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Politics

Zarif Calls for Unity and Citizen Involvement Post-Raisi

May 27, 2024
3 min read
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's former foreign minister, in his first comments since the helicopter crash that killed Ebrahim Raisi, has emphasized the critical importance of obtaining citizens' consent to ensure territorial integrity, marking a departure from his previous silence
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's former foreign minister, in his first comments since the helicopter crash that killed Ebrahim Raisi, has emphasized the critical importance of obtaining citizens' consent to ensure territorial integrity, marking a departure from his previous silence
Zarif's remarks comes amid strained relations with Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, triggered by the leak of an audio file containing his remarks on Qasem Soleimani's impact on Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic efforts during his final months as foreign minister
Zarif's remarks comes amid strained relations with Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, triggered by the leak of an audio file containing his remarks on Qasem Soleimani's impact on Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic efforts during his final months as foreign minister
Zarif expressed his desire that the deaths catalyze Iranian unity and progress
Zarif expressed his desire that the deaths catalyze Iranian unity and progress

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's former foreign minister, in his first comments since the helicopter crash that killed Ebrahim Raisi, has emphasized the critical importance of obtaining citizens' consent to ensure territorial integrity, marking a departure from his previous silence.

Zarif's remarks comes amid strained relations with Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, triggered by the leak of an audio file containing his remarks on Qasem Soleimani's impact on Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic efforts during his final months as foreign minister.

Notably, Zarif has been actively engaging with domestic Iranian media through various interviews. 

His recent remarks, made shortly after the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Raisi and Amirabdollahian, reflect a hopeful outlook. 

Zarif expressed his desire that the deaths catalyze Iranian unity and progress.

Central to Zarif's discourse is the concept of a "post-Western world," where "emerging power dynamics challenge Western hegemony." 

He points to recent events such as the lack of US military backing for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, China's mediation efforts between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and what he perceives as Ukraine's miscalculation regarding US support as signs of this paradigm shift.

While seemingly unrelated to Iran's domestic affairs, Zarif's underlying message serves as a cautionary note to Iranian authorities who have increasingly leaned on China and Russia for diplomatic support. 

He argues that Iran's over-reliance on these powers has led to unfavorable outcomes, as evidenced by their "cruel" behavior when realizing Iran's limited options.

Zarif questions Russia and China's preferences for Saudi Arabia over Iran, attributing it to the latter's broader diplomatic options. 

He contends that Saudi Arabia's multiple partners prevent China and Russia from exerting undue influence.

Regarding Russia's military actions in Ukraine, Zarif echoes Ali Khamenei's sentiments, condemning Ukraine's role while portraying the US as the mastermind behind the conflict. 

He suggests that the U.S. manipulated Russia into making a strategic blunder to maintain European dependence and bolster NATO, with Putin ultimately falling into this trap, albeit avoidably.

Zarif says that European governments were "getting closer to Russia in the years leading up to Russia's attack on Ukraine, and including Germany, in order to supply its energy needs, it started the Nord Stream project, which was a gas pipeline from Russia to that country, which after Russia's attack on Ukraine stopped and the United States also sanctioned it."

Directly referring to Iran, he made a brief reference to the serious issues facing the country and said that the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran is "a combination of ideology, military power, and popular support," and he insisted that this popular support should be made "believable."

Zarif stated that Iran's national interests are "one of survival, two of dignity, three of citizens' satisfaction, and four of territorial integrity," and he immediately warned, "I believe that territorial integrity cannot be guaranteed without the citizens' consent."

Some Iranian politicians and civil affairs activists are considering Zarif's candidacy in the presidential election, which will be held early on June 28 following Ebrahim Raisi's death. 

However, Zarif said that he would not be a candidate in this election or any other election. 

The former foreign minister of Iran believes that the atmosphere in Iran under the leadership of Ali Khamenei will not give him a chance to run in the elections.

 

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