President Trump on Monday Predicted former Secretary of State John Kerry for conducting “illegal shadow Diplomacy” with Iran, violating the Logan Act.
President Trump tweeted,” The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the poorly negotiated Iran Deal. He had been the one that made this MESS at the first location! ”
On Friday, the Boston Globe revealed the specifics of Kerry’s shadow diplomacy.
As reported by bostonglobe.com
WASHINGTON — John Kerry’s bid to rescue one of his most important accomplishments as secretary of state took him to New York to a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, in which, over a year later he left office, he also participated in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official.
He sat down at the United Nations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of maintaining the pact limiting Iran’s atomic weapons program. It had been the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal that they spent years negotiating during the Obama government, according to a person briefed about the meetings.
Together with the Iran deal facing its gravest threat since it was signed in 2015, Kerry was on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to conserve it, using his deep lists of contacts gleaned during his period as the top US diplomat to try and apply pressure on the Trump government from the exterior.
President Trump, who has consistently criticized the pact and campaigned in 2016 on scuttling it, faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to keep on abiding by its own terms.
Kerry also met last month with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and he’s been on the phone with leading European Union official Federica Mogherini, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal the personal meetings.
Kerry has also met with French President Emmanuel Macron in both Paris and New York, conversing over the details of sanctions and regional nuclear threats in both English and French.
The infrequent moves with a former secretary of state highlight the stakes for Kerry personally, in addition to for additional Obama-era diplomats who are dismayed by what they see as Trump’s disruptive approach to diplomacy, and who see the Iran nuclear deal for a factor for stability in the Middle East and for global nuclear nonproliferation.
The pact, which came after a marathon negotiating session at Vienna that involved Iran and six world powers, lifted sanctions in exchange for Iran stopping its pursuit of atomic weapons.
“It’s unusual for a former secretary of state to take part in foreign policy similar to this, as an true diplomat and quasi-negotiator,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy specialist at the Brookings Institution. “Obviously, former secretaries of state frequently stay quite engaged with foreign leaders, as they need to, but it’s rarely so issue-specific, especially when they have just left office.”
Kerry declined to be interviewed for this story. The quiet lobbying campaign — by him and others — has been conducted below the radar since he and his allies believe a high profile defense of the deal by notable Democrats would only backfire and provoke Trump, which makes it more likely the president could pull the United States out of the offer.