Republicans on Monday called on John Kerry to resign from President Joe Biden’s National Security Council over claims that he revealed sensitive information about Israeli military operations to Iran.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that there was leaked audio of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying that Kerry told him that Israel attacked Iranian assets in Syria “at least 200 times.”
The claim set conservatives hair on fire in a sudden moment of trust with Iranians.
Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan went to the Senate floor calling for Kerry’s resignation from Biden’s National Security Council.
Nimrata Haley threw in her two cents.
Kerry denied the allegations.
The New York Times report says it’s not clear why Mr. Zarif did not know about the Israeli strikes, as there was little secret about Israel’s operations. Israel has made little attempt to deny strikes on Syria, and reporting has been widespread in the American press.
The recording in question is an interview with Zarif. “Kerry has to tell me that Israel has attacked you 200 times in Syria?” says Mr. Zarif, who complains in the recording that Iran’s military has long kept him in the dark on crucial matters. “You did not know?” the interviewer asks twice. Both times, Mr. Zarif replies, “No, no.”
State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told reporters at a daily briefing that he would not comment on “purportedly leaked material” and could not “vouch for the authenticity of it or the accuracy of it,” or what motives might be behind its emergence.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared to defend Kerry, urging caution about Zarif’s reliability.
“I don’t know if we should trust that tape or not. If it’s true, it’s very damaging,” Graham said. “I like John Kerry, but that would not be helpful and it would be very problematic if it were true. But let’s wait and see how authentic this is.”