Pompeo says Kerry's meetings with Iranian officials "unseemly, unprecedented"

Date: 15/09/2018     Time: 12:38 AM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that John Kerry, former Secretary of State during the era of former President Barack Obama, has been "actively undermining US policy" on Iran, in reference to his meetings with Iranian officials. On Kerry's meetings with Iranian officials, Pompeo told reporters "what Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented. This is a former Secretary of State engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror". Pompeo added "it's inconsistent with what foreign policy of the United States is, as directed by this president and it is beyond inappropriate for him to be engaged". "He (Kerry) was telling them to wait out this administration. You can't find precedent for this in US history and Secretary Kerry ought not engage in that kind of behavior," he remarked. In a radio show, Kerry acknowledged meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "three or four times" since leaving office, saying "what I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better". For his part, President Donald Trump blasted Kerry's meetings, saying in a tweet "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". "He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!" he stressed. On Fox News, Kerry commented on his meetings saying, "every secretary of state, former secretary of state continues to meet with foreign leaders, goes to security conferences, goes around the world," adding "I think everybody in the world is talking about waiting out President Trump". Meanwhile, Pompeo affirmed that "make no mistake about it, come November 4th (deadline) there will be a fundamentally different set of rules with respect to anyone who deems it necessary to engage in economic activity with the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a big, important day". He stressed that many countries are already taking actions "to move out of Iran, to discontinue doing business with them in advance of the November 4th deadline ... they're also coming to see that this activity is supporting the exact kinds of malign activity that President Trump has been talking about since the first day he took office". He continued "I think the world is beginning to see that the challenge is much bigger than anything that the JCPOA even pretended to have addressed".