Iran's president has ordered a probe into the "conspiracy" of leaked audio in which the foreign minister says the military was too influential in diplomacy, a government spokesman announced Tuesday.
President Hassan Rouhani ordered the investigation to identify who leaked the "stolen" three-hour-long recording by Mohammad Javad Zarif, the spokesman said.
The tape, which comes ahead of presidential elections in June, has dominated the discussion in the Islamic Republic since its publication by media outlets outside Iran on Sunday.
"We believe this theft of documents is a conspiracy against the government, the system, the integrity of effective domestic institutions, and also against our national interests," government spokesman, Ali Rabiei, told reporters.
"The president has ordered the intelligence ministry to identify the agents of this conspiracy," he added. The file was "stolen for clear reasons", he said, without elaborating further.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh did not deny the authenticity of the recording but said on Monday that it was cut from a seven-hour interview that included "personal opinions".
The recording was revealed by Iran International, a London-based, Farsi-language satellite news channel and it apparently contains a discussion between Zarif and Iranian economist Saeed Leylaz.
In the recording, Zarif is heard saying that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps dictates government decisions and Russia worked with slain Iranian general Qassem Soleimani to thwart the 2015 nuclear agreement.