Meetings Between John Kerry and Iranian Official Inappropriate
The State Department has warned that any meetings between former Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian officials would be inappropriate.
Mr. Barack Hussein Obama’s former Secretary of State John Kerry has come under fire for meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this year to discuss the nuclear accord between Iran and the US and other world powers.
Mr. Kerry has confirmed meeting with Mr. Zarif “3 or 4 times” since leaving office.
But Manish Singh, assistant secretary of state, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday: “I do not have personal knowledge of those meetings, but, if that is happening, again, I would find it very inappropriate.”
From Mr. Kerry’s new book, “Every Day is Extra”
Mr. Kerry’s confrontation with Russia’s PM Lavrov happened after he had he helped negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement in 2015. The Russian diplomat was a player in that drama as well.
At Midnight in one of the last negotiation sessions, Mr. Lavrov seemed to taunt Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, asking him if he were really authorized to accept Mr. Kerry’s final offer.
Mr. Zarif took umbrage. “Angry, he rose off the sofa and started to move toward the door, forcefully objecting to Lavrov’s taunt,”
Mr. Kerry writes. The Secretary of State hobbled over to Mr. Zarif to stop him from leaving. “I know Sergei didn’t mean to insult you,” Mr. Kerry says he toldMr. Zarif. Eventually the Iranian foreign minister explained that he needed one more sweetener. Mr. Kerry went back to his team and found some more Iranians to take off the sanctions list. Mr. Zarif accepted the deal.
What’s striking about this anecdote is not necessarily that Mr. Kerry presents himself as peacemaker, but that he takes the tensions between Messrs Zarif and Lavrov at face value.
There is no reason to think these tensions were real.
Less than a month after this meeting, Russia and Iran struck their own agreement to further escalate the war on behalf of Syria’s dictator. Mr. Lavrov never informed Mr. Kerry that his country’s Air Force would be bombing targets in Syria.
It was not until the fall of Y 2016 that Mr. Kerry fully realized the Russians were not serious about a peace deal in Syria. And while he takes pains to point out his own internal frustrations with Mr. Obama and the Pentagon during this period, he nevertheless pursued a man who kept lying to him.
Kerry concludes his chapter on Syria more in sadness than in anger. “All we could do was negotiate the evacuation and surrender of Aleppo to the regime,” he writes. “I have never had such a sinking feeling.”