Iranian FM Zarif Steps Down

Iranian FM Zarif Steps Down
Photo courtesy mehrnews

TEHRAN, Iran, Feb 26, (NNN-AGENCIES) – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote late on Monday in Instagram page that he had resigned from his post.

TEHRAN, Iran, Feb 26, IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stepped down on Monday, announcing his resignation on Instagram.

“I am apologizing to you for all the shortcomings … in the past years during my time as foreign minister … I thank the Iranian nation and officials,” he wrote on his Instagram page jzarif_ir.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency confirmed the resignation, citing Abbas Mousavi, a government spokesman. There was no immediate reason offered for what prompted Zarif’s resignation.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said “some sources have confirmed Zarif’s resignation,” but it was not clear whether President Hassan Rohani would accept it. 

On Sunday, Zarif criticized Iranian hard-liners in a speech in Tehran, saying: “We cannot hide behind imperialism’s plot and blame them for our own incapability.”

“Independence does not mean isolation from the world,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a post on Twitter, dismissed Zarif and Rohani as “front men for a corrupt religious mafia.” 

“Our policy is unchanged – the regime must behave like a normal country and respect its people”, Pompeo said. 

Zarif played an important role in striking the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers. But he came under attack by anti-Western hardliners in Iran after the United States pulled out of the agreement last May and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal. 

Earlier on Monday, Syrian President Bashar Assad made an unannounced trip to Iran, where he met with the supreme leader and other top officials to discuss the planned U.S. troop withdrawal and Turkey’s efforts to set up a buffer zone in northern Syria.

Assad met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rohani on the rare trip abroad — his first to Iran since the civil war broke out in 2011.

Earlier Monday, Zarif met with members of the activist group Code Pink in Tehran, smiling as he posed for a photograph with them. However, he was not seen in images later in the day showing Assad meeting with Khamenei and Rohani.


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