During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new book, “Every Day is Extra,” former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted to doing some extracurricular negotiating and even coaching of Iranian officials
Kerry’s meeting was with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif and occurred on multiple occasions just in the past couple of months, and without the seal of approval of the Trump administration.
Kerry elaborated on what happened in those meetings, and what he had hoped to accomplish:
“What I have done is try to elicit from him (Zarif) what Iran might be willing to do to change the dynamic of the Middle East for the better,” Kerry said.
“How does one resolve Yemen, what do you do to try and get peace in Syria? Those are the things that really are preoccupying him because those are the impediments to Iran’s ability to convince people its ready to embrace something different.”
Kerry said that he attempted to push Zarif to accept the restrictions that the United States and others wished to put on the country.
“I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif,” Kerry said. “(I) told him ‘look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen.’
“You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack.”
Kerry also criticized the current administration’s tactics for dealing with the Middle Eastern country.
“I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further.”
He also offered advice, and seemed to make an attempt to justify his actions:
“I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.”