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26 Feb, 2019 15:30

Iran’s President Rouhani does not accept Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s resignation

Iran’s President Rouhani does not accept Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s resignation

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has refused to accept the resignation of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who had announced his intent to resign through Instagram.

The text of the president’s statement about his decision, also published on Instagram, was accompanied by an image showing Rouhani and Zarif together and smiling, as well as the hashtags "#Zarif_is_not_alone" and "#Zarif_is_staying" in Farsi. Earlier, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman also said that the top diplomat’s resignation was rejected.

“All interpretations and analyses surrounding the reasons behind the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, beyond what he posted on his Instagram account, are not accurate and, as the chief of staff of the president of Iran said today, the resignation has not been accepted,” spokesman Bahram Qasemi said according to Fars News Agency.

Zarif announced his resignation in a statement on Instagram on Monday.

“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.

Earlier, a majority of Iranian MPs signed a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanding Zarif continue his tenure as Iran’s top diplomat, local media reported, citing Ali Najafi Khoshroudi, a spokesperson of the parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

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A conservative lawmaker, Javad Karimi-Ghodousi, told journalists that the foreign minister has already attempted to step down 13 times, but all his resignations have been rejected.

Zarif has served as foreign minister since 2013. He led the Iranian delegation at the talks on the Iranian nuclear program and is considered a co-author of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA).

Before assuming his duties as minister, he served as Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations between 2002 and 2007. The Islamic Republic’s top diplomat also lived in the US for many years, where he received a BA and MA in international relations, as well as a PhD in international law and policy.

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