In his Telegram channel, Rouhani posted a screen shot of his comments during his presidency in praise of Zarif, and wrote, “I testify that Zarif was and still is the establishment’s trustworthy messenger.”
The post came after Zarif’s newly-released Club House interview, which has raised enormous controversy in the country.
During the interview, Zarif made remarks on a range of foreign policy issues under successive Iranian presidents, namely Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Rouhani.
Zarif, a politician close to the reformist camp, defended his foreign policy concessions that led to the finalization of the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers.
The ex-foreign minister criticized the Principlist officials for trying to run the country based on “dreams” instead of abilities.
In the face of the comments, the Principlist camp attacked Zarif and questioned his credentials.
Tasnim News Agency, which is close to the Principlists, ran an article slamming Zarif for what it described as his failing to understand the difference between interacting and compromising.
Some analysts also said Zarif’s thinking was “dangerous” for Iran.