Former US Secretary of State John Kerry is accused of briefing Iran on Israeli operations and there are now demands that he be investigated and resigned, for what ‘he would have told them.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a leaked soundtrack claimed that while Kerry was America’s top diplomat under the Obama administration, he discussed more than 200 operations Israel carried out in Syria against Iranian targets. He said he was amazed at the revelations.
It comes after Kerry’s meetings with Zarif, held as a private citizen after he left office, also raised questions about what he has told Iranian officials over the years.
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Kerry is currently serving as the United States’ Special Presidential Climate Envoy. This is a Cabinet-level position in the Biden administration, but has not been subject to Senate confirmation. The new revelations about Iran have raised concerns in the Senate.
“This is something that deserves a Senate investigation. If it turns out to be correct, then John Kerry should seriously consider stepping down,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Committee Member judiciary of the Senate.
The first-term senator added that Kerry had put “our men and women in uniform at risk.”
In an interview with Fox News, Blackburn said, “This is something serious. He is someone who served our nation at very high levels, who had information, whether as a senator or as a secretary of state and knew what was going on on the diplomatic front and I am very concerned about giving this information to someone who is an adversary. “
Others agree that a Senate investigation into Kerry’s comments is warranted.
“If these blatant allegations are true, we believe Mr. Kerry should be fired,” said Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the United States. He added that there should be “an immediate and full investigation.”
Speaking on behalf of its national membership of more than 25,000 members, Klein said: “Giving information as a spy to perhaps America’s staunchest ally, Israel, is not only a scandal for one ally, but it sends a message to other allies that Mr. Kerry can never be trusted and maybe America cannot trust important private confidential information. “
The executive director of the Iranian Americans for Liberty, a New York-based activist group opposed to the Tehran regime, goes even further.
“These allegations by the Iranian foreign minister, if they are true, are grounds for betrayal,” according to the group’s executive director, Bryan E. Leib.
“We would like to see a united front of Democrats and Republicans who sit on the House Homeland Security Committee immediately issuing a subpoena for John Kerry to appear at a public hearing before the committee next week,” Leib said at Fox News.
If the accusations against Kerry are not true, Lieb added that the sole presidential candidate “should not have to worry and should immediately comply with any summons from the House Homeland Security Committee.” .
In a Twitter post, Kerry called the claims “unequivocally false.”
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Kerry’s climate office is under the aegis of the State Department, which was asked about his alleged comments.
“It was certainly no secret, and the governments involved were speaking publicly, publicly,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. He declined to speculate on the authenticity of the tape or the reason for its release.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry claims the tape is genuine because it was part of a seven-hour interview Zarif gave to an Iranian think tank.
Kerry has previously been accused of being too good friends with her former Iranian counterpart. The former Obama administration’s chief diplomat has freely admitted to meeting and having conversations with Zarif “three or four times” after leaving office, to discuss US and Iranian foreign policy.
In a 2018 interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Kerry said that “my coaching [Zarif] wouldn’t, you know, that’s not how it works. What I did was try to ask him what Iran might be prepared to do to change the dynamics in the Middle East for the better. ”
Also in the interview, Kerry told Hewitt he had “been very blunt with Foreign Secretary Zarif” and told him that Iran must “recognize that the world doesn’t like what’s going on with it. missiles, what’s going on with Hezbollah, what’s going on with Yemen. “
Former President Trump at the time accused Kerry of holding “illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian regime” and said he should be prosecuted under the Logan Act, which prohibits individuals from attempting to put in implements American foreign policy. Kerry responded by telling Trump “if you want to know more about the nuclear deal that made the world a safer place, buy my new book, ‘Every Day is Extra’.”
The revelations come as the Biden administration is engaged in indirect negotiations in Vienna with Iran to possibly join the controversial Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.
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A group of senior Israeli officials, including Yossi Cohen, the director of Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, are also traveling to Washington to file objections to the administration’s plans for Iran.
Senator Blackburn introduced legislation to prevent the Biden administration from cementing a deal with Iran, unless the deal goes to the Senate for a vote.
“What worries me a bit is how these despotic regimes are being encouraged to push back the United States,” Blackburn said.
“We must send a strong message to our adversaries, and to this new axis of evil of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea that we are going to push them back and we will not let them win,” she added.
Ben Evansky contributed to this report.
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