Iran’s influential hard-right daily Kayhan reported today that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has accepted responsibility for missteps during the visit of the Iranian delegation to the UN General Assembly. The first-page article carries huge banner declaring, “Zarif: Rouhani's Telephone Conversation with Obama and My Long Meeting with Kerry Were Missteps.”
Following is the English translation of key paragraphs of Kayhan’s article, which appeared on the front and the third pages of today’s edition of the paper.
“In Sunday’s meeting of the national security and foreign policy committee of the Majlis, which had been called to examine the talks (with Obama and Kerry) and other actions by the Iranian delegation during the New York visit, the committee chairman asked Dr Zarif about actions that the Supreme Leader had characterized as missteps.
“(Dr. Zarif) had responded in quite an honest manner that: ‘We (Zarif and Rouhani) thought that the talks (with Kerry) and the phone call (with Obama) were within the authority given to us, but it is our understanding that Hazrat Agha (Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) has criticized us for Dr. Rouhani’s phone conversation with Obama, he regards that as the first misstep, and my long meeting with John Kerry, and he regards it as the other misstep during out trip.’” (Kayhan, 8 October)
Photo: The first page of Tuesday’s edition of Kayhan. The huge banner reads: “Zarif: Rouhani Telephone Conversation with Obama and My Long Meeting with Kerry Were Missteps.”