A senior Iranian politician has revealed Qasem Soleimani’s influence in Iran’s foreign policy, including the selection of ambassadors to several countries.
Soleimani who was Iran’s top military and intelligence operative in the Middle East was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad two years ago.
Ali Akbar Salehi, who was Iran’s foreign minister under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said in interviews published on Saturday that Soleimani was directly involved in the ministry’s activities during the so-called Arab Spring.
He said he had weekly meetings with Soleimani to coordinate policies of the foreign ministry and the Qods (Quds) in regional issues, particularly regarding Syria and Iraq.
He mentioned the appointments of Peyman Jebeli, the current head of Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB, as ambassador to Tunisia and Hossein Akbari to Libya.
He also talked about Iran’s support for the revolutionaries in Libya, saying Soleimani made it possible for injured protesters to receive treatment via Iran’s Red Crescent Society.
Salehi said that he had asked Soleimani for help in his secret negotiations with the United States in early 2013 in Oman. Salehi, then the foreign minister, added that he wanted Soleimani’s support to stop “friends at home” from derailing the talks.