Iran’s foreign minister issued a public mea culpa to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday — after the underling made politically embarrassing comments that were leaked last week.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had criticized his country’s revered late Gen. Qassem Soleimani — as well as claiming that it took former US Secretary of State John Kerry to inform him of more than 200 secret Israeli attacks on Iranian interests in Syria under then-President Trump.
“I am so sorry that part of my comments were stolen and published for misuse by enemies of the country and its people, and that it caused you, supreme leader, to feel regret,” Zarif wrote on Instagram.
His apology surfaced after Khamenei on Sunday appeared to rip him in a televised speech.
Iran’s Supreme Leader did not mention Zarif’s name — but he talked about “a big mistake that must not be made by an official of the Islamic Republic’’ and called the leaked comments “a repetition of what Iran’s enemies say.
“Some remarks have been heard from officials that are regrettable and surprising,” the ayatollah said.
Zarif’s leaked comments were part of a lengthy interview with an Iranian economist on behalf of Iran’s government that reportedly weren’t supposed to be published but instead kept for posterity.
During the sit-down, the foreign minister said the ayatollah and Iran’s military kept him in the dark about government operations, leaving it to Kerry to inform him of the Israeli attacks. Kerry served as US secretary of state under former President Obama starting in 2013 till President Trump took office in 2017.
Kerry has denied that he supplied Zarif with the intel — but Republican lawmakers are demanding a federal probe into the US’s current climate czar over his alleged loose lips on matters of national security.
Zarif had also criticized Soleimani over the late general’s relationship with Russia, among other things. After the Iranian war hero was killed by a US airstrike at Baghdad’s airport in 2020, millions of Iranian’s flooded the streets to mourn him.
With Post wires
Iranian foreign minister issues mea culpa over leaked John Kerry comments Wire Services/ New York Post.