Iran's Rouhani rejects Foreign Minister Zarif's resignation

28 February, 2019, 00:44 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

"Since I consider you in the front line of resistance against broad pressures by the USA, I consider acceptance of your resignation against the expedience of the country and I do not agree with it", Rouhani reportedly told Zarif.

"As a modest servant, I have had no concern other than elevating [our] foreign policy and the credibility of the Foreign Ministry as the person in charge of advancing foreign policy and protecting national interests and people's rights in the global arena", Zarif wrote, according to Press TV.

"Since you are "honest, brave, courageous and pious",..."

Rouhani praised Zarif's "relentless efforts and endeavors" in bearing the "heavy responsibility" of the foreign affairs portfolio, and stressed that Zarif was the pointman in the conduct of Iran's foreign policy.

"As ordered several times, all bodies - including government or state bodies - must be in full coordination with this ministry with regards to foreign relations", the president said in his letter.

Zarif, acting on Rouhani's instructions, negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal that saw sanctions on Iran lifted in return from it dismantling the weapons-capable aspects of its nuclear development program.

Pressure has also mounted on Zarif since President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstalled sanctions, the BBC reports.

Resistance from hardliners against new anti-money laundering legislation hampered his efforts to secure a mechanism from the European Union to allow continued trade and investment skirting the unilateral USA measures.

Chairman of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahat Pishe has also told Tasnim, "We are still unaware whether or not the president has accepted Mr. Zarif's resignation".

The news came shortly after Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards general Qassem Soleimani said on Wednesday that Mr Zarif had the backing of the country's leader and remained the person in charge of the country's foreign policy.

Zarif posted again on Instagram this morning to thank the Iranian people and their officials for their support, saying that he had always been committed to serving his country.

The Guard's website later quoted Soleimani as offering his support to the foreign minister.

At least 150 MPs signed a letter to Mr Rouhani urging him to reject Mr Zarif's resignation and the stock market took a hit in early trading dropping over 1 per cent on the back of the news when markets opened.

His ready smile and mastery of both the English language and social media has made him a formidable diplomatic rival.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed Zarif's departure. One of his allies said his resignation was motivated by criticism of the nuclear agreement, which has come under increasingly intense fire in Iran since the United States abandoned it a year ago.



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