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    This picture taken on February 13, 2019 shows Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif checks his watch during a press conference in Tehran

    Iranian Media Speculates About Reasons for Zarif's Shock Resignation

    © AFP 2019 / ATTA KENARE
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    The top Iranian diplomat announced his resignation via his Instagram account on Monday, writing that he sincerely apologises for “the inability to continue the service and for all the shortcomings during the service”.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has resigned over disagreements with the office of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s Fars news agency cited an unnamed source as saying on Tuesday.

    According to the source, Zarif was not notified of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's visit to Tehran, in which Assad met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    READ MORE: Iranian FM Zarif Announces His Resignation

    Rouhani, in turn, was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as saying that during the visit Assad specifically extended gratitude to the Iranian Foreign Ministry. 

    The remarks came after Mahmoud Vaezi, the chief of staff of the Iranian President, refuted media reports that Rouhani had accepted Zarif's resignation.

    READ MORE: Iran’s FM Zarif: World Opposes US Behavior Over Anti-Iranian Sanctions

    Earlier, the IRNA reported that most Iranian lawmakers had signed a letter asking Rouhani to tell Zarif to stay on as foreign minister.

    On Monday, Zarif, Iran's most senior negotiator of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, made a surprise announcement on his Instagram account about his resignation.
    In the post, he apologised "for the inability to continue the service and for all the shortcomings during the service," but declined to reveal the reasons for the decision.

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    Tags:
    disagreements, visit, resignation, Bashar Assad, Javad Zarif, Hassan Rouhani, Iran
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