Former secretary of state and current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry denied allegations on Monday that he had released information on Israeli airstrikes in Syria to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, after Zarif claimed in a leaked interview that he had found out about the strikes from Kerry..
The UK-based Persian-language television channel threw doubt on the probability that this assertion was real, given Israeli bombings in Syria have already been reported in foreign media.
Israeli Bombings in Syria have Already been Reported in Foreign Media.
“I can tell you that this report and these charges are totally false,” Kerry tweeted. “This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.”
In response to a question on the leaked interview during a press briefing on Monday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the department does not comment on “purportedly leaked material” and that the alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria were “certainly… not secret, and governments that were involved were speaking to this publicly on the record.”
“Of course, we can’t vouch for the validity of it, for the accuracy of it, and so of course I’m not going to comment directly on what’s on that tape, on that recording,” he said.
The claim comes as Iran conducts discussions with the US and European nations in Vienna in an attempt to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the 2015 nuclear agreement.
A number of Republicans voiced fury at the claims against Kerry, criticising the former secretary of state for allegedly leaking sensitive material.
“People are talking about treason – and I don’t hurl that word around a lot,” remarked Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Politico reported. “John Kerry does all kinds of stuff that I can’t stand. But this is the one that broke the camel’s back.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) claimed it was “unfathomable” that a US official would leak intelligence to the “world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism.”
While the IDF normally does not confirm individual bombings in Syria, it regularly discloses statistics on the strikes. In December, the IDF claimed that it had undertaken out 50 strikes against its northeastern neighbour in 2020.