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Rouhani Rejects Zarif’s Resignation, Soleimani Says No Intention behind His Absence in Assad’s Meetings

Rouhani Rejects Zarif’s Resignation, Soleimani Says No Intention behind His Absence in Assad’s Meetings
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a letter rejected the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying it contradicts the country's national interests.

In a Wednesday letter addressed to Zarif, Rouhani wrote, “you are, according to the Leader of the Islamic Republic, a ‘trustworthy, brave, and courageous’ person standing at the frontline of the fight against the US’s all-out pressures; therefore, I refrain from accepting your resignation because [accepting] it will be against the national interests of the country.”

“I am well aware of the pressures exerted on the country’s diplomatic system, government, and the president,” Rouhani said, adding that “we will remain committed to the vow we have made to God, and I am sure we will overcome these difficulties with God’s help.”

Reiterating that the Islamic Republic’s whole ruling system, especially Imam Khamenei, have complete trust in Zarif, Rouhani urged Zarif to continue the path he has taken with more vigor and tactfulness.

For his part, Commander of Iran’s IRGC al-Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani said that there has been no intention behind the absence of Zarif in the meetings with Syrian President in Tehran.

Soleimani highlighted that Zarif's absence in the meetings during Assad’s visit to Tehran was a result of 'incoordination' in the Iranian Presidency’s body, stressing that there had been no intention behind it.

“Surely Mr. Zarif is responsible for the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and during his tenure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has been supported and approved by senior officials of the country, especially by the Leader of Islamic Revolution,” said Soleimani.

“He has continuously carried out valuable actions at various levels to ensure the national interests of the country, and has also moved toward fighting the sworn enemies of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian nation.”

“During the recent visit of Mr. Bashar Assad to Tehran and his meeting with Dr. Rouhani, lack of coordination in the Presidency’s office led to the absence of our country's foreign minister in this meeting, which became a matter of discontent for him," he added.

“All evidence shows that there was no intention behind Mr. Zarif's absence at this meeting, and I must emphasize that he, as the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the main official responsible for the foreign policy of the country,” IRGC top figure highlighted.

Noting the overjoyed reactions of the enemies of the Iranian nation to Zarif's resignation which was caused by an administrative mistake, Soleimani said that these propaganda “have no effect on the determination of the Islamic Republic of Iran in advancing its national interests and objectives, and also on the victories of the Islamic Resistance Front.”

Zarif announced his resignation late on Monday.

"I am apologizing to you for all the shortcomings […] in the past years during my time as foreign minister […] I thank the Iranian nation and officials", he wrote in his Instagram blog.

"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", he added.

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