General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Quds Force, said on Wednesday that Iran’s top officials support Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and he is in charge of the country’s foreign policy.
The remarks by the general came after Zarif announced his resignation in a post on his Instagram late on Monday. His resignation came as a shock to the officials and the people.
General Soleimani said lack of coordination in the presidential office led to Zarif’s absence in meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and visiting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Monday.
However, Soleimani said this lack of coordination was not intentional.
Soleimani pointed to happiness shown by anti-revolutionary groups and enemies after announcement of Zarif’s resignation, saying their rush to celebrate the move, which was the result of a mistake by the Rouhani administration, will not impact Iran’s determination to take steps in line with national interests.
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.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Rouhani refused to accept Zarif’s resignation, saying it is contrary to the country’s interests.
“Since according to the words of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution I consider you trustworthy, brave, courageous and faithful and in the forefront of resistance against widespread pressure by the United States, I believe your resignation is against the country’s interests and don’t agree with it,” Rouhani wrote in a letter released on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Zarif was present in Rouhani’s meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who visited Tehran at the head of a delegation.