The John Kerry-Iran controversy, explained

4/29/21
 
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from The Washington Post,
4/27/21:

For years, Republicans have been arguing that John F. Kerry has loose lips unbefitting an American diplomat. Before, it was a strained argument that the former secretary of state had violated the Logan Act by talking to Iran. And now, some Republicans are calling for Kerry’s resignation as President Biden’s climate envoy over leaked audio of Iran’s foreign minister. On the tape, the Iranian official claims Kerry shared secrets with him about the military actions of Israel, a top U.S. ally.

What to make of the situation? It’s worth running through the particulars — both what we know and what we don’t.

It was one paragraph toward the bottom of a longer story about some very interesting things Zarif said about the power structure in Iran, but it quickly blew up on the right. The idea that Kerry was disclosing the secrets of such an important American ally as Israel to an adversary such as Iran would indeed be a big story.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) has called for Kerry’s resignation and suggested Kerry committed treason.

But others have been more circumspect. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), while being highly critical, added the caveat, “If this tape is verified.”

The big one is the timeline. We don’t know exactly when Zarif contends Kerry told him this. But Israel striking Iranian targets in Syria hasn’t been a secret for nearly four years.

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