John Kerry denied Monday that he divulged classified information to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif regarding an Israeli covert operation that targeted Iranian forces in Syria in at least 200 attacks.
“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false,” Kerry wrote on twitter.
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
According to several outlets, leaked audio recorded in March captured Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stating that Kerry told him Israel had targeted Iranian forces in Syria at least 200 times.
Zarif reportedly reacted with amazement to Kerry’s disclosure. Zarif did not specify which year of Kerry’s State Department tenure the admission was made.
“It was former US Foreign Secretary John Kerry who told me Israel had launched more than 200 attacks on Iranian forces in Syria,” Zarif said, according to Iran International.
Some Biden administration officials have dismissed the severity of Kerry’s alleged disclosure. State Department spokesperson Ned Price commented at a press briefing Monday, “I would just make the broad point that if you go back and look at press reporting from the time, this certainly was not secret, and governments that were involved were speaking to this publicly, on the record.”
Kerry traveled to Iran in 2018 to meet with Zarif regarding the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal that he helped to negotiate as President Obama’s secretary of state and may have disclosed the information during that meeting. The 200 attacks were not reported publicly until six months later.
Kerry, now serving as U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, is facing pressure from Republican legislators to either resign or be prosecuted and removed for sharing the details of Israel’s secret military missions with Zarif when he served as former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Republicans have accused Kerry of betraying Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East.
Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan demanded Kerry’s resignation in a floor speech.
“John Kerry’s record, of undermining working families and working against American national security interests was too much to bear. He needs to go,” Sullivan said.
“This is a criminal act and John Kerry must be immediately investigated and PROSECUTED,” Representative Elise Stefanik of New York tweeted. “President Biden must immediately remove John Kerry from any government or advisory position.”
Florida Senator Rick Scott called in a tweet for Biden to cut off Kerry’s access to national security briefings until it is determined whether Zarif’s reported claims are accurate.
“The allegations involving @JohnKerry are deeply disturbing. If true, he must resign,” Scott said.