Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has officially rejected the resignation of his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying it runs contrary to national interests.
In a letter addressed to Zarif on Wednesday, Rouhani noted that the top diplomat has been standing on the frontline of resistance against the US pressure campaign.
“I consider accepting your resignation against the country’s interests and therefore, refuse to accept,” Rouhani told Zarif, who unexpectedly announced his resignation via Instagram on Monday night.
Rouhani further highlighted the expressions of happiness by the “sworn enemies” of Iran, such as the Israeli regime, over Zarif’s intention to step down, which he said serve as the “best evidence” of the top diplomat’s success in performing his duties and the “main reason” why he should stay in office.
“You are trusted by myself and the whole Islamic establishment, especially Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei]. You should continue on your path with strength, courage and wisdom because God stands by his righteous servants.”
Zarif thanks nation
In response, Zarif , in another Instagarm post, thanked the Iranian nation, elites and officials for their unwavering support in the wake of his announcement.
“As a modest servant, I have had no concern other than elevating [our] foreign policy and the credibility of the Foreign Ministry as the person in charge of advancing foreign policy and protecting national interests and people’s rights in the international arena,” he added.
He also expressed hope that the ministry under his watch could successfully fulfill its responsibilities with everyone’s help and under Ayatollah Khamenei’s supervision within the framework of the country’s Constitution and the Islamic establishment’s fundamental policies.
Zarif then attended a ceremony to welcome Armenia’s prime minister who arrived in Tehran on Wednesday.
General Soleimnai: Zarif has backing of Leader, top officials
Separately on Wednesday, Major General Qassem Soleimani said that Zarif has the backing of by senior Iranian officials, especially the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
General Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), further described the top Iranian diplomat as the person in charge of Iran’s foreign policy.
“Mr. Zarif is responsible for the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. During his tenure at the Foreign Ministry, he has always enjoyed the support and approval of senior officials, particularly the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.” he said.
“He has taken valuable steps towards preserving national interests at different levels and cooperated in the fight against the sworn enemies of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian nation,” the commander said.