Iran's foreign minister has announced his resignation, an abrupt departure that could further undermine the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers. "Be happy and worthy", Zarif wrote in his Instagram blog.
Zarif was seen as a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, with whom he helped forge the 2015 nuclear deal now in danger of collapse because of the us exit last May.
Zarif led the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in 2015, under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of worldwide financial sanctions. U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew America's participation from the nuclear pact previous year, reimposing sanctions suspended under the agreement as part of a wave of restrictions implemented against Tehran, a move that angered the Islamic Republic.
Zarif thanked Iranians and "respected officials" for their support "in the last 67 months". He received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from San Francisco State University and a second master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver. But Deputy Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sayyed Abbas Moussawi confirmed the authenticity of the message to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
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"It could be a kind of calculated play where Zarif is submitting his resignation in a public way on Instagram".
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"It is part of plan for changing the track in foreign policy in Iran".
"Rouhani, Zarif and (parliament speaker Ali) Larijani, go to hell", Abbasi said in the central city of Karaj, Iranian media reported.
Since the United States made a decision to pull out of the deal, Zarif has been a large critic of the Trump presidency.
President Donald Trump's policies have put major pressure on Rouhani's political and economic agenda, which was based on the lifting of sanctions against Tehran that are now in place again.
Before assuming his duties as a minister, he served as Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations between 2002 and 2007.