John Kerry Controversy: John Kerry is facing calls for his resignation following his reported discussions regarding Israeli military operations. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Photo Credit: Cliff, CC 2.0
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Rachel Frazin And Laura Kelly, writing for The Hill, report: “John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate change, is facing calls for his resignation from Republican lawmakers and pundits for reportedly discussing Israeli military operations with Iran’s foreign minister when he served as then-President Obama’s secretary of State.
Republican blowback is running the gamut from calling for Kerry to leave his position as the top official addressing climate change to calling for an investigation and his prosecution. Biden administration officials are dismissing the allegations, saying the information Kerry allegedly shared was widely known at the time.
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) called for Kerry’s resignation in a floor speech, one of several senators to do so [last] Monday.”
Here’s what both sides are saying about John Kerry’s supposed blunder:
On The Left
Democrats see the leaked tapes as a roadblock that could further complicate ongoing negotiations with Iran.
Dan De Luce and Abigail Williams write in NBC News that Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s leaked comments suggest then-US Ambassador Kerry informed him “Israel had attacked Iranian targets in Syria at least 200 times.” In response, “State Department spokesperson Ned Price did not say whether Kerry made the reported comments to Zarif but suggested that it would not have been a breach of secrecy.”
Meanwhile, “Intense infighting in Iran could be a wild card in the nuclear talks underway.” With rival factions “arguing about how far to compromise with the West” and “jockeying for who will get the credit,” Zarif and President Rouhani will “have far less political space to maneuver.” By acknowledging “The hard-line Revolutionary Guard Corps…in effect run the country,” the diplomatic corps undermine their position as representatives of Iran.
Consequently, the writers point to many factors at play with respect to ongoing negotiations, not just the leaked tapes.
On The Right
The right speaks to yet another example of John Kerry’s behavior serving to undermine the US and its allies while advancing his own political interests.
In Fox News, former US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo lambastes Kerry, whom he says “covertly worked to undermine the Trump administration’s efforts by meeting with top Iranian leaders during our tenure, encouraging them to ‘wait’ until the next election, when presumably the same Obama administration officials they struck a deal with in 2016 would be back in power, and now we learn perhaps worse, providing valuable intelligence to the Iranians concerning our ally, Israel.” He claims “John Kerry owes the American people an explanation of what exactly he discussed with the Iranians” and describes “the legacy of the Obama administration’s Middle East policies” as a “failure.” Pompeo ultimately believes that administration as well as Biden’s hold “contempt for the views of ordinary Americans” and “disregard for the constitutional limits on their authority.” He laments they are “back in charge now…wholly committed to repeating their past mistakes.”
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