Former secretary of state John Kerry is not about to let President Donald Trump undermine the Iran nuclear deal that he helped craft.
Even if that means he is secretly colluding with Iran to salvage it.
Kerry reportedly “engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official,” according to a new report by The Boston Globe.
With a May 12 deadline for Trump to decide whether to continue under the terms of the deal negotiated under the Obama administration and signed in 2015, Kerry has been “on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to preserve it,” undermining American foreign policy in the process, according to the report.
Kerry has met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Union official Federica Mogherini and French President Emmanuel Macron as well as Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a“below the radar” campaign so as not to “provoke Trump.”More than a year after leaving office, Kerry met with Zarif in New York two weeks ago, their second meeting in about two months, in what can only be seen as an effort to counter current Trump administration foreign policy.
“It is unusual for a former secretary of state to engage in foreign policy like this, as an actual diplomat and quasi-negotiator,” Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said. “Of course, former secretaries of state often remain quite engaged with foreign leaders, as they should, but it’s rarely so issue-specific, especially when they have just left office.”
Kerry has reportedly been lobbying members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, in an effort to salvage the deal he negotiated in which the U.S. waives sanctions, which are reviewed every three or four months, as long as Iran remains in compliance with the deal limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman blasted the deal in March, calling Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei the “Hitler of the Middle East.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed thousands of documents last week showing Iran’s efforts to build its nuclear program, which Kerry panned as nothing new.
Every detail PM Netanyahu presented yesterday was every reason the world came together to apply years of sanctions and negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement – because the threat was real and had to be stopped. It’s working! That’s why Israeli security experts are speaking out. 1/4
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) May 1, 2018
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slammed the signature Obama foreign policy achievement as “not just unfixable, but truly catastrophic,” as he detailed the damning evidence against Iran and the disastrous deal in a series of tweets last week.
According to The Boston Globe:
Kerry is coordinating his push with a group of officials who were his top advisers at the State Department, and who helped craft and negotiate the Iran deal in the first place. The group, called Diplomacy Works, has an advisory council that includes lead Iran-deal negotiator Wendy Sherman, former State Department chief of staff Jon Finer, and former spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
The group claims to be responsible for 100 news articles, 34 television and radio hits, and 37 opinion pieces on the Iran question. They do fact checks of criticisms of the agreement and blast them out to an e-mail list of nearly 4,000 policy makers and foreign policy experts.
With Trump’s consistent criticism of the Iran deal and his threats to pull the U.S. out of the pact that allowed billions of dollars back into the rogue nation, Kerry’s strategy and secret meetings raise the red flag of collusion even as Democrats have been up in arms about the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 election, for which there is still no evidence.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was at the center of a controversy early in the Trump administration when he was accused of violating the Logan Act by talking to foreign officials before Trump took office. But Kerry is not a member of the administration, nor a member of the transition team as Flynn was, but a private citizen apparently working to undermine a current administration.
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