The spokesman of Iran’s foreign ministry has said that Mohammad Javad Zarif has “no particular goals for the next presidential election”.
Bahram Ghasemi in an answer to a question by ISNA regarding foreign minister Zarif’s attendance at a congress of Voice of Iranians political party on December 14, said that “a while ago” the general secretary of the party had invited Zarif to speak to party members “about Iran’s foreign policy, its priorities and challenges” and this was the reason for his participation at the meeting.
In that gathering Zarif had questioned Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “Eastern” policy and ruled it out as “meaningless” in what was seen as unprecedented and provocative comments.
Zarif’s comment sharply contradicted Khamenei’s October 17 statement during a meeting with a group of “academic elites and prominent scholars” , where Khamenei had said instead of pinning hopes on the West Iran “should look East”.
Several Iranian analysts have pointed out that Zarif’s unprecedented public contradiction of a Khamenei policy and his participation at a political party meeting can mean that he has intentions to be a candidate or play a role in the 2021 presidential elections.