Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad
In a further move to soothe Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after his attempted resignation, Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad has invited Zarif to Damascus.
It is unclear whether the invitation was prompted by Assad or the Iranian regime. Zarif’s resignation on Monday was prompted by his exclusion from Assad’s talks in Tehran earlier in the day, both with the Supreme Leader and with President Hassan Rouhani.
The Syrian Ambassador to Iran issued the invitation to Zarif during a telephone conversation on Wednesday, according to Iranian State media.
The outlets said Zarif spoke with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem earlier on Wednesday to “discuss the latest developments in bilateral ties and exchange views”.
After being snubbed on Monday, Zarif suddenly announced his departure in an Instagram post. He gave no reason, but later suggested that the move was a “nudge” to restore the Foreign Ministry’s place in the making and implementation of foreign policy.
Iranian officials appealed to the Foreign Minister to change his mind, saying his exclusion from the Assad meetings was a bureaucratic error. President Rouhani issued a televised message on Tuesday, and 160 MPs — more than half of the Majlis — issued a statement of support for Zarif.
But the Supreme Leader, who has taken key areas of foreign policy away from Rouhani and Zarif, did not make any remarks.