Although Kerry has categorically denied that any such talks have taken place, a group of Republican senators have Asked The president is among a handful of other congressional Republicans to investigate the charge Call Kerry to resign from his current post on the National Security Council if the allegations are confirmed.
Here we know the facts.
On Sunday, London-based news channel Iran International published Article Audio leaked in detail of a March interview between Zarif and an Iranian journalist Saeed Laylaz, Apparently scheduled for release in August, once the current administration leaves office. Is incurable Considered sympathetic Was the advisor to the current President of Iran and the former President of Iran Mohammad khatamiA reformer.
According to a news article from Iran International, Zarif claimed, “It was former US Secretary of State John Kerry who told me that Israel had carried out more than 200 attacks on Iranian forces in Syria.”
Iran International in particular Noted This claim was “not very reliable.”
However this sentence about Kerry was part of just one paragraph in a long article, which included Zarif’s criticism of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) And slain top general Qasim Soleimani, claims about Kerry were quickly amplified by several conservative-leaning publications Fox News, To New york post And this Daily caller.
The authenticity of the tape (that is, not the veracity of Zarif’s claim, but whether he even said it) as a whole has not been officially confirmed, but Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzade during its weekly news conference Did not deny legitimacy.
Carey Push Back
Kerry, Joe Served As Secretary of State from February 2013 to January 2017, Monday disputed the allegations in a tweet. “I can tell you that this story and these allegations are disproportionate lies,” he said Tweeted. “It never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.”
When asked about the allegations during a press conference on Monday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said he could not speak to the accuracy or authenticity of the audio or its claims, but it is implied that if such a conversation Had it happened, Kerry would have been unlikely. Disclosure of secret information.
“I would just make the broad point that if you go back and look at press reporting on time, it certainly was not secret,” Price said. “And the governments that were involved were publicly speaking on this record.”
this is true. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said In July 2017 that Israeli airstrikes targeted Hizbullah-bound convoys in Syria “dozens of times”. A month later, Major General Amir Eshel, head of the Israeli Air Force Confirmed Israel attacked the convoy carrying weapons Hezbollah Many times in the last five years. And in 2018, Israeli intelligence minister Israel Katz said That “Israel has carried out more than 200 military operations within Syria in the last two years.”
When asked about the audio on Tuesday, current Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told CNN’s Jake Topper that “it’s utter nonsense.”
“These things were so secret that they were all told in the press at the time,” Blinken said.
Correction: A previous version of this story had the wrong title for Javad Zarif. He is the Iranian foreign minister.