In a surprise announcement, Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif resigns

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In a surprise announcement, Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif resigns

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stepped down on Monday, announcing his resignation on Instagram.

"I am apologising you for all the shortcomings ... in the past years during my time as foreign minister... I thank the Iranian nation and officials," he wrote on his Instagram page jzarif_ir.

There was no immediate reason giving for the resignation.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency cited a spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, confirming Zarif had resigned.

Zarif was appointed minister of foreign affairs in August 2013, two years before Iran agreed to scale back its uranium enrichment programme and pledged not to develop nuclear weapons in return for the lifting of international sanctions as part of a landmark nuclear deal brokered with the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.