Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday blasted former Secretary of State John Kerry’s meetings with Iranian officials since leaving office.

"What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, according to CNN.

"This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror and according to him, he was talking to them, he was telling them to wait out this administration," Pompeo added.

"You can't find precedent for this in US history and the secretary ought not engage in this kind of behavior," Pompeo continued. "It's beyond inappropriate."

Asked if he thought Kerry's meeting had been illegal, Pompeo said he would leave the "legal determinations to others."

Kerry admitted this week that he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “three or four times” since leaving office but denied he was trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

In an interview earlier this week, Kerry justified his meetings with Iranian officials, claiming, “Every secretary of state, former secretary of state continues to meet with foreign leaders, goes to security conferences, goes around the world. We all do that. And we have conversations with people about the state of affairs in the world in order to understand them. We don't negotiate. We are not involved in interfering with policy. But we certainly have reasonable discussions about nuclear weapons, the world, China, different policies obviously.”

Kerry has repeatedly argued in favor of the Iran deal, which he helped broker while serving as Secretary of State and from which President Donald Trump withdrew in May.

More recently, Kerry ripped Trump in an interview on CBS for deciding to leave the 2015 nuclear deal, claiming the President “doesn't know what he's talking about”.

Pompeo’s remarks came hours after Trump attacked Kerry on Twitter 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.

"He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!" he added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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