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ACLJ Issues FOIA Request Regarding John Kerry and Other Former Government Officials Conducting Shadow Diplomacy with Iran, AFTER Leaving Office


Jordan Sekulow

March 23, 2021

Biden officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, were actively working to interfere with and even sabotage U.S. foreign policy all while President Trump was still in office.

It is very dangerous and extremely concerning that John Kerry, while a private citizen, was actively meeting with foreign officials to not only undermine U.S. foreign policy but to sabotage it. This creates confusion in the international arena because it prevents the U.S. from having a clear unified message and contradicts the established and important U.S. policy of having one President at a time.

According to a report from The Washington Times:

President Trump in 2019 sought to open a back channel of communication with top Iranian officials and saw the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September as a potential opportunity to defuse escalating tension with Tehran, but the effort failed.

Two months earlier, however, a different back channel was thriving in New York. Iran’s smooth, English-speaking foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with Robert Malley, who was President Obama’s Middle East adviser, in an apparent bid to undermine the Trump team and lay the groundwork for post-Trump relations.

One of these officials was none other than President Obama’s former Secretary of State John Kerry. According to the story, “[F]ormer Secretary of State John F. Kerry . . . met with Mr. Zarif during the Trump years. So did Obama-era Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. They, along with Mr. Malley, were top U.S. negotiators of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” And, “Mr. Kerry and Mr. Malley are now in the Biden administration, Mr. Kerry as a climate adviser and Mr. Malley poised to play a major role in U.S.-Iranian relations from his perch as special envoy for Iran policy at the State Department.”

President Biden’s team actively did what they falsely accused the previous Trump Administration of doing. According to declassified documents, then-Vice President Biden himself even inquired about using the Logan Act against Michel Flynn for establishing communications with a foreign government official.  However, unlike Michael Flynn, who had already been appointed to serve as the incoming National Security Adviser, leading leftists were meeting with Zarif as far back as 2017 – not to prepare to take office, but AFTER they left office.

Although details of Mr. Zarif’s face-to-face conversations with leading Democrats remain murky, one former senior U.S. official told The Times that the Iranian foreign minister held meetings throughout the Trump years, in 2017, 2018, and 2019, before the administration halted his visa in 2020.

The underlying goals of Mr. Zarif’s meetings, the official said, was “to devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump administration” and to continue building up a reservoir of support for the JCPOA, or another deal like it, that could be drawn up if a Democrat returned to the White House in 2021.

Former Secretary of State Kerry has a history of these types of unofficial meetings. In fact, our very own Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy, Richard Grenell, recalls seeing John Kerry meet with Iranian officials at the Munich Security Conference. Also, it is not just Iran that Kerry has been conducting these shadow meetings with. In 2018, we learned that he communicated with the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA):

While the White House has confirmed that since the Jerusalem Declaration there has been a complete disconnect between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration, it turns out that the previous administration has maintained contact with PA officials.

Maariv reported that former US secretary of state John Kerry met in London with a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Agha, for a long and open conversation about a variety of topics. Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Maariv that the meeting took place.

It is extremely troubling that John Kerry and other members of the Biden team were actively working against – and even trying to sabotage – U.S. foreign policy. As former Secretary of State and ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, Mike Pompeo, put it to Fox News, “It’s sad that Secretary Kerry is so unable to get off the stage at any point that he had to go try and undermine what President Trump and our team were trying to do.”

In order to uncover the truth behind Biden Administration officials working as private citizens to undermine and sabotage U.S. foreign policy and to shine a light on this dangerous practice, we recently issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the State Department. As stated in our FOIA request:

[T]his Request seeks records pertaining to the U.S. Department of State’s knowledge and efforts surrounding the breaking story that current government officials, like former Secretary of State John Kerry, conducted shadow diplomacy with Iran and its surrogates, or even advancing pro-Iran causes, all while these officials were not members or representatives of the U.S. government.

Join us in our efforts to uncover the truth behind the Biden team conducting shadow diplomacy undercutting official U.S. policy.

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