'This certainly was not secret': State Department defends John Kerry over Iran leaks claim | Washington Examiner

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  3 weeks ago  •  33 comments

By:   Joel Gehrke (Washington Examiner)

'This certainly was not secret': State Department defends John Kerry over Iran leaks claim | Washington Examiner
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claims in a new audio recording that former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him of Israeli military operations in Syria — but U.S. officials are brushing off the statement, saying the Israeli strikes were public knowledge.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claims in a new audio recording that former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him of Israeli military operations in Syria — but U.S. officials are brushing off the statement, saying the Israeli strikes were public knowledge.

"This is purportedly leaked material. Can't speak to the authenticity. Can't speak to the accuracy of it. Can't speak to any motives that may be behind its dissemination," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday. "If you go back and look at press reporting from the time, this certainly was not secret, and governments that were involved were speaking to this publicly on the record."

Zarif credits Kerry, in a recording obtained by a Persian media outlet based in the United Kingdom, for the revelations that "Israel had launched more than 200 attacks on Iranian forces in Syria." The audio is surfacing as Iranian officials are urging President Joe Biden to provide sanctions relief in advance of Iran's return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal — timing that contributes to questions about the ramifications of the release.

"Do we think that Javad Zarif gave this interview without knowing it would be leaked?" said Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior adviser Richard Goldberg, a senior White House National Security Council official in 2019 and 2020 under then-President Donald Trump. "Is this completely candid, or is any of it just intentional? That's a baseline question for all of this analysis."

POMPEO RETURNS TO CAPITOL HILL TO PUSH IRAN SANCTIONS BILL

The lengthy recording also features an unusual criticism of the late Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who is portrayed as cooperating with the Russian government to "destroy" the 2015 nuclear deal. "That trip was made upon Moscow's initiative without the Iranian Foreign Ministry having any control on it," Zarif said in the recording, which was first published by Iran International, in reference to a trip that Soleimani reportedly took in 2015. "Its objective was to destroy the JCPOA."

The recording shows the foreign minister complaining that Soleimani's military operations trumped his diplomatic efforts. "I have never been able to ask Soleimani to do something that would serve my diplomatic moves," Zarif said. The conversation was recorded in February "as part of an 'oral history' research scheme," according to Iranian state media.

Zarif cited Soleimani's use of "the Iranian national airline for transportation to Syria," an apparent reference to the weapons smuggling that attracted the attention of U.S. and Israeli officials. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke openly about Israeli strikes in Syria in the spring of 2017, saying that Israeli forces would "attack whenever the Iranians smuggle advanced arms." Iran International concluded that Zarif's comment about Kerry was "not very credible," given such public acknowledgment of the attacks.

"I'm not really sure what to make of [the Kerry anecdote]," Goldberg said. "The larger issue though is, of course, why do these U.S. officials trust the propagandists of the supreme leader of Iran to such an extent that you're going to carry on these long conversations and risk disclosing things to them? … This is merely a propagandist for the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world."

Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other Republicans protested Kerry's post-office meetings with Zarif during Trump's presidency, as Kerry stated publicly that "everybody in the world is talking about waiting out" the 45th commander in chief. U.S. officials at the time wanted Iran to agree to yield under the pressure of renewed sanctions to additional nuclear and foreign policy restrictions.

"It's inconsistent with what the foreign policy of the United States is, as directed by this president, and it's beyond inappropriate," Pompeo argued at the time.

Goldberg's view of Zarif draws on the foreign minister's admission that "his role in determining Iran's foreign policy was 'nil,'" according to Iran International's summary. Price avoided assessing the ramifications of the comments.

"With any negotiation, we don't have control of the internal decision-making process of our counterparts," he said. "In this case, through our partners, because these negotiations continue to be indirect, we're communicating with the officials the Iranian government has put forward to take part in these talks in Vienna."

Those conversations are being mediated by the other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal, a group that includes major Western European allies but also Russia and China. Price has described Russia and China as partners on the specific question of the Iran talks, citing their collective distaste for the prospect of the Iranian regime possessing nuclear weapons. He emphasized that common interest Monday when weighing Zarif's comments about Russia's posture.

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"We were able to achieve the JCPOA in 2015 and implement it in early 2016, with this same set of partners," Price said. "I think that speaks to some potential possibility of us being able to do this again — if we find that commitment on the Iranian side, and that remains an 'if.' … A nuclear-armed Iran is not in Moscow's interest."


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JBB
PhD Principal
1  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

The damn gop's lies keep blowing up in their faces!

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
1.1  Hallux  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago

Yesterday I searched through the 4 major Israeli newspapers and found no angst about Kerry's supposed 'disclosures' as they had already been disclosed by the Israeli government and military. Had the NYT article done better research we may have escaped the empty ranting of some on the right ... although, that I doubt, a drop of plasma hit the water and the piranhas swarmed in for a frenzy party.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
1.1.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Hallux @1.1    3 weeks ago

If it was not for all of their damn lies the damn gop would have no damned messages at all!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Like Hallux, I looked through a number of Israeli newpapers and found nothing that would have been considered ''giving away secrets''....

The ''hair on fire'' group now seems to be pretty quiet.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Kavika @2    3 weeks ago

They already vented their outraged false indication!

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @2.1    3 weeks ago

They're still spreading their lies as we speak.

They believe the swiftboater lies about Kerry.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
2.1.2  seeder  JBB  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

I saw a lot of uncalled for name calling, too...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

Questioning Kerry's bravery.  Doesn't that just 'take the cake'?  

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
2.1.4  seeder  JBB  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

I guess they get brownie points for nastiness!

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
3  pat wilson    3 weeks ago

Some members here should have a little self restraint before breathlessly seeding news articles before all the information is known. Makes them look like the jack asses they are.

JBB, your article photo is very appropriate. Switch the Stooge for John Durham and it would be perfect.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
3.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  pat wilson @3    3 weeks ago

Durham! Party of One News Now! Crow is served...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.2  Tessylo  replied to  pat wilson @3    3 weeks ago

Yet they double and triple and quadruple down with the lies, even when the truth is revealed.  They're deaf dumb and blind to the truth.  

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
3.2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Tessylo @3.2    3 weeks ago

Or, they know they are lying and are shameless!

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  pat wilson @3    3 weeks ago

There was a seed here on NT just a few days ago....... It looks like its gone missing.... Imagine that.

Found it!

John Kerry Told Iranians About Secret Israeli Operations In Syria: Report - Vic Eldred | The NewsTalkers

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.3.1  Tessylo  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.3    3 weeks ago

Hmmmmmm ...........

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Participates
4  Dismayed Patriot    3 weeks ago

Lies, deceit and photoshopped pictures of the Democrats they hate are all these shameless conservatives have. It's what you would expect from the same dipshits who crowed about the ridiculous bullshit swift-boat nonsense or the ones calling Kerry a flip-flopper waving their sandals around while their own elected leaders were doing spineless contortions trying to defend their change of heart over nominating a supreme court justice a few weeks before an election that they had sworn up and down they would never do or their King of flip-floppers dishonest Donald who was pro-choice before he needed religious conservative votes. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the Republican Cantina...".

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
4.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    3 weeks ago

The gop thinks they will do well in the midterms...

Good news? The gop is wrong about everything!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @4.1    3 weeks ago
The gop thinks they will do well in the midterms...

Yes, because history tells us incumbent President's parties do poorly in their first midterms.

Also, the GOP fared pretty well in House races last election, even while losing the WH and Senate, the GOP picked up seats in the House, resulting in the lowest majority in well over a hundred years.

And because of that success, the GOP can control the maps of districts, which will result in fewer Democratic wins.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.2  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  JBB @4.1    3 weeks ago
The gop thinks they will do well in the midterms...

Unfortunately, JBB when one side feels out of control of their own destiny, ignored, neglected and being forced to go along against their will those people vote more.

The power shifts and that side wins elections.

If dems try to go it alone without the republicans I expect the power to switch back rather quickly.

and from what I see the dems who now are in control don't care. Much as the republicans didn't care a year ago.   

Unfortunately, IMO: most americans don't either get it or don't care whether.

So back and forth the dance continues on this very long sad song of division. And the puppets happily dance the night away. Waiting for their time in the spotlight. 

Meanwhile America's and the world's problems continue to grow uninhibited by the irresponsible of its inhabitants. 

Sad

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Participates
4.1.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.1    3 weeks ago
the GOP can control the maps of districts, which will result in fewer Democratic wins.

Since they can't win by actually attracting more voters they'll no doubt contort the maps to squeak out wins. I think we'll see massive voter turn out once again in the mid-terms which will be good for Democrats, the more people who vote the more likely Democrats win which is why Republicans are hard at work trying to disenfranchise as many Democrat voters as they can before the mid-terms.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
4.1.4  seeder  JBB  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

Except, most Americans are more optimistic than they have been in years right now. Biden has handled Covid well and times are good...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.1.3    3 weeks ago
Since they can't win by actually attracting more voters they'll no doubt contort the maps to squeak out wins.

Just like Democrats. Pretending otherwise just exposes ignorance.

I think we'll see massive voter turn out once again in the mid-terms which will be good for Democrats, the more people who vote the more likely Democrats win

Record turnout in 2020, and Democrats lost House seats.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.2  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    3 weeks ago

I guess this is locked... If this is not just my computer I'd kind of like to understand WHY ? 

I am seeing this much more that I care too. 

Is this the work of opinion ? If so IMO: It sucks !

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.2    3 weeks ago

I think someone didn't like some of the comments

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.2.2  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Texan1211 @4.2.1    3 weeks ago

You are probably correct. 

They used to call that censored now its called cancelled. I call it BS. 

But its today's free speech.

I guess its to be expected in order to have civil conversations in an uncivil society.  

sad

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
5  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

Why are the goppers still hyperventilating over this?

 
 
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