Iran’s president rejects resignation of Foreign Minister Zarif


Source: Iran’s president rejects resignation of Foreign Minister Zarif – Israel Hayom

Senior Revolutionary Guard commander: Zarif main person in charge of Iran’s foreign policy and has support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei • Former official: Resignation could have domino effect Iran cannot tolerate under pressure of U.S. sanctions.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff // published on 27/02/2019
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected on Wednesday the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, standing by an ally long targeted by hard-liners in internal factional struggles over a 2015 nuclear deal with the West.

Zarif – a U.S.-educated veteran diplomat who helped craft the pact that curbed Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief – announced his resignation on Instagram on Monday.

“As the supreme leader has described you as a ‘trustworthy, brave and religious’ person in the forefront of resistance against widespread U.S. pressures, I consider accepting your resignation against national interests and reject it,” Rouhani said in a letter published on state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

In another show of confidence, senior Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani said Zarif was the main person in charge of Iranian foreign policy and he was supported by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On Wednesday, Zarif thanked Iranians for their support.

“As a modest servant, I have never had any concern but elevating the foreign policy and the status of the foreign ministry,” he added in an Instagram post.

After Rouhani’s announcement, the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency reported that Zarif had attended a ceremony to welcome Armenia’s prime minister to Tehran.

Zarif gave no specific reasons for his resignation.

But his move thrust the schism between Iran’s hard-liners and moderates into the open, effectively challenging Khamenei to pick a side.

The schism between hard-liners and moderates over the nuclear deal shows the tension in Iran between the two factions and between the elected government which runs the country on a day-to-day basis and a clerical establishment with ultimate power.

An ally of Zarif told Reuters his resignation was motivated by criticism of the nuclear accord, under increasingly intense fire in Iran since the United States abandoned it last year.

Since the United States walked out of the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions, Rouhani has had to explain to critics why Iran has continued to abide by its restrictions while reaping virtually none of the foreseen economic benefits.


The political uncertainty comes at a difficult time for Iran’s leaders as the reimposed U.S. sanctions have dashed hopes of an economic breakthrough. Rouhani has warned that the country is facing the worst economic crisis in 40 years.

Hardships have triggered waves of nation-wide protests, with calls for both Rouhani and clerical leaders to step down.

Some unconfirmed Iranian media reports indicated Zarif had resigned because he had not been informed about a visit by Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday.

Zarif was quoted as condemning “factional fighting” in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday – suggesting political tensions may have played a part in his decision. The Fars news agency reported that the interview had taken place last week, before Zarif’s resignation.

A former pro-reform official warned of dire consequences of Zarif’s resignation is accepted.

“If accepted, it will have a domino effect … and others and even Rouhani might follow him, and this is not something that the country can tolerate when pressured by America and sanctions,” he said.

“Hard-liners will be strengthened and any kind of reform will be buried for at least 10 years.”


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One Comment on “Iran’s president rejects resignation of Foreign Minister Zarif”

  1. Kavan Says:

    Off topic: the butcher of Syria has a tango with the butcher of Iran. When one lover is taller than the other one, photoshop resolves the problem. Homo patheticus stupidus !!
    The picture is from one of the numerous propaganda sites of the regime.

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