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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to the resignation of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday with skepticism, describing Zarif and the secular Iranian government as a “moderate” pantomime covering for the real theocratic power in Tehran and wondering if Zarif will truly depart his post.
Pompeo delivered his response to Zarif’s resignation while in transit to Vietnam for the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un:
Hassan - Rouhani - President - Iran - Head
Hassan Rouhani is the president of Iran and head of the secular wing of Iranian government. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls the religious wing of the government, and in Pompeo’s estimation is far more important than Rouhani.
Zarif announced the end of his six year career as foreign minister via Instagram on Monday evening, but as of Tuesday afternoon, Rouhani has not accepted it, instead praising his foreign minister as an effective adversary of the United States, leading to Pompeo’s cynicism about whether Zarif is truly resigning.
Rouhani - Chief - Staff - Mahmoud - Vaezi
Rouhani’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi posted a friendly photo of Rouhani and Zarif on Instagram Tuesday and interpreted Rouhani’s praise for Zarif as a “clear sign of the satisfaction of the representative of the people of Iran about the wise and effective positions and work of Dr. Zarif and a tough response to some biased and incorrect analyses.”
“In the view of Dr. Rouhani, the Islamic Republic of Iran has only one foreign policy and one foreign minister,” Vaezi declared.
Spokesman - Foreign - Ministry - Tuesday - Rouhani
A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Rouhani has refused to accept Zarif’s resignation.
Zarif gave an interview on Tuesday in which he sounded like he was still an active player in Iranian politics. He implied his offer of resignation was an act of protest against “hardliners” in Iran who are opposed to honoring the nuclear deal with its...
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