Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rejected the resignation of his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, a key architect of the nuclear deal whose notice shook Iran and its markets, the Washington Post reports.
“In the view of Dr Rouhani, the Islamic Republic of Iran has only one foreign policy and one foreign minister,” President Rouhani’s chief-of-staff, Mahmoud Vaezi, wrote on Instagram, the BBC said. A foreign ministry spokesman also told local media Zarif’s resignation had been rejected.
Zarif announced his resignation on Instagram on Tuesday without a clear reason. The move would have deprived Rouhani of a key supporter in pushing the Islamic Republic toward further negotiations with the West.
In his Instagram post, Zarif offered a vague “apology” for his “inability to continue” his service.
The move was believed to be in response to the exclusion of Zarif from two meetings between Rouhani and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Aljazeera reports.
Pressure has also mounted on Zarif since President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstalled sanctions, the BBC reports. Many hardliners took issue with the deal to begin with because it forced Iran to compromise its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed doubt about Zarif’s announcement in a tweet, and called him and Rouhani “front men for a corrupt religious mafia.”
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