Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed in recently leaked audio that former US Secretary of State John Kerry informed him of more than 200 Israeli operations in Syria, Fox News reported on Monday.
Kerry shocked Zarif by revealing that Israel had attacked Iranian targets in Syria more than 200 times, according to leaked audio obtained by The New York Times and other outlets.
Kerry is now a part of the Biden administration and has a seat on the National Security Council as the special presidential envoy for climate.
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.
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. Let that sink in. Wow," Noah Pollak of the foreign policy-focused Democratic Alliance Group wrote on Twitter.
Former special advisor for Iran at the State Department Gabriel Noronha weighed in on Zarif's lasting political career, despite his differences with others in Iranian government.
"The main reason Zarif has survived as Foreign Minister for 8 years in Iran’s cutthroat political environment is that he serves as the ‘reasonable’ storefront to the world, protecting the more empowered radical elements of the regime from Western and press scrutiny," Noronha said in a statement.
Kerry himself has not yet commented on Zarif’s claims.