As parliamentarians push for his return, Zarif calls infighting ‘deadly poison’

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A majority of parliamentarians in Iran signed a letter to President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday asking that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif continue in his job, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported, quoting a member of parliament.

Meanwhile, in an interview published by the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on Tuesday following his resignation, Zarif made several comments that suggest he may have resigned over pressure from hardline elements opposed to his role in negotiating a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

“We first have to remove our foreign policy from the issue of party and factional fighting,” he said, adding that fighting between parties and factions in Iran is a "deadly poison" in formulating foreign policy.

Ali Najafi Khoshroodi, spokesman for parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy commission, told IRNA he had signed the letter and was collecting additional signatures.

President Rouhani has not formally accepted the resignation which Zarif announced on Monday on Instagram.

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