Mike Pompeo urges Kerry to 'come forward' over allegations
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Mike Pompeo, who served under Donald Trump, demanded Climate Envoy John Kerry “come forward” and explain to the American people what was said in “covert” meetings with Iran’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif. Mr Kerry is alleged to have shared details of planned Israeli operations in the Middle East with the Iranian. The claims emerged in the New York Times this week, with reports also claiming Mr Kerry also briefed Zarif about Israeli strikes in Syria.
Mr Pompeo told Fox News: “It looks like from this reporting that we can confirm what we already believed.
“While I was briefing President Trump, Kerry was briefing Zarif on intelligence that related to Israel operations.”
The former US Secretary of State added: “I hope that’s not true, John Kerry needs to come forward, Secretary Kerry needs to speak to the American people and explain to them why he was meeting with Zarif, we know he did that, he’s admitted as much.”
Pompeo went on to insist that the Trump Administration believe that during Trumps time as President, Kerry “was absolutely telling the Iranians ‘hang on, this pressure campaign, the power that’s being exerted by America against you, it’ll be over, we will win this election, it’ll just be four years, don’t for a minute negotiate with the Trump team’.”
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Mr Pompeo continued: “Secretary Kerry has got an awful lot of explaining to do, there’s no reason to think that these remarks that remarks that Zarif made according to the New York Times, they were made in private, he didn’t think they were going to come out.”
He then went on to say how “there is no reason” to think that Iranian diplomat Zarif wasn’t being briefed by Kerry.
The former Secretary of State insisted that Zarif would have not known about planned Israeli operations “until Secretary Kerry told him about them.”
John Kerry said on Monday that he had never discussed covert Israeli airstrikes in Syria with Iran’s foreign minister contrary to Mr. Zarif’s claim in a leaked conversation that appeared in the New York Times on Sunday.
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Mr Zarif and Mr Kerry spoke constantly when the two were negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The Iranian foreign minister said in the recording that the former Secretary of State informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times.
The claim sparked outrage among US conservatives who accused Kerry of betraying Israeli and US intelligence but Kerry hit back in a tweet on Monday evening denying the claims and instead highlighted reports about Israeli strikes on Iranian assets in Syria to try and prove his innocence.
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Kerry tweeted: “I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened — either when I was Secretary of State or since.”
In the recording in question, a voice alleged to be that of Zarif can be heard saying that Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that “Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times.”
The voice then complained that Iran’s military was kept in the dark on crucial matters and would not have known otherwise.
Kerry served as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017 and was instrumental in brokering the Iran nuclear deal which was heavily opposed by Israel.
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