Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to opposition lawmakers' questions in the Parliament on Monday and said he has defended Iran's missile program more than anyone else..
"I have played my role by defending all of the policies of the Islamic Republic. Nobody has defended Iran's missile force as much as I have," Zarif told the Parliament.
Zarif's remarks came in response to criticism from hardliners and their affiliated media who accuse him of "weakening" the position of the Islamic Republic by saying that the United States can disable Iran's defense system "with one bomb", admitting on camera that money-laundering in Iran is a fact, and his choice of Iranian ambassadors in other countries, among other things.
"His remarks persuade the enemy [to take a harder position against Iran]. Our defense power strengthens our position in negotiations … The enemy is persuaded when Mr. Zarif says increasing the number of missiles does not create peace when there is a military exercise underway in the Persian Gulf," Mojtaba Zolnur, Chairman of the Parliament's National Security Committee said in the Parliament session.
In his statement to the Parliament Zarif said the controversial remarks attributed to him stemmed from selective quots from his speech by a certain [hardliner] news agency.
Zolnour also criticized Zarif's earlier admission that money-laundering is widespread in Iran. The hardliner lawmaker blamed Zarif that such admissions will increase the costs of any trade arrangement with Europe.
Regarding money-laundering Zarif pointed out that the Iranian government is accused of money-laundering because Iran is refusing to join international anti-money laundering conventions such as the UN Financial Action Task Force (FATF).