Iran's foreign minister resigns

26 February, 2019, 07:10 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Pool  Getty Images AsiaPac

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the urbane, US-educated architect of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, announced his resignation unexpectedly on Monday on Instagram.

"I am apologising you for all the shortcomings...in the past years during my time as foreign minister ..."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani still needs to accept the resignation.

"Zarif was a key player in the negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal with the us and other world powers".

Since the United States chose to pull out of the deal, Zarif has been a large critic of the Trump presidency.

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'Should Zarif step down, however, it is unlikely that Iran's regional or nuclear policies will see significant shifts, as these are formulated through a consultative process involving not just the diplomatic corps but military and political inputs as well'. Noting that Zarif was not pictured in any of the coverage of the visit, one online website said "the foreign minister was not informed". "We'll see if it sticks", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter. Media reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had accepted the minister's resignation although Rouhani's chief of staff denied the reports.

A spokesman for the Iranian mission to the United Nations, Alireza Miryousefi, confirmed that Zarif had submitted his resignation, the news agency said.

"A great majority of MPs demand that the president never accept this resignation", he said in a tweet. In his decision, Trump called Iran "the world's leading state sponsor of terror" and said his administration had acted decisively to confront it. As the US has attempted to rally Western and Arab support against Iran, Zarif has been one of the most vocal defenders of his government and frequently used Twitter to respond to comments made by Washington officials on the social media site.

He has served as Rouhani's foreign minister since August 2013 and has been under constant pressure and criticism by hardliners who opposed his policy of detente with the West, as well as by the Trump administration, which has hammered away at the nuclear deal he helped broker. The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says Iran still is complying with the terms of a 2015 deal that aims to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic incentives.

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