John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, is facing calls for his resignation from Republican lawmakers and pundits for reportedly discussing Israeli military operations with Iran’s foreign minister when he served as then-President Obama’s secretary of State.
Republican blowback is running the gamut from calling for Kerry to leave his position as the top official addressing climate change to calling for an investigation and his prosecution. Biden administration officials are dismissing the allegations, saying the information Kerry allegedly shared was widely known at the time.
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) called for Kerry’s resignation in a floor speech, one of several senators to do so Monday.
“I don’t do this lightly. In my entire time in the Senate, I’ve never called for anyone’s resignation,” Sullivan said. “But his record, John Kerry’s record, of undermining working families and working against American national security interests was too much to bear. He needs to go.”
“When I read this today, I was astonished as well that a former secretary of State, now a member of President Biden’s National Security Council … would reveal the secrets of one of our most important and enduring allies in the region to an avowed enemy,” he added.
The New York Times and other outlets reported on Monday that leaked audio recorded in March captured Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying that Kerry told him Israel had attacked Iran’s interests in Syria at least 200 times.
Zarif reportedly expressed astonishment at the revelation. Zarif did not say when Kerry, who served as secretary of State between 2013 and 2017, made the admission.
Kerry categorically denied the allegations in a Monday evening tweet, saying, “This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.”
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