Zarif: Trump was spooked by my meeting with Democratic Senator

Iran’s Foreign Minister claims his recent meeting with Senator Chris Murphy spooked the Trump administration.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Wednesday that he believes his recent meeting with US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) had spooked the Trump administration because it was an opportunity to talk directly to “the American nation”, The Associated Press reports.

Zarif met last week with Murphy on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich, Germany.

Murphy defended the meeting on Tuesday, claiming it was important because it is "dangerous not to talk to one's enemies".

"I have no delusions about Iran — they are our adversary, responsible for the killing of thousands of Americans and unacceptable levels of support for terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East," he added.

Murphy’s comments came after President Donald Trump suggested his actions may have violated US law. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped anyone who meets with Zarif would be reflecting the US position vis-à-vis Iran.

“Trump and Pompeo are afraid of a senator hearing facts from the Iranian foreign minister,” Zarif said on Wednesday, speaking to reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

He added that this wasn’t his first face-to-face chat with an American lawmaker in the last 20 years, though it was not immediately clear which senators he’d met with.

Both Trump and Pompeo have in the past criticized former US Secretary of State John Kerry who held meetings with Zarif and other Iranian officials after he left office.

Pompeo at the time stated that what Kerry had “is unseemly and unprecedented” and said that Kerry “ought not to engage in this kind of behavior. It's beyond inappropriate."

Trump attacked Kerry on Twitter at the time, and said that the former Secretary of State’s meetings were "illegal."

"John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people," Trump tweeted.

Kerry had justified his meetings with Iranian officials, claiming, “Every secretary of state, former secretary of state continues to meet with foreign leader