Iran’s constitution or law warrants a traditional form of resignation, which means there is no clause incorporating social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter as an avenue where resignation from public office could be channeled through an official capacity.
This is something a person like Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister, is fully aware of considering he is a heavy weight diplomat and an academic who obtained most of his education in the US — the country which his leadership regards as ‘satan’.
Perhaps, the minister resorted to a social media platform to channel his resignation in a bid to gain popularity (followers) in his Instagram account. This is under the assumption that he willingly posted his resignation despite knowing that resigning through unconventional channels does not count in Iran. In fact, it is a joke to do so.
The story behind his comical resignation suggests that he was bothered by the visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Tehran to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei without his knowledge.
Another thing which seemed to have further bothered him is the fact that President al-Assad was escorted by commander of Iran’s Qods force Qassem Soleimani, instead of him. This prompted him to protest through his Instagram account by posting his resignation. His main target was either the supreme leader’s office or Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Nonetheless, from the land of the ‘Great Satan’ as described by Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed that Zarif, who posted his resignation online, is just one of the faces of the ‘religious mafia.’
I believe Pompeo hit close to home on this issue, since the actual powers lie in the hands of the supreme leader and the Revolutionary Guard is the actual foreign affairs ministry which signs all public appointments.
On a personal note, the visit of Bashar al-Assad was above the pay grades of Rouhani and Zarif. This visit was published on various information platforms. It is a clear affirmation of bilateral relations between Iran and Syria in spite of the opinions of Russia, the US and other parties concerned with the Syrian conflict.
The meeting also signals that the military discussion in Syria is about to end, and the tug-of-war between political administrators and other diplomatic negotiations in Syria is just part of the game.
Indeed, the game in Levant is about to end, but it will take a significant amount of time to deal with the game’s reverberations and tentacles, especially when emotions are still high over the entire conflict.