Report from 2018 said Kerry engaged in ‘shadow diplomacy’ to save Iran deal

Biden administration officials, including John Kerry and Robert Malley, had meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during the Trump administration that were orchestrated to undermine President Biden’s predecessor, a recent report from The Washington Times claims.

Zarif held meetings with Obama administration veterans who could return to power “to devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump administration” and usher in softer diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran, according to an unnamed former senior U.S. official cited by The Washington Times.

The official was discussing face-to-face meetings between Zarif and influential Democrats in 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to The Washington Times.

The Washington Times reported that while former President Donald Trump’s attempts to set up a back channel with Iranian officials, meant to defuse tensions, fizzled, Democrats like Malley were meeting with Zarif.

Kerry has been open about the fact that he met with Zarif at least twice during the Trump administration, prompting Trump to say he should be prosecuted under the Logan Act because of the meetings.

Meanwhile, Republicans are criticizing Biden’s decision to give up on a Trump-era push to reimpose United Nations sanctions on Iran as the administration takes a warmer tone toward Tehran.