Iran’s foreign minister has told colleagues he hopes his sudden resignation will reinforce the position of his country’s diplomats.

Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments Tuesday come after his surprise resignation the night before.

The state-run IRNA news agency said he told colleagues his resignation would aid in “restoring the ministry to its legal position in foreign relations.”

FILE- In this Sept. 6, 2015, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stands prior to a meeting in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
FILE- In this Sept. 6, 2015, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stands prior to a meeting in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

The remark appears to be targeting other bodies within Iran’s government. Zarif was not present for a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday.

Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani face increasing criticism as their nuclear deal with world powers unravels.

Iran’s powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign affairs was scheduled to discuss Zarif’s resignation later Tuesday.

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2015, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to a question during a news conference in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
FILE – In this Nov. 29, 2015, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to a question during a news conference in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
FILE- In this Oct. 7, 2018, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
FILE- In this Oct. 7, 2018, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
FILE- In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walks to the podium to answer questions from lawmakers in an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
FILE- In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walks to the podium to answer questions from lawmakers in an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

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