Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with multiple current Biden administration officials several years ago to undermine former President Trumps dealings with the country, a report claims.
One of the meetings between Zarif and Robert Malley, now the special envoy for Iran policy, took place in 2019 after Trump withdrew the US from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, The Washington Times reported Sunday.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry also met with Zarif in the first few years of Trumps presidency — which he had publicly acknowledged. And so did Obama-era Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, the report said.
While exact details of what was discussed at the meetings was not clear, a former senior US official told the newspaper that Zarifs goal was to devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump administration.
The source added that Zarif was looking to regain support for the Iran nuclear deal — or a similar agreement, in case the next US president was a Democrat.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking in Lebanon on August 14, 2020.
Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
Malley, Kerry and Moniz helped negotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which curtailed the countrys nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
Sources told The Times that Malley, in his meeting with Zarif, likely urged Iranian officials to sit tight until 2021, when it was expected a Democratic administration could restore the deal.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that the US is prepared to restart negotiations with Iran about both nations rejoining the deal.