Iran's foreign minister hopes resignation empowers diplomats

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."

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.