A trio of former Obama-era officials colluded with the Iranian government in order to undermine the position of the Trump Administration upon the collapse of the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018, a report has revealed.
These officials were former Secretary of State John Kerry, Obama’s Middle Eastern Advisor Robert Malley, and the former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.
These officials were some of the key architects in the negotiation of the Iran Nuclear Deal during the former President Barack Obama’s final term, a deal that the former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018, citing that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program were not tough enough.
What does the report state?
The report states that Kerry, Malley, and Moniz all met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during Trump’s single term, according to sources that got in touch with The Washington Post.
A former senior government official claims that these three ex-Obama officials met with Zarif throughout the years of 2017, 2018, and 2019, before Zarif’s visa was suspended by the Trump Administration after tensions increased at the start of 2020.
The former official states that the purpose of these visits for Zarif was to ‘devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump Administration’, whilst at the same time, to build support for a new version of the Iran Nuclear Deal that top Democrats will support if they regained the White House in 2021, which they did.
Kerry, Moniz, and Malley were the spearheads of the Obama Administration in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which led to the United States enacting the relief of sanctions against Iran and returning access to the ‘tens of billions of dollars’ in Iranian frozen bank accounts, all in exchange for a promise from the government to limit their nuclear enrichment.
With Trump now out of office, negotiations have restarted between the US and Iran, to see if new terms for a new Iranian Nuclear Deal can be made.
President Joe Biden, Obama’s VP, has offered to reinstate the terms of the Iran deal if the nation starts to reduce uranium enrichment to 20%.
Iran has allegedly refused, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei stating that the enrichment process may go to as high as 60%, 30% off the level needed for a nuclear weapon.
Have the officials denied the meetings?
Kerry, the former Secretary of State, has been very open with the meetings that were conducted with Zarif throughout the Trump-era, acknowledging that he met with the Iranian Foreign Minister ‘at least twice’.
He spoke with radio host Hugh Hewitt about the situation, saying that there were no secrets about his meetings with Zarif, claiming that the purpose of these meetings, for him, was to discover what actions Iran would be willing to take in order to ‘change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better’.
The Associated Press led a report that Moniz had met with Zarif in 2018, just before Trump withdrew the US from the deal.
The report also states that one of the negotiators of the deal, Wendy Sherman, had met with Zarif after the 2018 Munich Security Conference.
Sherman has recently been nominated by President Biden to become the Deputy Secretary of State. Neither have made comments regarding their meetings with Zarif in 2018.
It is believed that the vast majority of these meetings took place before the withdrawal from the Iran deal, however, Robert Malley met with Zarif in 2019, one year later.
In 2019, Malley led the International Crisis Group, who claimed that Malley’s meeting with Zarif was just a part of his ‘regular contacts’ that he has within that role.
The Times reached out to Malley for comment, who failed to respond, whilst a State Department spokesperson for Malley refused to answer specific questions regarding his meeting with Zarif.