Former Secretary of State John Kerry, now President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, briefed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on hundreds of Israel’s covert attacks on Iranian interests in Syria, according to leaked audio reported by The New York Times on Sunday. This revelation echoes reports that Obama officials saved the life of terrorist and Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani by notifying Iran about an Israeli plot to assassinate him in 2015.
“Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment, Mr. Zarif said,” according to the Times.
As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey noted, the Times buried this lede in its story about the leaked audio, which featured lengthy remarks from Zarif. The Times focused on Zarif’s complaints that the Revolutionary Guard Corps calls the shots in Iran, often overlooking diplomatic concerns. Zarif accused Soleimani of undermining the Iran nuclear deal, among other things.
While these internal conflicts in the Iranian government are noteworthy, it seems far more shocking and newsworthy that Kerry would expose as many as two hundred covert Israeli attacks on Iranian interests in Syria.
Iran is an Islamist theocratic state while Israel is the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East. Under Soleimani, the Quds Force engaged in various terrorist attacks across the Middle East, killing an estimated 500 American soldiers. Yet in 2015, when Israel attempted to assassinate Soleimani, the Obama administration reached out to Iran with news of Israel’s plan.
According to Haaretz, in January 2018, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that Israel was “on the verge” of assassinating Soleimani near Damascus in 2015, but the United States warned Iranian leadership of the plan, revealing that Israel was tracking Soleimani.
By contrast, the Trump administration gave Israel the green light to assassinate the general — although the general survived until the U.S. military killed him via airstrike last year after Iran-backed militias attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
The Times report does not explain when Kerry disclosed the 200 Israeli attacks to Zarif. It also remains unclear whether or not these 200 attacks include plans for future attacks that Israel has yet to carry out. Iranian military officials may have known about some of these attacks, but it still seems rather shocking that Kerry would expose Israel’s efforts to Iran’s leadership.
This appears to be a betrayal of the first order, not unlike the Obama administration’s effort to save Soleimani from Israel in 2015. The Biden administration appears to be going overboard to resurrect the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
The State Department and the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., did not respond to PJ Media’s requests for comment by press time.
Update 10:45 p.m.:
Kerry unequivocally denied the story, saying, “This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.” He retweeted a Washington Post reporter who claimed that the strikes had already been disclosed in the region at the time Kerry reportedly spoke with Zarif.
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. https://t.co/BTOdFE1khW
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) April 26, 2021