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John Kerry slams Trump, Pompeo for criticizing his meetings with Iran

15 September, 2018, 11:41 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Kerry Admits Meeting With Zarif Several Times, Says Did Not 'Coach' Him

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday lambasted his predecessor, John Kerry, for meetings with Iranian officials in back-channel talks and accused him of "actively undermining" the Trump administration's policy towards Tehran.

Trump originally attacked Kerry on Thursday evening, saying on Twitter that Kerry had "illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime".

Trump suggested that it was "illegal" for Kerry to meet with Iran and tell them "to wait out the Trump Administration!"

"Secretary Kerry ought not to engage in that kind of behavior", Pompeo said.

During interviews to promote his new book, Kerry told an interviewer that he has met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif three or four times since leaving office and that their talks touched on the worldwide nuclear agreement, to which Iran, the EU, Russia and China still adhere.

"Mr. President, you should be more anxious about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran's FM", Kerry said on Twitter shortly after Pompeo's remarks, referring to Trump's former campaign chairman who on Friday agreed to cooperate with federal investigators into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election. Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!

"I think you understand what I wish it is that former secretaries of state-all of them, from either political party-ought not to be engaged in", Pompeo said.

"What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better", Kerry said.

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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".

When reports of Kerry's ex-officio contacts with Zarif first surfaced in May, Trump tweeted similar thoughts.

"The United States does not need John Kerry's possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal", Trump tweeted.

In this January 15, 2017 file photo, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with the media after attending the Mideast peace conference in Paris.

Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran in May and his administration has pushed a hard line against Tehran as it moves to reimpose sanctions that were lifted after the deal. "Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!"

"I am confident that they met with their troika [Iranian] counterparts", he said.

The latter assertion was a reference to a question Kerry fielded in his Fox News appearance about whether he has told Iranians to "wait out" Trump until there is a new president.

"No, that's not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that's not how it works", Kerry told Hewitt.

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