iran were off - as Americans say.

That was when battle-hardened men such as the late martyred Brigadier General Soleimani were needed to thwart - by any and all means necessary - the plans of the Mad King and his Christian Minions.

And as the Mad King escalated her war to Syria and Libya (destroying Libya), only facts on the ground could alter her plans.

The Mad King waged a very excellent diplomatic offensive against Iran which the Iranian diplomats - led by Mr. Zarif - eventually checked, stopped, and neutralized through the instrument called JCPOA.

It is fair to say that the late martyred General Soleimani could not have accomplished that.

But it must be borne in mind that without the hard power that the Iranians had created, the United States would not have conceded the point about enrichment on Iranian soil; that the only way to make sure Iranians were not building a nuclear weapon somewhere in Iran, was to invade and occupy Iran - for which the United States did not have and does not have enough soldiers.

JCPOA was a risk-management and risk-minimization instrumentality predicated on the hard capabilities of the Iranian state.

One can debate the points and complaints that Mr. Zarif had raised in this interview quite legitimately. Unfortunately, the man who could respond to some of his remarks is now dead and cannot defend himself and the policies that he had pursued - under orders of Mr. Khamenei.

Mr. Zarif might honestly and genuinely believe that a better relationship with the United States is possible. I do not. And I have articulated my view points on this before: you cannot have good relationships with deranged dishonorable men who are motivated by religious passion.

Again, to be concrete, when the US Intelligence Assessment on Nuclear Iran was leaked in 2007 - to stop the drive for a US War with Iran - the United States had the political cover to settle with Iran at the strategic level.

But the Judeo-Christians did not want that, they wanted Iran to be destroyed - in a manner similar to Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan - to never a pose to their mad-hatter project in Palestine. And in Mr. Trump they found the kindred soul to carry forward their program.

Mr. Zarif is either unaware of the religious aspects of US policies in the Middle East, or is dismissive of them - like all those people who are trained in the political philosophies of the Enlightenment Tradition - or discounts that influence and still think a substantive deal with US-EU could be forged.

I imagine there are many more than just I who would disagree with Mr. Zarif on these points.

It is hard for me to see how Mr. Zarif could benefit from this leak - his words seem to have impugned the shining memory of the dear national hero of Iran, the late martyred Brigadier General Soleimani.

In my opinion, there is no chance that he could be elected to the Iranian presidency after this.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 26 2021 19:33 utc | 15

thanks b... i see it like @ 6 peter..... Iran International funded by the clown prince... at least he is doing some propaganda leg work for the usa here, lol... a hit piece which didn't neglect mentioning russia a few times in the typical light they are constantly shown in the usa... what's not to like about the hit piece?? it has a little bit of everything for everyone...

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2021 19:39 utc | 16

Mr. masoud

I generally agree with you.

And the refrain of the so-called Reformists is always the same - this or that state position is not endowed with enough power; the Presidency does not have enough power and neither does the Foreign Ministry.

They never state why they contest and run for those positions if they are so powerless!

"Why did you not resign?" is what should have been asked of Mr. Zarif.

If the Reformist are indeed behind this leak, they have massively damaged themselves.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 26 2021 19:40 utc | 17

Why give the interview

Who was the interview with

Who had the tapes

Zarif whether you believe the content or not comes across as rather arrogant and naive

Rude to irans only allies China and Russia

Iran biggest mistake was getting into the nuclear deal now it is used a leaverage against them

More and more sanctions were the consequence

Solemani was correct about the jcpoa - he may not be a diplomat but he was correct on this deal

Iran after the deal was signed couldn't wait to do deals with the west showing a real shortsighted behaviour to Russia and China

Zarif should retire

Posted by: James2 | Apr 26 2021 19:47 utc | 18

A country that is virtually under siege by foreign powers defers to its military.

So what's our excuse (in the West) for doing the same?

Pot calling the kettle black.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 26 2021 19:55 utc | 19

Has Zarif confirmed it's him on the recording? CIA and Israeli intelligence are perfectly capable of reproducing a voice.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Apr 26 2021 20:13 utc | 20

It would be interesting to know why at this time, ahead of upcoming Presidential elections in Iran, the conversation between Javad Zarif and the Saudi envoy was leaked by the Saudi-funded Iran International, to be further embellished by the NYT. Is the NYT trying to talk up Zarif as a possible Presidential candidate? Zarif has lived and studied in the US in the past, and was one of the diplomats who worked on the JCPOA.

I should think Zarif's comments on the leaked tape are not out of the ordinary - diplomats probably complain all the time about diplomacy being shunted aside by politicians in favour of military solutions, and often they are right to do so, depending on the context - and Zarif himself, by telling the envoy his comments were not for publication, was clearly blowing off some of the steam diplomats inevitably accumulate. So there is clearly a reason that at this time in 2021 some of his comments were deliberately picked out of context and made into something by the Saudis and Americans, and their MEK terrorist allies in Albania, with a view to influencing Iranian public opinion against the Iranian govt and the IRGC.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 26 2021 20:20 utc | 21

Ms. Jen

This file was leaked by an Iranian faction. Which one? Who knows.

The so-called Reformists created the political crisis of 2009 - largely in Tehran.

The Conservatives, arrange to attack and set on fire the Saudi Embassy.

Neither of these factions has discipline or judgement - regardless of their lofty ideals.

I have, over time, come to appreciate the necessarily role that the Office of the Supreme Jurisconsult of Iran plays in maintaining balance among these foolish men and women.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 26 2021 20:42 utc | 22

Mr. Serge

They have been saying this for 22 years.

There could be redundant, hardened, undeclared - but un-activated - sites in Iran for uranium enrichment.

Any attack on the declared sites will lead to Iran's withdrawal from NPT.

Their call.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 26 2021 20:48 utc | 23

The NYT article turns the truth on its head, as b points out - why would Russia bother conspiring with the Iranian military to overturn JCPOA when it was the USA that left (one clearly-announced campaign promise that Trump ended up keeping)?

However, Iran has suffered several major setbacks over the last year and a half - apart from the killing of Soleimani, probably unstoppable, the assassination of the leading nuclear scientist (his name escapes me) and the recent sabotage at the Natanz nuclear facility were clearly serious intelligence failures of the Iranian intelligence services.

Posted by: B. Wildered | Apr 26 2021 20:54 utc | 24

Zarif is part of pro-west intellectuals who have a pathological hatred of Russia. His group will lose big in the next election in Iran, so he desperately tries to show the Bidan administration that he and his group are as Russiaphobe as them.

He is also very jealous of Mr. Soliemani's popularity, as he repeats it several times. He is trying to destroy Soliemani's memory and make him to look like a Russian agent.

I believe Zarif's damage to his country was much greater than anything Israel has done against it.

Posted by: NN | Apr 26 2021 21:24 utc | 25

Like everywhere else, the political struggle in Iran happens between Sovereigntist camp and Liberal camp.

IRGC was always against the deal citing security reasons and warned of sabotage attacks and assassinations- time proved them right... as always

Liberals had their way... as always
They were let down by the US... as always
And they try to blame their opponents... as always

Posted by: Parsi | Apr 26 2021 21:28 utc | 26

Odd no mentioned of President Hassan Rouhani, but then Saudi Arabia is a US/Israeli puppet too.

Did you notice Israel always knows where and when to strike? The Iranians knew they had a mole in the top brass, and so they hired Commander Qasem Soleimani to investigate and neutralize it.

Commander Qasem Soleimani became so popular that he was asked to replace President Hassan Rouhani as president, but then suddenly he was assasinated?

President Hassan Rouhani, was the man who gave the nod and intel to the US/Israeli intelligence to kill his political rival and enemy, Commander Qasem Soleimani.

President Hassan Rouhani was the mastermind of the Iran Contra deal. Rohani was the first contact with Israel and the United States during the Iran-Contra affair. He and his protege Rafsanjani made off like bandits with the Americans and Israelis.

President Hassan Rouhani is an Israeli puppet. He is good friends with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’ brother and invites him to his home on a regular basis.

President Hassan Rouhani Vetoed/stopped the Iranian government to giving money to Hamas to help in their war with Israel. Why would you not help your allies in the war against Israel? Because President Hassan Rouhani is an US/Israeli puppet Through the connections he made in the Iran Contra deal. His orders were to not let the Iranians finance Hamas.

President Hassan Rouhani his sidekick Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry secretly negotiated the division of the Greater Middle East. It was only after a secret protocol was signed in 2015 that the other negotiators were invited to formalise the previously agreed accord in Lausanne and then to sign it in Vienna.

President Hassan Rouhani placed former President Ahmadinejad under house arrest for a while and arrested his entire entourage one by one. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who had represented him in the 2013 elections, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for "plotting against the Islamic Republic". Hamid Baghaie, who represented him in the 2017 elections, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a secret trial of which nothing is known, not even the grounds for prosecution.
President Ahmadinejad was sincerely anti US/Israel. So Rouhani got rid of him and everyone who was very anti US/Israel in the Iranian Government, including Commander Qasem Soleimani.

Iran needs to get rid of President Hassan Rouhani If they really want to kick Israel’s and US butt.

Posted by: Me Happy | Apr 26 2021 22:27 utc | 27

@S.O. #9
Yep, you can listen to it here.

Posted by: masoud | Apr 26 2021 22:38 utc | 28

@ James2 | Apr 26 2021 19:47 utc | 19

According to Fox...
So, if somebody can fin Khatibzadeh original quote..

After the leak became public, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh did not dispute the tape's authenticity. He told journalists on Monday that the recording represented just a portion of a seven-hour interview Zarif gave to a well-known economist that was to be held for posterity by a think tank associated with the Iranian presidency.

Khatibzadeh called the release of the recording "illegal" and described it as "selectively" edited, though he and others did not offer opinions on how it became public. Zarif, visiting Iraq on Monday after a trip to Qatar, took no questions from journalists after giving a brief statement in Baghdad.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 26 2021 23:06 utc | 29

B Wildered @ 26:

The assassinated nuclear scientist's name was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Fakrhizadeh was IRGC himself and had been working on a COVID-19 vaccine research project. So there may well be rivalry between the IRGC and a network in the Rouhani govt represented by the Iranian Foreign Minister. It's not just Zarif being peeved at Qasem Soleimani's popularity. We've got factions here.

Me Happy @ 29:

Thierry Meyssan may well be correct that Hassan Rouhani may be a mole or have a mole / moles in his government. There is also the possibility that Iranian intelligence itself is infested with moles.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 26 2021 23:27 utc | 30

Ms. Jen

And those who leaked the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate were Iranian moles in USG?

Or was Mr. Bush II an Iranian agent, destroying Iran's enemies?

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 26 2021 23:40 utc | 31

To answer some questions, it doesn't seem like there are any edit in the first hour and fourty two minutes except a single announced break that they took. Haven't had the time to listen to the full thing. I tend to think it's just a complete half of the entire interview. The 'interviewer' was Saeed Laylaz, Iran's most prominent neoliberal economist. I'm sure a video version will be forth coming, since they keep referencing pictures on some screen, followed by a part two. Also we can date the interviews, based on what was discussed (Biden administration, interviews recently given to regional Arab news channels etc...) To late February of this year.

Posted by: Masoud | Apr 27 2021 0:03 utc | 32

Bush II couldn't point out Iran on a Map.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 27 2021 0:04 utc | 33

Lots of misdirection here. Masoud's post cover about the same conclusions as those I reached after reading the article in the NYT (bypass paywalls is your friend) yesterday Aotearoa time.
Zarif is trying to buttress the so called reformists who are likely to get quite the kicking in the elections as JCPOA was their only success, Iran's other successes have been military & are thanks largely to General Suleimani, given that since his murder Iran's strategic military successes have been less frequent.
If there are any hasbara trolls in this thread I would rate serg, Humbert Humbert and Mann Friedman at the top of the list of likeliest suspects. But throwing tosh like that about is easy and such divisive attacks are most often put out by hasbara operatives as a means to sideline real issues.
The only real question is are the reformist faction so desperate to cling to power that they would have truck with Iran's enemies in Saudi, occupied palestine & amerika or are they just simple-minded enough to get duped by them.
Every time something which can be twisted to cast Iran in an aggressive light hits the corporate media, it assists amerikan warmongers somewhat and nuttyahoo a lot.
Nuttyahoo's only route to clinging on to political power in occupied Palestine is if the zionists are kept in such a heightened state of fear by his government's deceit, provocation & insinuation that the zionist voters decide having a corrupt government is the only alternative to being "driven into the sea by Arabs".

Nuttyahoo has gotten away with this play about 5 times now, though it is getting more difficult because as has been pointed out by fyi upthread the zionists have been whining that Iran is just about to attack them for 22 years and even the idiotic zionists are starting to see through this. It's taken a while but that is how it goes when a society run by sociopaths only allows fellow sociopaths sufficient access to the ballot box to effect any change.

The best outcome to hope for is that it is the Iranian electorate who pays most heed to this cock-up or conspiracy and a so-called conservative government takes power, one like the previous 'conservative' government which values all Iranians and not just the wealthy ones.
Personally I had a lot of time for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose domestic policies were aimed at supporting the average Iranian shitkicker rather than the elites but I can see why some would judge him as being too bombastic to effectively handle fukusI, where a delicate touch is needed to ensure those arseholes are waylaid by internal conflicts about division of any spoils that can be glommed outta Iran via a treaty, so that an agreement never happens.
Iran has zilch to gain from any agreement with any/all major western powers since none of that mob keep their word - ever.
This 'leak' if it was a leak & not just a slimy reform party stunt, aptly illustrates the 'wests' mendacity, Zarif kindly grants an interview with a fellow academic, emphasising that his comments are not for publication, yet there they are in print in the biggest zionist propaganda rag of the west, the new york times.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 27 2021 0:04 utc | 34

Hi Fyi,

It's been a long time! Good to see you active and in good health

Posted by: masoud | Apr 27 2021 0:05 utc | 35

Qui bono? There are already calls for Kerry's head.
I'll wait to hear the full recording to form an opinion.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 27 2021 1:05 utc | 36

@masoud @fyi @NN @Parsi

Thank you for your explanations.

Are all Reformists as naïve about the West as Mr. Zarif, or is it just some subgroup of Reformists?

Posted by: S | Apr 27 2021 1:19 utc | 37

If this is true, it indeed proves that the most dangerous enemies are always inside.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 27 2021 1:20 utc | 38

Mr S

I cannot answer your question.

The Reformists are fake Liberals.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 27 2021 1:40 utc | 39

Mr. Masoud

Thank you and hope that you are staying healthy as well.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 27 2021 1:41 utc | 40

Qui bono? There are already calls for Kerry's head.
I'll wait to hear the full recording to form an opinion.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 27 2021 1:05 utc | 38

[Zarif + Kerry]? Does somebody want to hit two birds with one stone? Or who/what is targeted.


FOX, Nikki and al. to the rescue

"New York Times 'buried' bombshell that John Kerry told Iran about Israeli covert operations in Syria"

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 27 2021 3:18 utc | 41

Has anyone here listened to this recording? Is there 180 minutes of good solid content? There's nothing like a bit of induced boredom to make someone lose concentration. The fact that NYT had to interpret it for its readers, and tell a couple of porkies about the content, suggests that it's not as convincing as NYT might have preferred. Imo, if you can enhance a story by re-interpreting it, you can enhance an audio track by mucking around with it in a Digital Recording/Sampling studio.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 27 2021 3:45 utc | 42

No offence intended but I cannot understand why anybody still spends time debunking relentless NYT lies and drivel ... thinking people already know what a discredited waste of space it is, and those that read & believe it's BS are long since past any hope of seeing it for the festering corpse it is. TEP.

Posted by: TEP | Apr 27 2021 4:28 utc | 43

@ s

Yes, the entire 'reform' movement, lock stock and barrel, are of the same neoliberal westoxified ilk.
There may be some other groups or politicians seeking specific fundamental changes to one extent or another, and Iran's political landscape is more complicated than reformists vs others but the term 'reformist'(islahat) is used exclusively by these folks.

Theses people are going to go for broke and try to replicate their 2009 green movement nonsense.

Posted by: masoud | Apr 27 2021 5:36 utc | 44


Audio posted above, and it's clear as a bell. No interpretation needed. I've only read the headlines, but from this alone, the weight of all this is being severely underplayed.

Posted by: masoud | Apr 27 2021 5:41 utc | 45

@ masoud

Wouldn't this better for Iran govt since they have direct evidences to clean house?

Posted by: Smith | Apr 27 2021 6:55 utc | 46

This never happened
According to RT, Kerry is denying telling Iran FM of Israeli strikes on Syria. Makes you wonder how much of the tape is true. BTW, Iran like Syria has learnt the hard way not to respond to just about every accusation in the western MSM particularly when the claims might have originated from Mossad. Even replying to a lie is treated by the MSM as validating the original claim.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 27 2021 10:29 utc | 47

Let me guess: the US government, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are trying to stir up trouble because they've got nothing; no arguments and no honesty, no sticks and a pathological aversion to carrots when it comes to the JCPOA.

Worse they know what everyone else at the table that they themselves are not allowed to sit at or be in the same room as thinks about them.

There's also the freebie or two or three. Perhaps complicating the recent thaw in diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran? Perhaps complicating the Saudi public relations drive with the tourism and the motorsports?

Whether the encouragement towards Iranian infighting that we can see displayed in this thread is relevant can be left for the Iranians to figure out because some of the arguments by commenters here are quite extraordinary and seem to require extraordinary proof as well as direct behind the scenes knowledge.

All that aside it also seems to be that Iran could easily use this behavior as an example in private to ask that US not only not be allowed to be in the same room but not in the same building or city… I mean come on someone in the US is obviously pissing in their own drinking water here (the "maximum pressure" indeed).

Who's next to give Iran even more arguments, justifications, and support both in relation to the JCPOA and against the illegal sanctions that are in breach of the UN charter?

There's more (Israel during the last year, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Norway, Japan, South Korea, and on and on) but I shortened my comment.

· · · · ·

I think Biden might be personally in charge of US foreign policy! XD (joking!).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Apr 27 2021 12:13 utc | 48

I should have written "people in" before "the US government, Israel, and Saudi Arabia" right at the beginning. I edit my comments too much or not enough :(

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Apr 27 2021 12:20 utc | 49

To FYI #8

Zarif did resigned , guess who mediate for his change of mind. Soleimani.

Zarif should have been fired long ago.

Posted by: Loyal | Apr 27 2021 13:01 utc | 50

Saeed Laylaz ( Who interviewed him on the tape) is close friend of Zarif and convict.

Laylaz was tried in a court known as the defendants in the Velvet coup d'etat case. The charges against him were announced as "propaganda against the regime, possession of classified documents, and communication with foreigners."

Much like Trump interview Bob Woodward and expect secrecy

Posted by: Loyal | Apr 27 2021 13:57 utc | 51

Mr. Loyal

Yes, I had forgotten that case - resigned like a spoilt child because he was not made aware of Dr. Assad's trip to Tehran.

He had been given a very important portfolio - JCPOA as well as all countries outside of the Middle East - guess that was not enough.

That is what struck me about the Iranian cabinet members - they do no seem to understand that they are working for someone else - at that person's pleasure.

"It is my domain..." - read "it is my fief..."

The late General Soleimani understood that everything he was and he had he owed to the Islamic Revolution - in the absence of which he would have been at best a builder in Kerman.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 27 2021 15:18 utc | 52

Zarif stilldefebd Dorry Esfahani member of his nuclear negotiating team.

Dorry is Canadian Iranian ( British educated and recruited) who worked with the U.S. Treasury Committee and was in charge of the British Division Committee before revolution.
He was arrested, sentenced to jail for spying for US/British.

He '"was not just a negotiator or advisor in the discussion of monetary and banking issues, one of the parts of this documentary he admits to participating in the Presidential Mondays meetings, which were strategic economic meetings, and at that meeting all the economic secrets of the Iranian nation were on the table and gave a copy of those documents in the form of an information package in a hotel attended by U.S. Representative Jack Straw in Dubai and A high-ranking MI6 officer in London has handed over to the UK and the US, after which he was thanked during a call for the strategic information provided to them.

"Dori Esfahani was using her watch provided by British spy service that was in her possession in our internal negotiations meetings to record these negotiations and provide the files to this spy

Posted by: Loyal | Apr 27 2021 16:10 utc | 53

This is a cover for the REAL story the public NEEDS to know:

“The United States Had Persuaded Brazil To Deny The Vaccine Approval”

Posted by: It’s 1984 | Apr 27 2021 18:08 utc | 54


I believe it is the leadership's determination that unless the ouster odd the reformists takes place via a political process, this would leave the country open internal strife.

Posted by: masoud | Apr 29 2021 1:35 utc | 55

Ghost Ship | Apr 27 2021 10:29 utc | 49

This never happened

US climate envoy John Kerry has denied passing information on Israeli military ops in Syria to his one-time Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who made the claim in leaked audio, enraging GOP critics.
A controversial recording leaked to the New York Times on Sunday captured a far-reaching, hours-long discussion between Zarif and economist Saeed Leylaz. At one point in the sit-down, the Iranian FM says Kerry informed him that Tel Aviv had carried out more than 200 strikes on “Iranian interests” in Syria, a revelation Zarif reportedly called “astonishing.”

“astonishing.”? Does he mean that he didn't know?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 29 2021 11:09 utc | 56

Interesting that the revelations came from the Saudis right after FM Zarif met in Oman with Houthi/Ansarallah spokesman Abdul Salam.

So rule number one is never trust anything the Saudis say or do. Especially bin Salman.

Posted by: grampa mike | May 2 2021 21:25 utc | 57

Yesterday the Supreme Leader of Iran gave a live speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Ali PBUH,and among some major topics he also provided his assessment about the situation surrounding the interview. His words were calm , decisive and well selected, as usual ,and in my opinion he closed zarif's political future for good.
Now zarif can meet with horeseface kerry as much as he likes ,may be obama can also join them, to hell with all of them.

Posted by: Sammy | May 3 2021 16:29 utc | 58

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