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Iranian Hardliners Seek to Impeach Foreign Minister Zarif

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18, 2017. Photo: Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili. – Iranian hardliners are looking to oust Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in the aftermath of impeaching the country’s labor, economic and education ministers.

Lawmakers are seeking answers to accusations of “money-laundering accusations against the Islamic Republic,” “failures in economic diplomacy” and “weakening the country’s defenses.”

The hardliners were apparently motivated by remarks Zarif made earlier this month over money-laundering being a problem in the regime.

“We cannot challenge the scenes set by these wealthy and mighty state-organs,” said Zarif.

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This insulted and angered most conservative legislators, who never particularly cared for the foreign minister.

Some have come to Zarif’s defense, including first deputy Morteza Sarmadi and Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad.

“Zarif has not accused the opponents of the passage of the Palermo bills of being involved in money-laundering,” noted Sarmadi. “He has only condemned individuals who are benefiting from money-laundering.”

Baeidinejad said “smuggling narcotics in Iran amounts to $3 billion, and hard currencies and goods $12.6 billion, each year. Forty million liters [about 10.5 million gallons] of fuel is smuggled out of Iran, every day.”

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