Colorado U.S. Rep. Ken Buck called on John Kerry to come before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and testify under oath about leaked comments from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who suggested Kerry surreptitiously tipped Iran off to Israeli military activities in Syria.
Why don’t you come before House Foreign Affairs and testify about this under oath? https://t.co/eqXqTG5gpP
— Ken Buck (@BuckForColorado) April 27, 2021
According to leaked audio revealed Sunday by The New York Times, Zarif said Kerry told him that Israel attacked Iranian interests in Syria “at least 200 times.”
Zarif added that he was surprised that Kerry would reveal sensitive information of that nature.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn called for Kerry to be removed from the White House National Security Council, calling the alleged disclosure to Iran “treasonous.”
John Kerry must be immediately removed from the @WHNSC & investigated for sharing classified intelligence with the foreign minister of Iran, the leading state-sponsor of terrorism. His espionage against the US and our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, is a treasonous act.
— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) April 27, 2021
The candid comments from Zarif were recorded in March with an Iranian economist as part of an oral history of the country’s foreign policy.
The overall tenor of the conversation painted Zarif as removed from higher level foreign policy decisions that were primarily made by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC, or “Quds Force”).
Some analysts said the audio would undermine Iranian diplomats’ authority at a sensitive window of the [negotiations with Biden].
“This ties the hands of the negotiators,” said Sina Azodi, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. “It represents Zarif as someone who is not trustworthy domestically, and overall paints a picture that Iran’s foreign policy is dictated by theater policies of the military and Zarif is a nobody.”
Israel began targeting Iranian-backed groups like Hezbollah in Syria in 2017 to deter potential terrorist acts amid the country’s civil war.
While Kerry called the allegations “unequivocally false,” it has been publicly known for some time Kerry maintained communications with the Iranians, even after he left office as Secretary of State.
“What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me. You know John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act and frankly he should be prosecuted for that,” said former President Trump in 2019.
The Logan Act restricts anyone who is not affiliated with the U.S. government from negotiating with a foreign nation.
Kerry’s blanket denial is sure to cause significant problems for the Biden administration, because he essentially argued the alleged conversation with Zarif about Israeli airstrikes never happened at all.
The only way to know for sure, as Buck points out, is to put Kerry under oath before Congress.
If the conversation with Zarif did indeed occur, the timing of the disclosure would also be important.
In September 2018, it was publicly reported Israel had targeted Iranian assets at least 200 times in Syria.
Should Kerry have told Zarif of those figures prior to their disclosure in 2018, he would have committed a grave offense against one of our country’s most important allies.
It should be noted that the veracity of Zarif’s recollection cannot be instantly taken at face value, especially considering his record of lying on behalf of one of the world’s largest state sponsors of terrorism.
Although, the candid off-record nature of his conversation makes it plausible Zarif could have been telling the truth.
“I don’t know if we should trust that tape or not. If it’s true, it’s very damaging,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said.
Unsurprisingly, not a single Colorado Democrat has found the time to comment on these disturbing allegations.
Last month, 43 Senators sent a bipartisan letter to President Biden urging him to strengthen the badly flawed 2015 Iran nuclear deal to address Iran’s destabilizing role in the region.
Noticeably absent were the signatures of Democrat Colorado U.S. Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, who both firmly planted themselves among their party’s radical left by signing onto a separate measure encouraging Biden to reenter the Iran deal under the original terms.
It shouldn’t be totally surprising that Colorado’s alleged moderates have once again allied themselves with the radical left.
Bennet’s new Chief of Staff Jess Smith recently transitioned from J Street, a left-wing foreign policy group that fiercely opposes bipartisan efforts to strengthen the Iran deal, and instead favors appeasing Tehran.
J Street has moved so far to the radical left they have found themselves increasingly at odds with the mainstream American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Bennet and Hickenlooper were also highly critical of President Trump’s decision to kill IRGC General Suleimani in January of 2020, arguing it would make Iran more dangerous.
Instead, if Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is to be believed in the leaked tapes, the opposite has proven true.
[Zarif] also says that by assassinating [Suleimani] in Iraq, the United States delivered a major blow to Iran, more damaging than if it had wiped out an entire city in an attack.
In short, Colorado is not likely to hear much of anything from our state’s Democrat delegation on the Kerry allegations.
Speaking up after this tape’s disclosure would only highlight their own naive support for reentering the Iran deal, and their dangerously myopic belief that the terrorist regime in Tehran would ever negotiate in good faith.
One final point worth mentioning is Zarif’s interesting connection to Colorado.
Zarif found his way out of Iran in the 1980s during the Iran/Iraq War to earn a masters and PhD at the University of Denver.
More recently, DU even honored Zarif with their Chatham House Prize for negotiating the 2015 Iran Deal with John Kerry.
No word on whether the school has any comment about Zarif’s self-admitted role as a propagandist for his terrorist regime’s military.