Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suddenly resigned today in a post on Instagram where he expressed gratitude "to the dear and honorable Iranian people for the last 67 months" while apologizing for "all the shortcomings during my service".
During his tenure, Zarif has appeared frequently on worldwide media outlets to defend Iran's foreign policy and with his fluent English has used his Twitter account to hit out at US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Also on Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad-who has been helped by Iran and Russian Federation in overcoming a 2011 rebel and jihadi uprising backed by the USA and regional allies-made a surprise visit to Tehran. President Trump withdrew from that agreement and has been restoring sanctions despite attempts by the other signatories to keep the deal in place. There is also the prospect that the current situation in Iran may lead high-ranking officials to urge him to take back his resignation letter.
But if the foreign minister does reign, Toossi said, it would be a major shift in the domestic balance of power away from the "moderate, pragmatic, reformist faction that Zarif embodies, especially on foreign policy".
The U.S. -educated son of a wealthy family, Zarif overcame hardline objections and Western suspicions to strike the accord with world powers that saw Iran promise to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Kerry and Zarif's rapport extended beyond just the nuclear negotiations, however.
"In spite of all the ignorant hate-speech by American officials, let me remind you that we Iranians are proud to be the inheritors of a great civilisation", Zarif said in the speech, a transcript of which was shared by Iran's foreign ministry.
According to Parsi, Zarif's resignation may be seen as a casualty of Trump's decision to "sabotage" the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of worldwide sanctions. "An official at Iran's mission to the United Nations confirms that Zarif has resigned", said Kelemen.
Zarif has served as Iran's foreign minister since 2013.
While it's not clear why he resigned, experts believe that it could be because of anti-American hardliners in the Iranian government who had been putting more pressure on Zarif.