Former Secretary of State John Kerry has admitted that he has met with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in recent months in a bid to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, reported the Townhall.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday lambasted his predecessor, John Kerry, for meeting Iranian officials in back-channel talks and accused him of trying to undermine the Trump administration's policy toward Tehran. "He told them to wait out the Trump Administration!" Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act?
Kerry met with Zarif while President Donald Trump took Iran out of the nuclear deal in May. Kerry replied with a chuckle, "I think everybody in the world is sitting around talking about waiting out President Trump", but he said that was in regard to other matters, not the Iran deal.
"I've seen him (Kerry) brag about the meetings that he has had with the Iranian government and Iranian government officials", department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a disclosure statement that requires a person acting as an agent of a foreign principal in a political or quasi-political capacity to make public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal.
Others who have criticized Kerry have suggested he might have violated the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the USA government without authorization.
Kerry, who is now promoting his new book "Every Day is Extra", had no immediate response Friday to Trump's latest Twitter broadside.
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Kerry, the former MA senator who worked as the nation's top diplomat in the Obama administration, made the comments about his interactions with Iran as he promotes his new book, "Every Day Is Extra".
"I think I've seen him three or four times", Kerry said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Salem Radio in NY on Wednesday September 12, the radio anchor's website reported. "What I have done is tried to elicit from him (Zarif) what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better".
Asked if he thought Kerry's meeting had been illegal, Pompeo said he would leave the "legal determinations to others".
Kerry was asked on CBS Sunday if he would run in 2020 and did not rule it out.
But Josh Rosenstein, a partner with the Washington law firm Sandler Reiff and a specialist in lobbying compliance, said there are too many unanswered questions to know whether the law applies to Kerry's interactions with Zarif. The Boston Globe called the meeting an "aggressive yet stealthy" mission to put pressure on the Trump administration to keep the Obama-era nuclear deal in some form.
Trump withdrew the United States from the landmark nuclear agreement forged under predecessor Barack Obama, saying it was "defective" and unable to rein in Iranian behavior or halt the Islamic Republic's quest to develop nuclear weapons.
Kerry, though, denied his meetings were inappropriate. A day earlier, he tweeted: "The United States does not need John Kerry's possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal". "We all do that. This is a former secretary of State engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror".
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