Top advisor to Iran’s president resigns over FM Zarif’s leaked audio

Tehran (HRNW) A senior advisor to Iran’s president resigned from his post as head of a government-run think tank following allegations he was behind the leak of an audio recording in which Tehran’s foreign minister complained about the role of the military in diplomacy.

The resignation of Hesamoddin Ashena, who headed the Center for Strategic Studies – a Tehran-based think tank and research arm of the president’s office – was reported by President Hassan Rouhani’s website on Thursday.

Rouhani appointed government spokesman Ali Rabiei as the new head of the CSS, the website said.

Ashena’s resignation comes after allegations by political opponents in Iran that he was behind the leak of a “confidential” interview of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conducted by the CSS last February.

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