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

John Kerry under fire after admitting to meetings with Iranian officials behind Trump’s back

John Kerry under fire after admitting to meetings with Iranian officials behind Trump’s back

The Trump administration has spoken out regarding controversial meetings that former Secretary of State John Kerry had with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Trump and Pompeo's criticism came after Kerry told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that earlier reports of his meetings with Zarif were correct: They had met three or four times since Kerry left office but not since Pompeo took the job in April.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert added: "I've seen him brag about the meetings that he has had with the Iranian government and Iranian government officials". Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act?

The law Trump invoked - the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA - requires registration and transparency by people or companies acting on behalf of foreign governments, political parties or individuals.

"Mr. President, you should be more anxious about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran's FM", Kerry said on Twitter shortly after Pompeo's remarks, referring to Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who on Friday agreed to cooperate with federal investigators into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Kerry ran for president, unsuccessfully in 2004, and has not ruled out a 2020 bid.

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Kerry's spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pompeo's remarks.

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.

Kerry, a principal architect of the Iranian nuclear deal, which Trump pulled out of in May, denied that his talks were about the nuclear issue. The Boston Globe called the meeting an "aggressive yet stealthy" mission to put pressure on the Trump administration to keep the Obama-era nuclear deal in some form.

Trump withdrew the USA from the landmark nuclear agreement forged under predecessor Barack Obama, saying it was "defective" and unable to rein in Iranian behavior or halt the Islamic Republic's quest to develop nuclear weapons.

Kerry, though, denied his meetings were inappropriate.

Kerry said such meetings are appropriate, later explaining during a television interview on Fox News that "every secretary of state, former secretary of state continues to meet with foreign leaders, goes to security conferences, goes around the world". "We all do that". We all do that, and we have conversations with people about the state of affairs in the world in order to understand them.

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