Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s resignation, announced on Instagram on 25 February 2019, was turned down by President Hassan Rouhani and has triggered a broad-based rally around Zarif by Iran’s ruling elite.
This included an open letter from 150 MPs and, crucially, a public announcement of support from Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, who stressed that Zarif had the support of senior officials, “especially” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Zarif’s attempted resignation came after an impromptu visit on the same day by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to Tehran, which had been arranged by Soleimani and of which Zarif had not been notified.
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