Republicans demanded the resignation of U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry on Monday after leaked audio allegedly revealed that he told Iran about Israeli military operations, an accusation that Kerry is adamantly denying.
The leaked audio was reported on by The New York Times and was revealed on Sunday. In the three-hour recording, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that Kerry informed him that Israel attacked Iranian assets in Syria “at least 200 times.” Zarif also said that he was surprised that Kerry would tell him about the sensitive information.
On Twitter, Kerry called the assertions “unequivocally false.”
His full tweet reads: “I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.” Biden administration officials are shrugging off the allegations, claiming that the information Kerry allegedly shared was widely known about at the time in question.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
“People are talking about treason — and I don’t throw that word around a lot,” Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) stated in an interview. “John Kerry does all kinds of things that I can’t stand. But this is the one that broke the camel’s back.”
“I don’t do this lightly. In my entire time in the Senate, I’ve never called for anyone’s resignation,” Sullivan claimed. “But his record, John Kerry’s record, of undermining working families and working against American national security interests was too much to bear. He needs to go.”
“When I read this today, I was astonished as well that a former secretary of state, now a member of President Biden’s National Security Council … would reveal the secrets of one of our most important and enduring allies in the region to an avowed enemy,” he said.
.@NYTimes & others are reporting John Kerry disclosed covert Israeli operations to Iran, the largest state sponsor of terror with the blood of thousands of US soldiers on its hands.
If this is true, it’s traitorous and Kerry needs to go. pic.twitter.com/RW2OPBPjUO
— Sen. Dan Sullivan (@SenDanSullivan) April 26, 2021
Other Republicans also called for Kerry’s resignation.
“It’s unfathomable that any U.S. diplomat, past or present, would leak intelligence to the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism at the expense of one of our staunchest allies,” declared Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted: “This is a criminal act and John Kerry must be immediately investigated and PROSECUTED. President Biden must immediately remove John Kerry from any government or advisory position.”
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley also voiced her anger on Twitter over the development: “This is disgusting on many levels. Biden and Kerry have to answer for why Kerry would be tipping off Iran, the number one sponsor of terror, while stabbing one of our greatest partners, Israel, in the back.”
Kerry led the negotiations in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under the Obama administration. Republicans staunchly opposed the deal then and stand against reentering it under the Biden administration.
Zarif’s statements have not been verified yet. He made his comments to an Iranian academic and the audio was initially leaked to a London-based media outlet. The timing of the reported leak to Zarif is unclear. The Israelis publicly reported the attacks in 2018.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urged caution concerning Zarif’s reliability: “I don’t know if we should trust that tape or not. If it’s true, it’s very damaging,” Graham remarked. “I like John Kerry, but that would not be helpful and it would be very problematic if it were true. But let’s wait and see how authentic this is.”
Kerry was called upon to address the allegation.
I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since. https://t.co/BTOdFE1khW
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) April 26, 2021
“It’s very troubling, and there needs to be full transparency to understand exactly what was done, by whom, for what purpose, and an accounting of what occurred,” stated Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). “We have one recording by an Iranian official, but this is something that has to be evaluated and looked into.”
“You don’t want your climate envoy undermining your closest ally in the region,” commented Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). “Hopefully he’ll be explaining himself soon.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) proclaimed that Biden should revoke Kerry’s access to classified information while the leak is investigated. “The allegations involving @JohnKerry are deeply disturbing. If true, he must resign,” Scott added.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) April 26, 2021
All of this is occurring as the Biden administration seeks to resurrect the Iranian nuclear deal. Former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the contested deal in 2018.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pointedly commented that Zarif’s remarks reinforce the need to keep in place sanctions on Iran.
“We know that preemptive concessions will not secure a better deal, or make America or our allies more secure,” McConnell noted on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Biden White House simply would not comment on the leaked tapes.
Biden’s press secretary refuses to comment on reports that John Kerry shared details about Israel’s covert military operations with the terrorist regime in Iran. pic.twitter.com/WLF8lcTi77
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) April 26, 2021
Kerry has previously been accused of colluding with Iran in an effort to undermine former President Trump during his presidency.
He has admitted that he met with Zarif on at least two other occasions during Trump’s tenure. Trump said Kerry should be “prosecuted” for his secret meetings with the regime.
John Kerry is trending on Twitter:
— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) April 26, 2021
I literally can’t believe John Kerry TOLD the Iranian regime about Israel’s covert operations against them. Imagine choosing a terror sponsoring regime over our closest ally in the Middle East. Disgusting.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 26, 2021
Here is your friendly reminder that John Kerry has been on the wrong side of every major foreign affair issue he’s ever encountered, going back at least to Vietnam itself.
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) April 26, 2021
I am speechless.
Iran's foreign minister is claiming John Kerry told him about more than 200 Israeli covert ops taking place in Syria.
Zarif claims Kerry even warned him about airstrikes.
If this is true, it's possibly the most egregious betrayal against an ally in US history.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) April 26, 2021
Why was John Kerry feeding Iran secrets about Israeli operations in Syria? Iran is the largest state-sponsor of terror. We don’t even have a diplomatic office for Iran in the States since the overthrow of the Shah. What in G-d’s name is Kerry doing? Grotesque.
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) April 26, 2021
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