Iranian FM Zarif announces his resignation

The Iranian parliament will debate on the resignation at Tuesday’s session, a source in the parliament told Sputnik.

“I am apologizing you for all the shortcomings […] in the past years during my time as foreign minister […] I thank the Iranian nation and officials”, Zarif said as quoted by Reuters.

“Many thanks for the generosity of the dear and brave people of Iran and its authorities over the past 67 months. I sincerely apologize for the inability to continue the service and for all the shortcomings during the service. Be happy and worthy”, Zarif wrote in his Instagram blog.

According to Reuters, citing Tasnim news agency, some local sources familiar with the matter have confirmed Zarif’s resignation, however, it was not immediately clear whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would accept it.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Seyed Abbas Moussavi also confirmed Zarif’s resignaiton, according to the Fars news agency.

According to a source, the Iranian parliament will debate on the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at Tuesday’s session. “The Iranian parliament will discuss the issue of Zarif’s resignation during Tuesday’s session”, the source said.

In 2015, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif submitted the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. Tehran and the P5+1 group of international negotiators comprising Russia, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany agreed on the JCPOA in Vienna on 14 July 2015.

However, the US-Iranian relations deteriorated in May 2018 when US President Donald Trump announced his country’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and reimpose its sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the agreement. The first package of restrictions came into force in August, while the second one followed in November.

In the wake of this decision, the other parties to the JCPOA  — China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union — expressed their commitment to the accord and began working to create tools to bypass the sanctions. 

Zarif has repeatedly criticized the US foreing policy in the Middle East, stressing that the re-imposed sanctions would not have a dramatic impact on Iranian economy and country’s energy sector.

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