Iran’s Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator went to hospital with pains he said were brought on by a hardline newspaper quoting him as saying President Hassan Rouhani’s phone call with President Barack Obama was a mistake.
Mr Rouhani, a relative moderate, and the US-educated Mohammad Javad Zarif led a diplomatic drive to dispel distrust of Iran’s intentions at the United Nations in New York last month. The trip culminated in the first phone call between the Presidents of Iran and the United States since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The hardline newspaper Kayhan said Mr Zarif had told parliament Mr Rouhani’s conversation with Mr Obama was a mistake.
An infuriated Mr Zarif denied this, and said the report had affected him physically. “This morning, after seeing the headline of one newspaper, I got severe back and leg pain. I couldn’t even walk or sit,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Cancelling several engagements, Mr Zarif held meetings at the ministry “while resting”.