Pompeo blasts Kerry's Iran meetings as 'beyond inappropriate'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted his predecessor John Kerry for "unseemly and unprecedented" behavior ...

Posted: Sep 15, 2018 7:10 PM
Updated: Sep 15, 2018 7:10 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted his predecessor John Kerry for "unseemly and unprecedented" behavior after Kerry said he had met Iranian officials since leaving office.

"What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department Friday.

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Iran

Iran nuclear development

John Kerry

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Mike Pompeo

Political Figures - US

US federal government

White House

Eastern Europe

Embargoes and sanctions

Europe

International relations

International relations and national security

Investigations

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Government departments and authorities

North America

State departments and diplomatic services

The Americas

United States

"This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror and according to him, he was talking to them, he was telling them to wait out this administration,' Pompeo added.

"You can't find precedent for this in US history and the secretary ought not engage in this kind of behavior," Pompeo continued, in answer to a question. "It's beyond inappropriate."

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 international nuclear agreement, to which Iran, the EU, Russia and China still adhere.

A spokesman for Kerry ridiculed Pompeo's assertion that Kerry was acting in unprecedented ways, adding that Kerry had briefed Pompeo on his conversations with Iranian officials so he would be aware of Iran's thinking.

"Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous Secretary of State, and in a long phone conversation with Secretary Pompeo earlier this year, he went into great detail about what he had learned about the Iranian's view," Matt Summers said. "No secrets were kept from this administration."

"Like America's closest allies, Kerry believes it is important that the commitments Iran made under the nuclear agreement, which took the world years to negotiate, remain effective," Summers added. "He was advocating for what was wholly consistent with US policy at the time. There's nothing unusual, let alone unseemly or inappropriate, about former diplomats meeting with foreign counterparts."

Kerry, who developed a relationship with Zarif over the course of years-long negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal, has publicly criticized Trump's decision to walk away from the deal without a replacement.

'Dangerous and ill-advised'

In a Sept. 9 interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Kerry said the withdrawal was "a very dangerous and ill-advised move that is not based on any broad strategy that is drawing other countries to the table to be supportive of it. Rather, I think it represents a campaign promise made by the President ... which has no basis in achieving the goals the President has set out, if there are goals."

On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Kerry's meetings were "illegal."

"John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people," Trump tweeted. "He told them to wait out the Trump Administration!"

Kerry responded on Friday, tweeting to Trump that he should be more concerned about the guilty plea of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and cheekily including a link for Trump to buy his book online.

"Mr. President," Kerry tweeted, "you should be more worried about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran's FM. But if you want to learn something about the nuclear agreement that made the world safer, buy my new book, Every Day Is Extra."

In a second tweet Kerry added, "PS - I recorded the audio version, not Omarosa."

Asked if he thought Kerry's meeting had been illegal, Pompeo said he would leave the "legal determinations to others."

He added that, "actively undermining US policy as a former secretary of state is literally unheard of."

Pompeo conveyed that he had been aware of at least some of Kerry's meetings, telling reporters that Kerry, along with lead US negotiator Wendy Sherman and former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, had been present at an international security conference in Germany he had attended. Describing the former Obama administration officials as "the troika," Pompeo said, "I am confident that they met with their troika counterparts," referring to Iranian officials.

And he added, in a reference to Kerry, that "I wasn't in the meeting but I am reasonably confident he wasn't there in support of US policy."

After Donald Trump's election but before he became president and took office, his transition team was accused of reaching out to the governments of both Israel and Russia to undermine Obama administration policies.

Pompeo singled out Russia for undermining sanctions pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. "Russia has actively attempted to undermine the UN Security Council Resolutions," Pompeo said.

Sanctions, the top US diplomat said, "are central to President Trump's efforts to convince Chairman Kim that full, final, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is necessary and that it needs to be done in a way that the world can see that there's been a strategic change in Chairman Kim's core understanding of how he will provide a better future for the North Korean people."

Pompeo also pointed to Russia as he touted Trump's recent executive order mandating sanctions on anyone interfering in US elections.

"Russia has been particularly aggressive in using its cyber capabilities, disinformation and other covert means to attempt to sow instability in America," Pompeo said. The "State Department will continue to work closely with other agencies to identify, expose -- and expose foreign interference directed against American elections no matter which entity initiated it."

Critics have said that the executive order lacks teeth, as it is up to the President to decide whether he wants to pursue sanctions or not, and that it is largely redundant. An executive order authorizing sanctions for cyber-related attacks on the US already exists, signed by President Barack Obama.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 89°
Florence
Broken Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 88°
Fayetteville
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Decatur
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 87°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61960

Reported Deaths: 741
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13594224
Davidson13309143
Rutherford360239
Hamilton336438
Sumner194556
Williamson176316
Knox16209
Trousdale15105
Out of TN141610
Wilson118717
Putnam10197
Bradley9724
Robertson94813
Sevier9123
Unassigned8902
Montgomery7787
Tipton6987
Lake6960
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6249
Macon6037
Hamblen4744
Maury4623
Hardeman4184
Fayette3705
Madison3632
Rhea3430
Blount3393
Loudon3282
Dyer2923
McMinn28419
Cheatham2753
Dickson2750
Washington2620
Lawrence2396
Cumberland2214
Sullivan2214
Anderson2002
Jefferson1871
Lauderdale1824
Gibson1811
Smith1602
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Coffee1430
Cocke1380
Hardin1287
Warren1270
Obion1243
Haywood1213
Marshall1182
Franklin1163
Wayne1160
McNairy1071
Carter1052
Giles1051
Hickman1050
Marion954
Hawkins912
Lincoln870
White863
DeKalb850
Roane850
Henderson740
Weakley741
Overton731
Campbell701
Chester690
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Unicoi580
Grainger560
Polk550
Crockett543
Henry530
Carroll521
Cannon500
Sequatchie490
Humphreys472
Jackson470
Johnson460
Meigs380
Perry380
Morgan321
Decatur290
Scott280
Fentress270
Stewart260
Union240
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock120
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events