John Kerry’s meetings with Iranian officials after then-President Donald Trump removed the United States from the Iran nuclear deal were “not illegal,” but they were “inappropriate,” former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who now chairs United Against Nuclear Iran, said Tuesday.
“It was very much like what we were upset with Gen. (Michael) Flynn about, with the Russians and others,” the Connecticut Democrat and one-time vice presidential candidate said on Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria.” “The reality is that it’s not illegal for somebody like (former Secretary of State) John Kerry to meet with leaders of a hostile government, Iran, but it runs the risk of misleading them to believe that they can wait out the current administration if they don’t like what it was doing.”
Such things also shouldn’t happen because the person elected to office has the “right to carry out our foreign policy,” said Lieberman.
But now, with Biden wanting to return to the Iran nuclear deal, these are perilous times, said Lieberman.
“I think the previous administration carried out exactly the right policy toward Iran,” said Lieberman. He added that because he chairs United Against Nuclear Iran, he struggled against the original Iran nuclear agreement.
“That agreement did not end nuclear Iran; it just paused it for a while,” said Lieberman. “It did nothing about a lot of other troublesome behavior by the Iranians. The Biden administration’s been a bit uncertain here. They’ve said they want to go back to talks with Iran but they also want to lengthen the term of the Iran nuclear agreement and strengthen it.”
He said that’s “encouraging” but the only way that will happen is if the Biden administration keeps up the pressure on Iran through sanctions, because Iran remains a serious danger to the United States.
Meanwhile, the Abraham Accords, the breakthrough in relations between Israel and its neighbors occurred because of the Trump administration’s tough policy on Iran, said Lieberman.
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