Kerry, who negotiated the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear accord that Trump abandoned, earlier this year, said during a tour to promote his new book that he met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “three or four times” since he left office and Trump entered the White House.
Pompeo’s criticism of Kerry came a day after President Donald Trump accused the former secretary of state of “illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian regime which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people.
“He [Kerry] told them to wait out the Trump administration, while the president wrote on social media, dismissing it as “Bad!”
In an interview Wednesday, Kerry said he did not offer Zarif advice on how to deal with Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 deal. “No, that’s not my job,” he told radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“What I have done was trying 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 pointed out, saying “I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him, ‘Look, you guys need to recognise that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen, Kerry said, echoing the Trump administration’s denunciation of Tehran’s “malign” activities.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said of Kerry, “I’ve seen him brag about the meetings that he has had with … Iranian government officials. I’ve also seen reports that he is apparently providing, according to reports, advice to the Iranian government. … The best advice that he should be giving the Iranian government is stop supporting terror groups around the world., she concluded.