The Washington Free Beacon on declassified State Dept. memo: “The document is the firmest proof to date that Obama-era officials were engaged in back-channel efforts…”
Former Obama administration officials held secret talks with the Iranians in a bid to undermine former President Donald Trump’s policy of weakening the Mullah regime and crippling its nuclear weapons program, a recently declassified State Department document shows.
The story, broken by Adam Kredo for the Washington Free Beacon on Thursday, said that Obama officials had an “off-the-record” meeting with the then-Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, at his in New York City residence in an attempt “to handicap a sitting president’s policies.”
The damning revelations, which came to light through a newly-unearthed State Department memo, is the “firmest proof to date that Obama-era officials were engaged in back-channel efforts,” the WFB story noted.
It was great, as always, to be with @JaySekulow and @JordanSekulow discussing the dangerous, unAmerican activities of former Obama officials who sought to undermine our work getting America out of the disastrous Iran deal. https://t.co/dHTYYTkdZx
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) May 26, 2022
The internal State Department memo, which exposes the secret diplomacy between former Obama officials and the top Iranian envoy, was declassified thanks to a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). “The document was produced after the ACLJ sued the State Department for records about any secret meetings between Zarif, Kerry, current U.S. Iran-Envoy Robert Malley, and former Obama secretary of energy Ernest Moniz,” the news outlet added.
The Free Beacon reported the content of the declassified memo:
Senior Obama administration officials engaged in a secret meeting with Iran in 2018 as part of an effort to undermine the Trump administration’s diplomatic push to isolate the hardline regime, according to an internal State Department document.
As the Trump administration worked to increase economic pressure on Iran in 2018, a delegation of “U.S. former ambassadors held a secret, “off-the-record” meeting with former Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif at his residence in New York City, according to a State Department memo unearthed this week as part of a lawsuit brought to compel the release of this information. The meeting took place around the same time John Kerry was reported to be working behind-the-scenes with Iranian officials to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord.
The internal memo, which is marked unclassified, details how these former U.S. ambassadors conducted shadow diplomacy with Iran’s top envoy surrounding “nuclear weapons, potential prisoner swaps, [the] Afghanistan withdrawal, and negotiations with the Taliban,” according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a legal advocacy group that sued the State Department to obtain the internal memo.
The document is the firmest proof to date that Obama-era officials were engaged in back-channel efforts to keep negotiations with Iran alive, even as former president Donald Trump and his administration worked to isolate the regime, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo told the Free Beacon in exclusive remarks. Pompeo, who was not aware of these meetings while leading the State Department, said the memo corroborates reports from the time about Kerry’s efforts to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal through back-channel powwows with Iranian officials.
“This memo reflects even more than we already knew about former State Department officials continuing on as if they were still in office,” said Pompeo, who is now senior counsel for global affairs at the ACLJ. “Trying, at every turn, to work with the foreign minister for a terrorist regime, Iran, to undermine the very sanctions put in place by America. It’s worse than not knowing when to get off stage. Actively seeking to protect the terrible deal they struck, these former officials—two years after Obama left office—were signaling that Iran should stand firm against America.”
Pompeo said it is startling to learn that members of a former U.S. administration attempted to handicap a sitting president’s policies, describing the disclosure as “bad stuff, dangerous stuff, un-American stuff.” These former officials, he said, “should be ashamed of themselves. Working against their own nation’s policies alongside such a brutal regime.”
As the WFB article rightly notes, the memo corroborates the news reports about former Secretary of State John Kerry’s role in this shadow diplomacy.
Kerry, now the Biden White House climate czar, has repeatedly denied holding talks with the Iranians in order to undermine President Trump’s policy of ‘Maximum Pressure’ against the Mullah regime. In October 2018, Kerry said: “But I’m telling you, I have not met with any Iranians since the President pulled out of the agreement, period.”
However, reports of Kerry and other Obama officials’ secretive parallel diplomacy with Iran have kept surfacing in the media. A February 2021 report in the New York Post said that Kerry and Biden White House’s current Iran envoy, Robert Malley, held talks with the then-Iranian Foreign Zarif in “an apparent bid to undermine the Trump team and lay the groundwork for post-Trump relations.”
When the first reports of Kerry’s dealings with the Iranians came to light, President Trump called for his prosecution under the Logan Act for unauthorized contact with the hostile foreign regime. “John Kerry violated the Logan Act,” Trump said in September 2019. “He’s talking to Iran and has had many meetings and many phone calls and he’s telling them what to do. That is total violation of the Logan Act.”
The mainstream media outlets, like CNN and the Washington Post, ridiculed and condescendingly ‘fact-checked’ Trump for going after Kerry. CNN argued that it was “common for former secretaries of states and diplomats to stay in touch with their counterparts around the world.” the Post accused the president of “wielding the law [Logan Act] to attack his detractors” like Kerry.
Pompeo: Biden White House living in a ‘fantasy world’ on Iran nuke deal (January 2022)DONATE
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