03/05/2019, 10.54
IRAN
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Teheran, exclusion from Assad meeting behind Zarif resignation

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi, announced to ISNA agency. The missing invitation would have infuriated the head of diplomacy of the Islamic Republic. A move to restore a central role to the ministry in foreign policy.

Teheran (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Exclusion from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's visit to Tehran last week was behind the unexpected resignation - rejected by President Rouhani and later withdrawn - by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

According to the agency ISNA (Iranian Students' News Agency), the exclusion from the meeting would have infuriated the head of diplomacy, who decided to place the matter in the hands of the highest authorities of the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian student news agency cited as its source Bahram Qassemi, Minister Zarif's spokesman.

Last February 27, Hassan Rouhani rejected Zarif’s resignation, reiterating statements of esteem for the moderate ally, long in the crosshairs of the fundamentalists and the religious wing for the opening of credit to the West.

Zarif was one of the great architects of the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA), has resigned, then disqualified by the current US administration, which has ordered the introduction of the harshest penalties history.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs - underlines Qassemi - did not receive any information at any level [about the trip] and this lack of information continued until the end of the visit".

"One of the reasons - continues Isna - for the resignation of Zarif was this lack of coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As previously announced, the resignation [...] was not a private and individual matter and the goal [of the resignation] was to give a positive boost to return the central role of foreign policy to the ministry. "

Absent Zarif, at the meeting last week between the ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leader of Damascus was instead the commander of the Force Quds (a special unit of the Pasdaran) Qassem Soleimani, responsible for operations outside the borders with Iran . On the sidelines of the meeting, Soleimani himself made it clear that Zarif is still the main responsible for Iranian foreign policy and enjoys the full support of the supreme leader.

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