Iranian president rejects Foreign Minister Zarif's resignation

President Hassan Rouhani right listens to his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in 2015

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rejected the resignation of his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, a key architect of the nuclear deal whose notice shook Iran and its markets, the Washington Post reports.

"Evidence shows that there was no goal behind Mr. Zarif's absence at this meeting, and I should emphasize that he is the main person in charge of the Islamic Republic of Iran's foreign policy as the Foreign Minister", the commander stressed.

"I consider you, as put by the leader, to be "trustworthy, courageous and pious" and in the forefront of resistance against America's all-out pressure", he added, referring to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Zarif's abrupt announcement on Instagram late on Monday that he was quitting had sparked rumours of mass resignations in the country's diplomatic corps and a petition from parliament urging Rouhani to turn it down.

Assad made his first public visit to Iran since the start of Syria's war in 2011, and also met Khamenei.

Rouhani cited that Israeli response in his support of Zarif.

"As ordered several times, all bodies - including government or state bodies - must be in full coordination with this ministry with regards to foreign relations", the president said in his letter. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force within Iran's Republican Guards, which are under the direct command of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Meanwhile, Zarif thanked Iranian officials and the nation on Wednesday for their support after his resignation, saying he has always been committed to serving the country. However, it came after Zarif was not present for a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday.

Just two days after announcing his resignation on Instagram, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has returned to work, according to the country's state news agency Press TV.

More than 150 Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday asked Rouhani to turn down the foreign minister's resignation.

The son of a wealthy family, Zarif overcame hard-line objections and Western suspicions to strike the accord with world powers that saw Iran limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Analysts say Rouhani faces growing political pressure from hard-liners within the government as the nuclear deal unravels.

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