Trump lashes ex-secretary of state Kerry for Iran meetings

Elias Hubbard
September 15, 2018

"Mr. President, you should be more anxious 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 Paul Manafort who on Friday agreed to cooperate with federal investigators into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. In the past he's been harshly critical of the president and his decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 agreement between Iran and several world powers that lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

Later in the day, Kerry was asked by Fox News' Dana Perino if he told the Iranians to simply hold out until 2020, when Trump could be voted out of office. Some of the meetings were in regards to the scrapped Iranian Nuclear Deal. Trump called the get-togethers "illegal meetings" and asked why Kerry had not registered as a foreign agent.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a disclosure statement that requires a person acting as an agent of a foreign principal in a political or quasi-political capacity to make public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal.

Kerry has said that he met "three or four times" with Iranian Foreign Mininister Javad Zarif.

"When I met with the Iranians, the policies of the United States was still to be in the Iran deal because the president had not decided and not pulled out", Kerry said.

But Josh Rosenstein, a partner with the Washington law firm Sandler Reiff and a specialist in lobbying compliance, said there are too many unanswered questions to know whether the law applies to Kerry's interactions with Zarif.

"This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror and according to him. he was talking to them", Pompeo said, adding: "He was telling them to wait out this administration". FARA's provisions don't extend to activities conducted entirely overseas, so where Kerry interacted with him matters.

It was not clear from Trump's tweet why he thought Kerry would need to register. "BAD!" Trump tweeted Thursday night. "Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!" he said on May 8.

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

"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", he said. You know, how does one resolve Yemen?

Trump tweeted: "I see that John Kerry, the father of the now terminated Iran deal, is thinking of running for President".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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