They really need to prosecute this traitor John Kerry, he’s continuing to undercut American policy.
John Kerry said that he has met with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif (the former secretary’s onetime negotiating partner) three or four times in recent months all behind the Trump administration’s back.
Skip to about the last ten minutes.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed that he has been conducting rogue diplomacy with top Iranian officials to salvage the landmark nuclear deal and push the Islamic Republic to negotiate its contested missile program, according to recent remarks.
Kerry, in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new book, said that he has met with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif—the former secretary’s onetime negotiating partner—three or four times in recent months behind the Trump administration’s back.
“I think I’ve seen him three or four times,” Kerry said, adding that he has been conducting sensitive diplomacy without the current administration’s authorization. Kerry said he has criticized the current administration in these discussions, chiding it for not pursuing negotiations from Iran, despite the country’s fevered rhetoric about the U.S. president. More
Where does the rule of law finally rule? This guy is undermining the Presidency and openly admits it. Arrest him now. This is Treason.
… HH: All right, interesting, interesting topic. I want to move to Iran, but the first step is Syria. Just one of my notes – you point out, you spent a lot of time with Assad. Now you didn’t know it at the time. I’m not faulting you for that. But that’s like saying in retrospect I spent a lot of time with Hitler. Did you ever get the sense he’s a genocidal maniac, I mean, a war criminal on par with Pol Pot and Hitler?
JK: No, not at that point in time. In fact, most people who had met with him, Republicans and Democrats alike, because he was then, you know, the new leader of Syria and untested, and nobody really knew much about him. But he was, he was talking about reforming his country. He was talking about moving in a very different direction. He wanted to try to make a deal to have oil pipe from Iraq. He wanted to have health care technology. He and his wife were talking about opening up to Western business and they were moving in a different direction. And you know, I mean, again, we had meetings to explore where Syria was going and where the region was going, and what peace might look like with Israel and so forth. And then when the Arab Spring came, he made, and it’s very interesting, because Foreign Minister Lavrov and Putin both told me they thought he had made some really lousy decisions, and that he made mistakes. And they backed him, obviously, because of other strategic interests, but they were not particularly happy with some of his choices. But the point is that when the Arab Spring took place, Assad responded to these young people who were demonstrating for jobs and for education and for an opportunity by sending his thugs out to beat them up. And the parents, then, were really disturbed by that. They joined in the protests, and Assad sent thugs out with bullets. And that was the beginning of the civil strife, the uprising in Syria. It was Assad’s gross miscalculation, and perhaps the demonstration of who the real Assad was. I’m very blunt in the book.
HH: Yes, you are.
JK: I make it very clear he is a war criminal. He is, he has, he has departed from all, any kind of redeeming notion that there’s an element of reform or anything else in him. And I think the Russians and the Iranians in their support of Assad have crossed a line, because they have supported this man and his war criminal activities. So I think the international community, regrettably, has failed as a whole to hold him accountable, and to take advantage of opportunities to try to leverage a better outcome in Syria. Ultimately, regrettably, because Russia made the decision to go in, and by the way, Russia’s presence in Syria is not new. It’s not because of the Obama situation. Russia’s been there for years, 30 years, 40 years. Russia built the Syrian air defense system. And Russia has had people manning some of those facilities for decades now. So the Russian presence grew, but it’s not new in Syria. And the truth is that the only way to have a political resolution now that will end the violence and provide some kind of a new governance that can include the opposition is through diplomatic process. And the only way to get there is going to take Russia and Iran to be at the table. Now ironically, Hugh, both of those countries supported a diplomatic structure for a resolution of the war in Syria, which included an election run by the international community, not by Assad, in which the entire diaspora of all the refugees in Turkey, in Jordan and around the world would be allowed to vote. And they supported the idea that that was the framework for a new Syria which was united, democratic, unified with all minorities being able to be represented and protected. That was embraced in a UN resolution, 2254, and both the Russians and the Chinese voted for it, supported it in the Security Council, and Iran supported that. So there is a framework for peace. The problem has been getting the dynamic in place where you actually hold Assad accountable to a ceasefire, and you hold al Nusra, which is al Qaeda, accountable to a ceasefire and you create a structure where you can move forward.
HH: Let’s move to Iran. Every Day Is Extra is full of detail about the JCPOA. And if I’m correct, did you spend more time talking in person or on the phone with Javad Zarif than any other foreign minister? Maybe Lavrov, but was he your number one interlocutor?
JK: I’m not sure. I never did a tally of the numbers, but I spent a lot of time with my European colleagues also at NATO in many other meetings. We spent a lot of time on Syria in the international Syria support group with our other colleagues. I mean, certainly Javad was up there. But I spent a lot of time with France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia. Those were the principal interlocutors, and I’ve never divided it up.
HH: Okay, it’s been reported you’ve met with him a couple of times at least since leaving office as well. So you still…
JK: Yes, I have. That’s accurate.
HH: And is it a half dozen times, a dozen times?
JK: No. No, no, no. I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.
HH: Are you trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the JCPOA?
JK: No, that’s not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that’s not how it works. 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. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack. I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further. And I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.
HH: Oh, that makes sense. Part of Every Day Is Extra which is useful training for diplomats is you can’t say you make people do things. They have to say they agree to things. I get all that. But does Zarif at least acknowledge to you they’re running arms through Oman to the Houthis that are becoming missiles that land in the UAE and Saudi Arabia? Do they, are they open about that?
JK: They are open about the fact that they are supportive of the Houthi, but they also say they are prepared to, that they don’t expect the Houthi to be running the government of Yemen. They don’t expect anything except a representative process in which they’re represented as a minority, but they’re able to be safely part of governance. So in effect, I think there could be a capacity to have a process in place that could resolve this. In fact, the negotiations that took place in Kuwait came close to a resolution. And when I went to Oman and met with the Houthi and others, we got them to agree to go back to that discussion and be prepared to accept the outlines of a peace process that we put on the table. I regret to say that it was Hadi, President Hadi who balked and refused to go forward with what he had previously agreed to in Kuwait.
HH: Now I really hope as you continue to talk with Zarif or with the Sultan of Oman, who’s clearly a good friend of yours, that this has just got to stop. To me, it’s as bad as they’re cheating on the JCPOA or sponsoring a terrorist attack on the expats in Paris. They are sending sophisticated weaponry that can kill a lot of people in these missiles that the Houthis are there. And Zarif and the Sultan, they’ve just got to stop that. Do you agree, Secretary?
JK: And we, absolutely, and we made it very, very clear to them, and the issue’s been raised with the Omanis and others. I think there are ways to get at that, but you’re to again have to engage. But I made it crystal clear that that’s unacceptable. In fact, Hugh, it’s not well known, but we kept in place in the JCPOA negotiations, we kept the sanctions in place for human rights. We kept the sanctions in place for the missile testing. We kept sanctions in place against their transfer of weapons in Yemen. And we raised those sanctions during, even during the time we were negotiating the JCPOA. So we never relented with respect to accountability on those issues. But we believe that having an Iran that didn’t have a nuclear weapon or a pathway to a nuclear weapon was a better place to be in negotiating on those other issues. And our theory of the case was you get JCPOA in place, you prove you’re going to enforce it as you agreed to, and then you put all those other issues on the table. So from my point of view, I think President Trump would have been much better advised to have kept the JCPOA, which would have kept China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain together with you, united. So you keep it in place, and you say to the Iranians hey, guys, we’ve told you you’ve got to stop these other things. I’m going to give you two years or a year or whatever. We’re willing to negotiate on these other things. But if you don’t, if you haven’t done it by then, I’m out of this agreement. And that way, you have China, Russia, these other countries with you in the effort to leverage this different behavior from Iran rather than unilaterally pulling out and isolating yourself and making it much more difficult to sit down with any Iranian.
HH: Now when you get done talking to Zarif in Norway or Munich, do you call up Pompeo and talk with him about this sort of stuff and how…
JK: Well, those conversations took place before Pompeo became Secretary of State. And I haven’t seen him since then. But I did have a fairly long conversation with Secretary Pompeo before the Iran decision was made. And I made the argument that I just made to you. I made it very clearly, and it was clear that he disagreed with that approach, or President Trump disagreed. I don’t know which. But the bottom line is that is not the approach they took.
HH: All right, let me go through my questions about the agreement. I was a big opponent of the JCPOA, and you know candidly I’m glad we got out of it. But if they had delivered, for example, Siamak Namazi, I believe they promised that to you, did they not, that they were going to release him, and he’s still in a jail in Iran? More
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