Oh My: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif Accused Of Being A ‘Traitor’ By Hardliner Over Iranian Deal

Matt Vespa
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Posted: May 27, 2015 12:31 PM
Oh My: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif Accused Of Being A ‘Traitor’ By Hardliner Over Iranian Deal

Guy has been documenting the tenuous Iranian nuclear talks over the past couple of months. As the Congress remains divided over the deal–Democrats have enough to sustain an Obama veto of the Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015–we know little of the political reality in Iran. In a leaked video, we see a hardliner, who claims to speak on behalf of the Supreme Leader–Ayatollah Khamenei– accusing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammas Zarif of being a “traitor” for agreeing to a deal with the West (via Business Insider):

Hardliner claiming to speak from the Supreme Leader heard calling Foreign Minister Zarif a 'traitor' for agreeing a deal with the West

Iranians have been captivated by a video circulating on social media that shows lawmakers arguing over the ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers.

The video, which surfaced Monday, shows Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has led the nuclear talks, and hard-line lawmaker Mahdi Kouchakzadeh in a heated exchange, apparently during a closed session of parliament.

The hard-liner calls Zarif a "traitor," claiming he speaks for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which then prompts an angry reaction from the minister.

There are speculations that the poor-quality footage was filmed and leaked by one of the lawmakers present at the session. Several lawmakers have demanded that authorities uncover the person behind the leak and prosecute the individual.

Iranians rarely get to see an unrestrained and more personal side of their officials and leaders. Unlike open parliament sessions, closed sessions such as the one where the argument took place are not broadcast on state media.

So, it appears there might be some political disagreement amongst Iranians, though it’s a moot point given that whatever the Supreme Leader says–goes.

During the negotiations, the deal would freeze Iran’s nuclear weapons program for ten years in return for the lifting of economic sanctions, which have crippled the Iranian economy. For the first time in two decades, the Iranian economy contracted. There was still some debate about the rate of lifting such sanctions; the West wanted gradual relief, while Iran wanted immediate action.

As for dealing with the agreement, Guy wrote the most opponents of this deal could do – realistically – is to delegitimize it on every media platform available “ in order to grease the skids for a Republican president to withdraw from it in 2017.”

After all, it appears Iran is (shocker!) already skirting portions on the agreement.