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Former Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on MSNBC Tuesday and defended meeting with Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the United Nations to help try to save the Iran deal.
When Kerry met with Zarif in April to strategize on saving the pact, it was the second time in about two months the two had done so.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked if this was hypocritical given that Kerry criticized members of President Donald Trump’s transition team of doing the same thing when they got involved in policy making.
“You’re being accused of hypocrisy there and I’d like to give you a chance to respond to that,” Wallace told Kerry.
“There’s none whatsoever. None whatsoever,” Kerry responded.
“Until today, until this afternoon, the policy of the United States of America was to be in the Iran agreement,” Kerry said.
He proceeded to describe his conversations with world leaders as normal.
“By the way, my conversations with these people are the normal conversations that I assure you every former secretary of state has with leaders in other countries with people that we know as we try to educate ourselves and make sure we’re up to date on what’s happening in the world,” Kerry said.
The former secretary of state and major architect of the Iran deal called them normal conversations again.
“These are normal conversations. And all I did was say, ‘look, you guys really ought to try to keep the agreement. I hope you’ll keep the agreement and continue to keep the agreement.’ And that is still my hope,” Kerry said.
Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aka the Iran nuclear deal. Iranian leaders threatened harsh reprisals against the United States following Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal and reimpose a series of harsh sanctions on Tehran.