Zarif, who has been heading the Iranian Foreign Ministry since 2013 and was one of the architects of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, on Monday announced via Instagram that he was leaving his post.
"The key issue here is that over the past six years Mr Zarif has led the negotiation process with the United States and Europe. If these negotiations were right and beneficial for the Islamic Republic [of Iran], then why did Mr Zarif resign? If this path was not right, then Mr Zarif should have stayed and adjusted this path. From our point of view, a resignation without any reason does not solve this problem and is perceived as shying away from responsibility," Hosseini, who is a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, said.
Asked to comment on media reports saying that 150 Iranian lawmakers had sent a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asking him to reject Zarif's resignation, Hosseini said he had not seen the letter but stressed that the opposition front was opposed to Zarif's resignation.
"We believe that he should not leave [his post]. We think he should finalize his work. If the resignation is accepted, the president of the republic will decide who will replace him," the lawmaker pointed out.
He also refuted media reports claiming that Zarif's resignation was triggered by his alleged exclusion from Syrian President Bashar Assad's visit to Tehran on Monday.
"This cannot be true because President Rouhani received Mr Assad, he knew about this visit… and this cannot be the real reason for the resignation of Mr Zarif," Hosseini stressed.
Zarif played a leading role in realizing the 2015 nuclear deal with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for international sanctions relief.
This is huge if true.— Esfandyar Batmanghelidj (@yarbatman) February 25, 2019
Thanking the the people for 67 months of support, #Iran's FM @JZarif appears to have (cryptically) announced his resignation on Instagram. As the most effective foreign minister in Iran's history, Zarif's departure will have major ramifications. pic.twitter.com/UF8nJ1z6AD
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