Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken and acting Inspector General Diana Shaw to investigate allegations former Secretary of State John Kerry revealed sensitive information about Israeli covert operations to Iran’s foreign minister.
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif claimed Kerry told him about covert Israeli operations on Iranian targets in Syria in a leaked recorded interview. Kerry has denied the accusations.
Grassley and several GOP colleagues sent a letter to President Joe Biden early last week asking him to investigate Kerry. That letter went unanswered, according to reporter Sara Carter’s website.
Now, as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley is asking records regarding meetings Kerry had with Zarif be sent to the committee for review by May 18.
“President Biden has the power to act and so do you,” Grassley wrote in the letter to Blinken and Shaw.
After the State Department Inspector General was asked for comment about the issue, a spokesperson replied, “We have no additional information to share at this time.”
The State Department issued a similar comment.
“The department respects the role of Congress and does not comment on congressional correspondence,” a State Department spokesperson said.
Zarif claimed in a leaked audiotape, while Kerry was secretary of state, he revealed more than 200 operations that Israel had conducted against Iranian targets.
Kerry also reportedly has met with Zarif as a private citizen after leaving office, which is raising concern about what he may have told him and other Iranian officials.
In an April 26 statement posted to Twitter, Kerry called the allegations being made about him “unequivocally false.”
The news prompted some lawmakers to demand Kerry resign from his current position as presidential envoy for climate on the National Security Council.
“It’s become clear,” Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said on the Senate floor, “that our adversaries, whether Beijing or Iran, like it when John Kerry is in charge of foreign policy and national security. Why? Because they know how to use him to their advantage.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., agreed, tweeting Kerry should resign if Zarif’s claims turn out to be true.
Others such as Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., asked Kerry’s security clearance be temporarily suspended while he is investigated.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News, that Kerry “put our men and women in uniform at risk” and “this is something that deserves a Senate investigation.”
“This is something that is serious,” Blackburn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “This is someone who has served our nation at very high levels, that had information, whether as a senator or as Secretary of State and knew what was happening on the diplomatic and military front, to give that information to someone who is an adversary is something of tremendous concern to me.”
Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization for America, told Fox News, there should be an “immediate and thorough investigation” into Kerry. Brian E. Leib, the executive director for Iranian Americans for Liberty, said if Zarif’s allegations turn out to be true, they are “grounds for treason” charges against Kerry.
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