WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), along with 17 other Senate colleagues, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to investigate allegations that John Kerry, the former secretary of state and current special presidential envoy for climate, disclosed covert Israeli actions against Iranian interests in Syria to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The allegation comes from an interview with Minister Zarif that was leaked to Iran International, a Persian television channel, before being shared with The New York Times, which wrote an extensive story on Sunday.
Kerry currently serves as a member of the National Security Council with access to classified intelligence. The senators called on Biden to suspend Kerry’s access to sensitive information until the investigation is completed.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. President,
We write to convey our grave concerns over U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s position as a member of your administration’s National Security Council and his record – both past and present – of potentially working with America’s adversaries against our national security interests and those of our allies. We ask you to investigate recent allegations that Secretary Kerry revealed sensitive information to the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and if true, call for his removal from your national security team.
Secretary Kerry has a long history of employing transactional diplomacy against the best interests of the United States or our allies – often trading long-term national security for a flawed short-term political agenda – which has ultimately endangered our allies and emboldened our adversaries. The most recent egregious allegation, is the purported claim in a leaked recording by Foreign Minister Zarif, that Secretary Kerry relayed covert Israeli actions against Iranian interests in Syria. Revealing sensitive information, whether deliberately or not, about one of our most important and enduring allies in the region, the state of Israel, to an avowed enemy – the largest state sponsor of terrorism, responsible for the killing, wounding and maiming of thousands of American service men and women – is reason alone to remove Secretary Kerry from your administration. If proven false, this narrative is yet further proof that Iranian officials are dishonest brokers and we ask that your administration be mindful of this as you continue discussions on the future of U.S. posture towards Iran.
Given the gravity of these allegations, in addition to investigating these claims, we call on you to suspend Secretary Kerry’s access to sensitive information until this investigation is faithfully resolved.