Blinken rejects Zarif's remarks on Kerry: Utter nonsense

Secretary of State dismisses report that John Kerry informed Iranian Foreign Minister of Israeli operations in Syria.

Elad Benari ,

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday dismissed reports that former Secretary of State John Kerry informed the Iranian Foreign Minister of Israeli operations in Syria during his time in office.

On Monday, The New York Times published leaked audio recordings of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in which he alleged that Kerry told him that Israel had struck around 200 Iranian targets in Syria.

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about INew York Times report on Tuesday, Blinken dismissed it as “utter nonsense.”

“Jake, these things were so secret that they were all reported in the press at the time,” he added.

Kerry, who currently serves as special presidential envoy for climate, on Monday denied the allegations.

“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened - either when I was Secretary of State or since,” Kerry wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.

The former Secretary of State has come under fire in the past for his meetings with Javad Zarif in an effort to save the 2015 Iran deal, from which former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

Kerry admitted to holding the meetings, but justified his actions by saying that "every" former Secretary of State meets with foreign leaders. He also claimed that others were advising Iran to wait out the Trump administration as well.

During Trump’s time in office, Kerry consistently ripped him, particularly over the President’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

In November of 2017, Kerry warned Congress that it would be "extraordinarily dangerous" for it to reject the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

He subsequently warned that Trump risked driving Iran towards nuclear proliferation if he cancels the deal.