Blinken says allegations Kerry betrayed Israelis are ‘utter nonsense’

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Secretary of State Anthony Blinken dismissed allegations that climate envoy John Kerry gave Iran information about Israeli military operations when he was secretary of state for Barack Obama.

“It is utter nonsense,” He told CNN Jake Taper in an interview. “It’s really unfortunate that people will continue to try and play politics with this.”

Kerry was accused of informing Iranian officials of at least 200 Israeli-backed attacks against Iranian interests in Syria during his time as secretary of state under Barack Obama. The allegations were levied by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a leaked audiotape obtained by Iran International and shared with The New York Times Monday.


Kerry, along with the Biden administration, has denied he shared the information with the Iranian foreign minister, but Republicans on the Hill have continued to call for an investigation and his resignation.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with his Israeli counterpart just one day after the allegations surfaced to address “serious concerns” with Iran’s nuclear development.

Israel has condemned the U.S. attempts to reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and prevent Iranian nuclear development, insisting the agreement will have the reverse effect.

U.S. officials are set to continue indirect talks with Iran about the agreement later this week in Vienna.

“The United States updated Israel on the talks in Vienna and emphasized strong U.S. interest in consulting closely with Israel on the nuclear issue going forward,” the White House said in a statement following the meeting Tuesday. “The United States and Israel agreed to establish an inter-agency working group to focus particular attention on the growing threat of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Precision Guided Missiles produced by Iran and provided to its proxies in the Middle East Region.”


Tensions between the U.S. and Israel have grown under Biden’s administration, which has reversed several Trump-era policies Israel supported, including the rejection of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine and removing the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

But in Tuesday’s statement, the White House said it  remains “unyielding in its commitment to Israel’s security and will work to strengthen all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership.”


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