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U.S.' Pompeo slams Kerry for 'inappropriate' meetings with Iran officials


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U.S.' Pompeo slams Kerry for 'inappropriate' meetings with Iran officials

By Lesley Wroughton

 

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers farewell remarks to State Department employees at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday lambasted his predecessor, John Kerry, for meetings with Iranian officials in back-channel talks and accused him of "actively undermining" the Trump administration's policy towards Tehran.

 

"What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented," Pompeo told a news conference, adding that he "ought not to engage in that kind of behaviour. It's inconsistent with what the foreign policy of the United States is, as directed by this president. It is beyond inappropriate."

 

Pompeo's sharp criticism of Kerry comes a day after President Donald Trump accused the former secretary of state of "illegal" meetings on Iran in a late-night 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!" Trump said on Twitter.

 

Trump withdrew the United States from a nuclear deal that Kerry clinched in 2015 between Iran and six world powers. The Trump administration has pushed a hard line against Tehran, which it accuses of expanding its influence in the Middle East through support for proxy armed groups in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

 

Kerry, in a radio interview with Fox News as part of a book tour, said he had met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif "three or four times" since the end of his term in January 2017. He has also accused the Trump administration of pursuing a policy of regime change in Iran.

 

"Mr. President, you should be more worried about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran's FM," Kerry said on Twitter shortly after Pompeo's remarks, referring to Trump's former campaign chairman who on Friday agreed to cooperate with federal investigators into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

 

"There’s nothing unusual, let alone unseemly or inappropriate, about former diplomats meeting with foreign counterparts," a spokesman for Kerry said in a statement. "What is unseemly and unprecedented is for the podium of the State Department to be hijacked for political theatrics," he said.

 

During interviews this week Kerry has accused the Trump administration of pursuing a policy of regime change in Iran.

Pompeo pushed back, saying that was not the administration's intention.

 

"This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror ...," Pompeo said, adding: "He was telling them to wait out this administration. You can't find precedent for this in U.S. history."

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-09-15
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Indeed. "trump" is not a legitimate president. The Woodward book which confirms what pretty much everyone already knows documents that well. Let the orange badness pass and make it as fast as possible. 

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Kudos to Kerry. He is doing the right thing. Just because a morally bankrupt administration does not want to do it, does not mean it should not be done. This state department is deliberately understaffed and Pompeo is in way over his head. An open dialogue with Iran is smart and visionary. A war with Iran could be devastating for the US. 

 

When it comes to Pompeo and Trump if you can count on anything, it will always be gross incompetence, a lack of understanding of the issues, and a total lack of historical knowledge or context. The price of illiteracy. 

 

Tiny Don. I cannot make a deal to save my life. 

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3 hours ago, rooster59 said:

"There’s nothing unusual, let alone unseemly or inappropriate, about former diplomats meeting with foreign counterparts," a spokesman for Kerry said in a statement. "What is unseemly and unprecedented is for the podium of the State Department to be hijacked for political theatrics," he said.

That’s trump’s basic modus operandi.  

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Are Kerry's meeting with Zarif etc. illegal? Most probably not. He's not daft enough to leave himself wide open in such a manner.

 

Are they appropriate? Well, "appropriate" seems to be going down the drain with pretty much anything even semi-related to this administration. On the way to the bottom, it also tends to make opponents pick up some of the taint. Not, as mentioned above, that the Trump administration got a leg to stand on with regard to this specific point (Flynn etc.).

 

I usually avoid clicking "like" to poster @Samui Bodoh's posts including the bit about Trump being an "ever-expanding cloud of toxic waste that defiles everything it touches", but it does seem appropriate in this context. Given a "normal" presidency and president, I doubt Kerry's actions would be much condoned even by Democrats. Furthermore, I imagine they would have been cleared/coordinated with State Department.

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6 hours ago, Boon Mee said:

Has Kerry registered as an agent of a foreign government? 

Thought not. 

Because he isn't.

He met with Iranian officials in his personal capacity.

He becomes an agent of a foreign government should he meet with American officials to represent a foreign government agenda in a "political or quasi-political capacity."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Agents_Registration_Act

Trump of all people should understand the meaning of an agent of a foreign government as per Flynn's (an others in his organization & administration) activities during and after Trump's campaign.

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17 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

Kudos to Kerry. He is doing the right thing. Just because a morally bankrupt administration does not want to do it, does not mean it should not be done. This state department is deliberately understaffed and Pompeo is in way over his head. An open dialogue with Iran is smart and visionary. A war with Iran could be devastating for the US. 

 

When it comes to Pompeo and Trump if you can count on anything, it will always be gross incompetence, a lack of understanding of the issues, and a total lack of historical knowledge or context. The price of illiteracy

 

Tiny Don. I cannot make a deal to save my life. 

"Pompeo is in way over his head."  First in his class at West Point, U.S. Army Officer, law degree from Harvard Law School, business man, Congressman, Director of CIA, Secretary of State. I would hardly call either Trump or Pompeo illiterate. You may not like the politics but calling people you don't agree with illiterate is rather condescending. Your contribution to anything has been what? 

 

You call for open dialogue. Trump has offered to talk directly with the powers that be in Iran. Many question the Iran deal and the ability to verify Iran's nuclear research/production work. That's a real concern to many. Not with standing the fact that certain side deals were made and the fact that the White House considered the deal an executive agreement and not a treaty they were able to get around certain Congressional proceedings. Hardly the way to make a deal through open discussion for the American public to witness. Kerry should NOT be conducting diplomacy as a former government official, particularly with regard to Iran. Specifically he should not be trying to counter the current elected Administrations policies with regard to foreign diplomacy.  Kerry served in Congress, as Secretary of State, is married to a wealthy women and should just gracefully bow out of politics.  Problem is that some of these people who have been basically rejected in their bids for higher office, can't just give up the limelight.  They just continue to want to be in front of the camera to suit their own egos, not because they have anything to offer. Kerry's legacy as Secretary of State will be his picture on a State Department wall as a former Secretary of State.

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21 minutes ago, Trouble said:

Pompeo is in way over his head."  First in his class at West Point, U.S. Army Officer, law degree from Harvard Law School, business man, Congressman, Director of CIA, Secretary of State. I would hardly call either Trump or Pompeo illiterate. You may not like the politics but calling people you don't agree with illiterate is rather condescending. Your contribution to anything has been what?

 You can hardly call Pompeo illiterate , as you made a good case for his accomplishments but how you  extend your argument to apply to Trump I don't understand.

   He speaks at a fourth grade level, his misspelled tweets are notorious,  he has not even a basic grasp of history, case and point him thinking Andrew Jackson could had prevented the Civil war even though he died almost twenty years before it.  He thinks Belgium is a city . etc

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11 hours ago, Srikcir said:

Trump of all people should understand the meaning of an agent of a foreign government

Trump doesn't understand how to do anything that he thinks will not make him look good.  .He's a sadistic psychopath and he is unable to do/say anything that he thinks will make him look inferior.  I really don't think that he could have debriefed his closest advisors after his meetings with either Kim or Putin as by the time the meetings were over he had already mentally configured ar his understanding of the things discussed that would make him look good without any representation of reality.  There's an interesting article about a  basic  Psychopathy and Sadism test that is used in the "shrink" world.  Put your Humpty Dumpty hat on and take both of them, be honest.   I did and scored very high on both and was very pleased until I realized the lower score was the best!  http://uk.businessinsider.com/hare-psychopath-checklist-test-sociopath-2016-11

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14 hours ago, sirineou said:

 You can hardly call Pompeo illiterate , as you made a good case for his accomplishments but how you  extend your argument to apply to Trump I don't understand.

   He speaks at a fourth grade level, his misspelled tweets are notorious,  he has not even a basic grasp of history, case and point him thinking Andrew Jackson could had prevented the Civil war even though he died almost twenty years before it.  He thinks Belgium is a city . etc

 

Thank you. I was never referring to Pompeo as being illiterate. But he does seem out of place as SOS. Maybe it is the attempt to follow inane policies?  Trump illiterate? Yes. My guess is that he can read, but barely. He most definitely cannot speak. He makes Bush Jr. look really smart. An orator he will never be. 

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On 9/14/2018 at 6:42 PM, rooster59 said:

"What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented," Pompeo told a news conference, adding that he "ought not to engage in that kind of behaviour.

First lets get a couple of things straight.

Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/john-kerry-slams-trump-iran-accusations-worried-paul/story?id=57840455

"Trump originally attacked Kerry on Thursday evening, saying on Twitter that Kerry had "illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime." The tweet was an apparent reference to Kerry admitting on Hugh Hewitt's radio show on Wednesday to meeting with Iranian officials, specifically Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, "three or four times" at gatherings of world leaders, such as the World Economic Forum.  "

What the OP failed to mention is that the meetings occurred while Kerry and the Iranians  were attending other venues such as the world Economic Forum and NOT for the expressed purpose of Kerry meeting with them. to discuss US Iran policy. 

  " The meetings came while Rex Tillerson was secretary of state and before Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA in May. "

Trump likes to cry "Fake News". How about Fake Tweets? as seen in the above quote from the referenced article in the above provided link , the meetings took place before Trump's change in Iran policy. and Kerry could not have discussed something that had not yet occured. .

  Nothing illegal , Nothing improper. Just FAKE TWEETS.

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On 9/15/2018 at 4:02 PM, Srikcir said:

Because he isn't.

He met with Iranian officials in his personal capacity.

He becomes an agent of a foreign government should he meet with American officials to represent a foreign government agenda in a "political or quasi-political capacity."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Agents_Registration_Act

You were saying:

"Kerry has also quietly lobbied members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, placing dozens of phone calls in recent weeks."

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