United voice against Zarif resignation

Iranian parliament wants Zarif to stay in his job

February 26, 2019

TEHRAN – In a letter to President Rouhani on Tuesday, 135 MPs asked President Rouhani to seriously reject resignation by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Zarif had been serving in the capacity of foreign minister since Rouhani was elected president in the summer of the 2013.

Zarif announced his resignation in a post on his Instagram on Monday night.
 
“I am grateful for magnanimity of the dear and courageous people of Iran and the respectable authorities’ over the past 67 months,” Zarif said.

“I sincerely apologize for inability to continue [my] service and all the shortcomings and flaws during [my] tenure,” he added. “May you be happy and proud.”

 ‘Shocking report of resignation’

In their letter the MPs described Zarif’s decision to quit his post as “shocking”.

“The shocking and surprising report of the resignation of Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif as the most committed, cherished, and competent minister in the eleventh and twelfth administrations… caused sorry and concern,” part of the MPs’ letter said, according to the Mehr news agency.
 
The MPs, who described Zarif as the treasure of the Iranian diplomacy, said his resignation delighted the enemies of the country.

“We as the representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), while thanking the wholehearted efforts of Dr. Zarif and insistence on his services as the head of the country’s diplomacy, emphasize the need for more unity and coordination in areas of diplomacy and international relations and want Your Excellency (the president) to seriously oppose the resignation of the foreign minister to end the worries of the representatives.”

Prior to the letter by the 135 MPs, the spokesman for the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said a majority of lawmakers have signed a letter expressing support for Zarif and want him to remain in his post.

“So far the majority of representatives have signed the letter, ... in this letter we want Zarif to remain in his job,” Ali Najafi Khoshroudi said, IRNA reported.

Zarif is greatly loved by the Iranians. He played an instrumental role in drafting the international nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with the 5+1 group. Though Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, it did not lead the foreign minister to lose his popularity.  
 
Following his resignation, a number of diplomats and foreign policy officials also announced their resignation. However, Zarif asked them to seriously avoid such a move.

“I insist that all brothers and sisters at the Foreign Ministry and embassies to continue conducting their duties quite firmly… and strongly avoid such actions,” Zarif remarked.
 
Zarif said he hoped that his resignation would serve as a wakeup call so that the Foreign Ministry can find its “legal place” in foreign policy.

Masoud Pezeshkian, the first deputy parliament speaker, called Zarif a capable diplomat that the country should not deprive itself of his competence at the current situation.
 
“The Leader has repeatedly addressed Zarif as a committed person,” Pezeshkian added.

 ‘It is very unlikely that Rouhani accept Zarif resignation’

Ali Motahari, the second deputy parliament speaker, said it is very unlikely that Rouhani accept Zarif’s resignation because there is no such a highly competent person to replace him.

On reasons behind Zarif’s resignation, Motahari said, “I do not have information about his resignation and he himself should explain.”  However, Motahari, said, “As far as I know it is because of meddling by irresponsible bodies in the country’s foreign policy.”

In a post on his tweeter, Information and Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi requested Zarif to withdraw his resignation, saying, “Do not sit brother. Stand up dear Javad! People are worried.”

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Zarif had resigned several times in the past but disclosing his resignation this time shows that he wants “the president to accept his resignation”.

According to Falahatpisheh, the parliamentary committee was set to study the resignation in a special session on Tuesday.

The vice president for parliamentary affairs, Hossein-Ali Amiri, who was visiting Ahvaz said it is unlikely that the president would accept the resignation.

Amiri also expressed hope that Zarif would withdraw his resignation.

He said Zarif is not only a “hard-working” and “faithful” person he is also a “seasoned diplomat” who has a good command of his job.

“Zarif is quite trusted by the president, and in these years Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has frequently called him a faithful and revolutionary person.”

Rouhani thanks Zarif, Zanganeh and Hemati

In remarks on Tuesday, Rouhani thanked Zarif, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, and Central Bank Governor Abdolnasser Hemati for their competence and resistance in the face of sanctions, saying they are at the “forefront” of resistance against the United States.

According to ISNA, MP Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi said Zarif’s resignation is “more saddening” than the fall of Mohammad Mosaddegh’s government.

In a post on his Instagram, the MP said, “The world and Iran has lost a noble, patriotic, peaceful and popular politician.”

He added, “The history will not forgive us if we leave Zarif alone.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington's policy towards Tehran will not change even if Zarif has resigned.

"We note @JZarif’s resignation," Pompeo said in a Twitter post on Monday. "We’ll see if it sticks… Our policy is unchanged — the regime must behave like a normal country and respect its people."

Netanyahu upbeat over Zarif resignation

Writing on his Twitter account, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed joy over Zarif’s resignation, saying, “Zarif is gone - good riddance.”

Zarif was a great barrier against Israel, U.S., Saudi Arabia

Morteza Moradian, Iran’s ambassador to Denmark, expressed deep concern over decision by Zarif to leave his post, saying Zarif was a great hurdle against Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Israel.   

“Just see outside the country who are happy over Zarif’s resignation. Zarif was a person that highest ranking officials in the U.S., Israel and Saudi attacked him directly. He was a great obstacle to them,” Moradian tweeted.

Mohsen Hashemi, the chairman of the Tehran City Council, expressed hope that Zarif would return to his job with a strong support by the president.  

Hashemi, son of the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said Zarif’s resignation has caused worry among the people.

He said Zarif has been one of the “most successful” diplomats of the country and Hashemi Rafsanjani had a special trust on him and the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has thanked him many times in the recent years.

 
PA/PA

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