John Kerry Gave Iran Intel on Israeli Operations in Syria, Leaked Audio Reveals
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lifts the lid in leaked recording
While serving as Secretary of State in Obama's administration, John Kerry allegedly gave Iran sensitive intelligence on Israel's operations in Syria, a top Iranian official claims in a leaked audio file.
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claims that Kerry, now serving as Joe Biden's "climate czar," gave him intel that exposed over 200 Israeli operations in Syria.
Kerry has previously been accused of trying to undermine President Donald Trump's administration by colluding with Iranian leaders.
As part of the Biden administration, however, Kerry now has a seat on the National Security Council as the special presidential envoy for climate.
Kerry shocked Zarif by revealing that Israel had attacked Iranian targets in Syria more than 200 times, according to the recording.
Zarif also spoke frankly about his limited power compared to Ayatollah Ali Khameini and the blow the U.S. dealt to Iran by killing Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
Kerry faced criticism on Monday over Zarif's claim.
"John Kerry was ratting out Israeli covert operations in Syria directly to the Iranian foreign minister," Noah Pollak of the foreign policy-focused Democratic Alliance Group wrote on Twitter.
"Let that sink in. Wow."
The release of the comments by Zarif set off a firestorm within Iran, where officials carefully mind their words amid a cutthroat political environment that includes the powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, ultimately overseen by the country's supreme leader.
Zarif has been suggested as a possible candidate for Iran's June 18 presidential election as well.
Outside of Iran, Zarif's comments could also affect talks in Vienna aimed at finding a way for Tehran and the U.S. to both come into compliance with Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Already, sabotage targeted Iran's nuclear facility at Natanz during the talks as Tehran has begun enriching a small amount of uranium up to 60% purity, which edges the country closer to weapons-grade levels.
After the leak became public, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh did not dispute the tape's authenticity.
He told journalists on Monday that the recording represented just a portion of a seven-hour interview Zarif gave to a well-known economist that was to be held for posterity by a think tank associated with the Iranian presidency.
Khatibzadeh called the release of the recording "illegal" and described it as "selectively" edited, though he and others did not offer opinions on how it became public.
Zarif, visiting Iraq on Monday after a trip to Qatar, took no questions from journalists after giving a brief statement in Baghdad.