Pompeo scolds Kerry for 'actively undermining' Trump's Iran policy

John Kerry representing Vietnamese Veterans Against the War at a protest in Washington D.C. April 20-21 1971

Former Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly met with Iranian leaders and advised them to simply wait out President Donald Trump's hostility.

"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", Trump said.

In a special briefing on Friday where he was touting staffing and filling vacancies at the State Department, the US Secretary of State heavily criticised Mr Kerry for "unseemly and unprecedented" behaviour while meeting Iranian officials.

Kerry, who negotiated the 2015 Iran nuclear deal which Trump scrapped this year, said during a tour to promote his new book "Every Day is Extra" that he had met with Zarif "three or four times" since Trump had entered the White House.

Kerry's meetings do not appear to violate FARA, but some have suggested they could be in violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the US government without authorization, though no one has ever been successfully prosecuted under the law.

In his tweet, Trump asked whether Kerry had complied with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

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Meanwhile, a senior State Department official, Manisha Singh, who is Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, commented that if Kerry held such meetings that would be constitute an inappropriate action.

Hewitt followed up by asking Kerry if he was coaching Zarif on preserving the Iran deal, which Kerry denied.

This bit of "shadow diplomacy" with the nation Kerry helped broker a nuclear deal with has enraged Trump, who tweeted about it on Thursday night.

Kerry, the former MA senator who worked as the nation's top diplomat in the Obama administration, made the comments about his interactions with Iran as he promotes his new book, "Every Day Is Extra". "John Kerry can't get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it!"

Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran in May and his administration has pushed a hard line against Tehran as it moves to reimpose sanctions that were lifted after the deal.

"I wasn't in the meeting, but I am reasonably confident that he was not there in support of US policy with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran", Pompeo said. "He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!" He told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he has criticized the Trump administration in these discussions for not pursuing negotiations with Iran. "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", Kerry explained.

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