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Rouhani Says Leak Aimed to Create 'Discord' Amid Nuclear Talks

Rouhani Says Leak Aimed to Create 'Discord' Amid Nuclear Talks

Wednesday, 28 April, 2021 - 07:15
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US, September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the leak of an audio recording of his top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, was aimed at creating "discord" in Iran during talks aimed at reviving a nuclear deal.

"It was published right when the Vienna (talks) were at the height of their success, so that it creates discord inside" Iran, Rouhani told a meeting of his cabinet in televised remarks.

Rouhani has ordered a probe to identify who leaked the "stolen" three-hour recording.

His moderate government has sought to downplay the remarks, which were leaked ahead of the June elections and as Iran and world powers discuss in Vienna ways to revive the 2015 nuclear accord.

In the interview with a think tank, Zarif describes Russia as wanting to stop the nuclear deal before it was struck under the Obama administration, suggesting Moscow wanted to keep Iran at odds with the West.

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