Iran FM asks Soleimani family for 'forgiveness' after leak
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Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm, was killed in a US airstrike in neighbouring Iraq last year.
Media outside Iran published the three-hour recording of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last Sunday, triggering a heated debate ahead of presidential elections and amid talks with world powers in Vienna to revive a nuclear deal.
"The pure feelings of those who love the great martyr Major General Qasem Soleimani and his family, especially his brave daughter Zeinab -- who is as dear to me as my own children -- have been hurt," Zarif added.
Zeinab Soleimani posted a photo Tuesday on Twitter showing her father's hand shortly after being assassinated, calling it "the cost" paid by those in "the field for the sake of diplomacy".
"In the Islamic republic the military field rules," Zarif said in the recording, quoted by the New York Times. "I have sacrificed diplomacy for the military field rather than the field servicing diplomacy."
"If I knew a word of them would be published publicly I would not have said them," Zarif said.