As the United States discusses returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal leaked audio has emerged that reveals then-Secretary of State John Kerry told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of more than 200 covert Israeli operations in Syria. The leaked audio was shared with The New York Times and also confirmed was had been long suspected, that the decisions of the Islamic Republic are primarily left to the supreme leader or, more frequently, the Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Zarif has already faced criticism for the leaked audio from the foreign ministry, specifically for speaking against General Quassem Suleimani. Suleimani was killed in 2020 by United States troops during the Trump administration.
The New York Times reports:
In the portions that were leaked, Mr. Zarif does praise the general and says they worked productively together in the prelude to the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. He also says that by assassinating him in Iraq, the United States delivered a major blow to Iran, more damaging than if it had wiped out an entire city in an attack.
But he said some of Mr. Suleimani’s actions also damaged the country, citing, as one example, his moves against the nuclear deal Iran reached in 2015 with Western nations, the United States among them (the Trump administration later renounced it).
On the night that Iran decided to retaliate against the United States for the killing of General Suleimani, two Quds Force commanders went to see the Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, to inform him that in about 45 minutes Iran would be firing missiles at a military base where U.S. troops were stationed, Mr. Zarif said. The Americans knew about the strike before he did.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment, Mr. Zarif said.
John Kerry now serves the Biden administration and has a seat on the National Security Council as the special presidential envoy for the climate. Kerry has previously been accused of colluding with Iranian leaders to undermine the Trump administration. (per Fox News)
Zarif’s comments could also affect current talks in Vienna aiming to find a way for Tehran and the U.S. to rejoin Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) April 26, 2021