Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used Instagram to resign from his position Monday.
Zarif shared a post on the photo-sharing platform saying, “I am apologizing you for all the shortcomings … in the past years during my time as foreign minister … I thank the Iranian nation and officials,” according to Reuters.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) February 25, 2019
Zarif has his own verified Instagram account, which has close to 200 posts and close to 700,000 followers.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) confirmed Zarif’s Instagram post and clarified that he has indeed officially resigned. No official explanation was provided by the foreign minister either on Twitter or any other social media platform. No other official commented on the foreign minister’s resignation thus far according to Newsweek.
Zarif had been a major proponent of the Iran Nuclear Deal back in 2015, arguing for the removal of sanctions and a nuclear enrichment plan with the then Secretary of State, John Kerry.
Since the United States decided to pull out of the deal, Zarif has been a large critic of the Trump presidency.
He criticized The United States attempt to transfer nuclear technologies to Saudi Arabia, saying, “Day by day, it becomes clearer to the world what was always clear to us: neither human rights nor a nuclear program have been the real concern of the [United States].” (RELATED: Pompeo Terminates Iran Treaty After UN Court Hands Tehran A Victory In Sanctions Lawsuit Against Washington)
Day by day it becomes clearer to the world what was always clear to us: neither human rights nor a nuclear program have been the real concern of the U.S. First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) February 20, 2019
While it’s not clear why he resigned, experts believe that it could be because of anti-American hardliners in the Iranian government who had been putting more pressure on Zarif.
In 2018, hardliners launched an effort to impeach Zarif, but their efforts did not succeed. By the end of his tenure, Zarif was increasingly left out of government affairs: having his work delegated to his juniors and being absent from important meetings, such as the meeting with Bashar Al Assad.
Quite the embrace between Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who popped up in Tehran on a surprise visit today. pic.twitter.com/td0xLTQbwA
— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) February 25, 2019
This could mark a shift in Iranian foreign policy towards a more hostile, anti-American foreign policy.
It is not clear at this time if Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will accept Zarif’s resignation.