Monday, 18 January 2021

W Weekly Update

February 23 - March 2

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif resigns

Time reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif resigned without warning late Monday, offering an “apology” to the nation as the nuclear deal he negotiated with world powers is on the verge of collapse after the U.S. withdrawal from the accord. The veteran diplomat first hinted at his resignation with a vague Instagram post in which he offered an “apology” for his “inability to continue to his service.”

According to the Time’s report, on Sunday, Zarif criticized Iranian hard-liners in a speech in Tehran, saying: “We cannot hide behind imperialism’s plot and blame them for our own incapability.” “Independence does not mean isolation from the world,” he said.

Analysts say Rouhani faces growing political pressure from hard-liners within the government as the nuclear deal unravels. Iranian presidents typically see their popularity erode during their second four-year term, but Rouhani is particularly vulnerable because of the economic crisis assailing the country’s rial currency, which has hurt ordinary Iranians and emboldened critics to openly call for his ouster.

BBC writes that Mr Zarif, a leading architect of Iran's landmark nuclear accord, has been spearheading diplomatic efforts to save it as new sanctions cause growing economic hardship. But he's under huge pressure from hardliners who never liked or trusted his negotiations with the West.

Politico speculates that there are reports Mr Zarif's move was finally triggered by his exclusion from the visit to Tehran of Syria's President Assad.

Later BBC reported that Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has rejected the resignation of his Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.


Prepared by Marina Muradyan

17 January 2021
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