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Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif, architect of nuclear deal, abruptly resigns
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the urbane, U.S.-educated architect of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, announced his resignation unexpectedly on Monday on Instagram.
"Many thanks for the generosity of the dear and brave people of Iran and its authorities over the past 67 months. I sincerely apologise for the inability to continue serving and for all the shortcomings during my service. Be happy and worthy," he wrote on his Instagram page jzarif_ir.
He gave no specific reasons for his decision.
Zarif played the lead role in striking the deal under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions.
He came under attack from anti-Western hardliners in Iran after the United States pulled out of the agreement last May and reimposed sanctions.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Reuters
A spokesman for the Iranian mission to the United Nations, Alireza Miryousefi, confirmed the announcement of the resignation. However there was no immediate word on whether President Hassan Rouhani would accept it.
Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency said "some sources have confirmed Zarif's resignation".
Born in 1960, Zarif lived in the United States from the age of 17 as a student in San Francisco and Denver, and subsequently as a diplomat to the United Nations in New York, where he served as Iranian ambassador from 2002 to 2007.
He was appointed minister of foreign affairs in August 2013 after Rouhani won the presidency in a landslide on a promise to open up Iran to the outside world.
Since taking charge of Iran's nuclear talks with major powers in late 2013, Zarif has been summoned to the parliament several times by hardline lawmakers to explain about the negotiations.
In February 2014 he caused an uproar with public comments condemning the Holocaust and was subsequently summoned to parliament. Holocaust denial has been a staple of public speeches in Iran for decades.
Some hardliners even threatened Zarif with bodily harm after the nuclear deal was signed. Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, guardedly backed the deal.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Peter Graff and Angus MacSwan)
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
A system that intercepts enemy rockets and a brand-new munition? Tank you very much.
The Navy is looking into the possibility of sending explosive ordnance disposal units on shorter and possibly more frequent deployments, service officials said on Wednesday.
Right now, EOD techs train for 18 months and deploy for another six months as part of their optimized fleet response plan, but the Navy is conducting a review of that training and deployment cycle, Navy officials told reporters.
A Navy analysis is looking at whether EOD techs should spend a total of 32 or 36 months training and deployed per cycle, said Capt. Oscar Rojas, who leads Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 in San Diego.