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Iran orders probe into leaked Zarif audio ‘conspiracy’

Iran’s president has ordered a probe into the “conspiracy” of leaked audio in which the foreign minister says the military is too influential in diplomacy, a government spokesman announces.

President Hassan Rouhani orders the investigation to identify who leaked the “stolen” three-hour-long recording by top diplomat and member of his moderate government Mohammad Javad Zarif, the spokesman says.

The tape, which comes ahead of presidential elections in June, has dominated the discussion in the Islamic Republic since its publication by media outlets outside Iran on Sunday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during talks in Moscow, Russia, January 26, 2021. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

“We believe this theft of documents is a conspiracy against the government, the system, the integrity of effective domestic institutions, and also against our national interests,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei tells reporters.

“The president has ordered the intelligence ministry to identify the agents of this conspiracy,” he adds. The file was “stolen for clear reasons,” he says, without elaborating further.

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