Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is known for his major role in striking the nuclear deal, announced his resignation from his position on Monday.
Although Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for the Iranian mission to the UN, confirmed Zarif’s announcement of his resignation, it has been reported that Rouhani did not accept his resignation, according to CNBC.
According to Reuters, Zarif did not provide any reason for his sudden change of heart, while it is speculated that his resignation is related to Bashar Al-Assad’s visit to Iran on Monday. Syria’s President Al-Assad met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian President during his visit, which was his first since 2011.
Zarif criticized by Iranians over a nuclear deal
While Zarif played a major role in making sure that the nuclear deal came to fruition, he was harshly criticized by Iranians who are against the West and the United States. The American government imposed sanctions on Iran again after their withdrawal from the agreement last May.
Zarif shared his resignation on social media, stating on Instagram, “Many thanks for the generosity of the dear and brave people of Iran and its authorities over the past 67 months. I sincerely apologise for the inability to continue serving and for all the shortcomings during my service. Be happy and worthy.’
“Go to hell” – Abbasi
Hassan Abbasi, an ex-commander of the Revolutionary Guards, previously made a speech in which he argued that Zarif would be spat on by the people of Iran along with many people in government who supports the nuclear agreement.
“Rouhani, Zarif and (parliament speaker Ali) Larijani, go to hell!” Abbasi said during his speech, according to Iranian media.
In the meantime, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on social media, “Our policy is unchanged – the regime must behave like a normal country and respect its people,” expressing the US position in terms of relations with Iran.
Politicians and lawmakers have been urging the Iranian President to reject Zarif’s resignation, holding that such an action would be against Iran’s national interests.