Did the US cut a deal with Zarif in exchange for Soleimani?

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned remarks made by former MP and leader of the hardline fundamentalist movement, Mahmoud Nubian, in which he said that Zarif had negotiated a deal with the US offering the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, in exchange for a complete lifting of the sanctions.

In a statement to reporters, quoted by the Iranian television on Wednesday, Zarif dismissed these statements and described them as “fake,” adding that he has a special relationship with General Soleimani, calling on Nubian to “apologize and repent” before filing a complaint against him.

Former MP Nubian accused Iran’s foreign minister of “betrayal” by pledging to hand over Soleimani in exchange for lifting the sanctions.

Nubian proclaimed in a speech to a crowd of his supporters in Tehran last Monday, broadcasted by Iranian agencies, that “Zarif made an agreement with the US during the nuclear negotiations with the 5 + 1 group in 2015 on the nuclear program.”

He stated that this scandal will continue to chase Zarif as long as he is alive. He added that “a year and a half after signing the nuclear agreement, the West, led by the United States, has placed a new condition for joining the FATF, saying that sanctions will be lifted provided that General Qassem Soleimani will be handed over.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassimi denied in his weekly press conference his country’s intention to extradite Soleimani in exchange for lifting the sanctions saying: “This is an unpleasant, ill-advised and arrogant statement. It is unbelievable that someone in Iran can make such misguided and wrong declarations.”

Qassimi pointed out that the policy of the Iranian Foreign Ministry is about patience and moderation, emphasizing that they did not file a complaint to the judiciary services, “but if this turns out to be a serious matter we will, because this is a big charge against government officials.”

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