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Iranian President Rejects Foreign Minister’s Resignation

The office of the Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday confirmed the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, however, said the president said it is unacceptable.

President Rowhani said the Foreign Minister is courageous in the discharge of his duties and he will continue to receive the government support.

He said, “Zarif had carried out his work courageously and would continue to do so.

“Zarif will not be alone and we [the government] will all support him,’’ the president’s office said on its Instagram page.

Zarif surprisingly announced that he would be stepping down from the post via an Instagram post on Monday.

Many local observers react to the timing of the announcement, as they predicted that Rowhani would reject it.

Many conversations ensued over his reasons for his resignation on social media, with some claiming he had had enough of constant criticism from hardliners of the 2015 nuclear deal he negotiated.

He also denied the government’s policy of rapprochement with the West.

While Others assumed that he was boiled by his exclusion from a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday.

All agreed that his resignation would mean a swift end to the nuclear deal and lifted sanctions in return for Tehran reducing its nuclear weapons capabilities and which was already dealt a blow when the U.S. pulled out in 2018.

Its withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions triggered further criticism of Zarif within Iran.

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. had taken note of Zarif’s resignation.

“We’ll see if it sticks, either way, he and Hassan Rouhani are just front men for a corrupt religious mafia.

“We know Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes all final decisions.

“Our policy is unchanged, the regime must behave like a normal country and respect its people,’’ Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Some observers in Tehran believe Rowhani would not get a replacement for Zarif with someone of the same exposure and experience.

Neither the capacity of his deputy Abbas Araghchi nor Ali-Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s nuclear agency, charisma could be compared as the foreign minister, whose eloquence nor had fluent English been a relief to Western negotiators.

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