Tuesday , 3 August 2021

Revolutionary Guards Raid President and Foreign Minister’s Offices

Iranwire – IranWire sources report that this morning officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Unit raided the offices of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

After a short altercation with the security guards of the president’s office and the Foreign Ministry, the Guards took a number of documents from the premises. 

The raids took place after government spokesman Ali Rabiei had stated that Iran’s intelligence ministry was investigating the source of a recently-leaked interview with Zarif.

The IRGC Intelligence Unit is a rival organisation to the Ministry of Intelligence, which is the country’s equivalent of the CIA and the FBI. 

In the recorded interview, which was leaked to Iran International last weekend, Zarif had told journalist and economist Saeed Leylaz that he believed Iranian diplomacy had been “sacrificed” to the regime’s military interests.

He described alleged efforts by former IRGC Quds Force commander Ghasem Soleimani and Russia to sabotage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and shared new details about the Quds Force’s regional operations.

The leak sparked widespread controversy, with various parties calling for Zarif’s resignation or impeachment. Zarif has been touring Arab countries since the tape surfaced and was in Kuwait on Thursday.

The interview was one of 33 conducted by the Presidential Center for Strategic Studies for a planned oral history project. It was set to focus on the achievements of the country’s 11th and 12th governments and was in its post-production phase at the time of the leak.

Earlier Thursday, the government announced that the head of the Center, Heshamoddin Ashena, who was overseeing the project, had “resigned” and been replaced by Rabiei.

Ashena took to Twitter to castigate the “professional bandits with political ambitions” he said were involved in sharing the tape, saying it had caused “an informative, methodical and non-confidential programming to be abused politically and in the media… It appears to be a political and security dilemma.”

Tehran Prosecutor’s Office also confirmed a lawsuit had been filed in connection with the audio file’s publication. 

Iranian state media reported on Thursday that 15 people involved in the production had been barred from leaving the country while investigations are ongoing. 

IranWire will publish a full report soon.

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