Iran’s president will have to appoint the new foreign minister after Javad Zarif announces resignation. AsBBCunderstood, the diplomat’s news of his departure in an Instagram post on Monday night prompted a fall in the Iranian stock exchange.
Iran’s reformists called on Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, to refuse to accept Javad Zarif’s resignation because of diplomat’s role in negotiating the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement. In fact, Zarif’s resignation leaves the Iranian leader without one of his main allies in pushing Iran towards more negotiation with the West. Moreover, Hassan Rouhani faces growing political pressure from hardliners in the government as the unravelling nuclear deal further strains the economy, the experts said.
In his resignation note, Zarif apologised for his “shortcomings” and “inability to continue serving” while a majority of Iranian MPs have signed a petition calling for the foreign minister to stay in office, according to a spokesman for parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee.
Tehran meeting’s consequences
Javad Zarif’s exclusion from top-level meetings in Tehran on Monday during the previously unannounced visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was the final straw. After such an affront, the Iranian foreign minister understood how low the role of his ministry is.
When photos were released showing of Mr Assad attending talks with his Iranian counterpart Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mr Zarif saw them as a new low for his ministry’s role in overseeing Iran’s foreign policy. Zarif, who is fluent in English, is seen as the acceptable face of Iranian diplomacy to the West, which has made him the subject of relentless attack by hardliners, especially over his role in championing the nuclear deal.