Pompeo doubles down on criticism of Kerry: The Iran deal failed, 'let it go'

Pompeo doubles down on criticism of Kerry: The Iran deal failed, 'let it go'
© Anna Moneymaker

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWhite House rejects Dem request for documents on Trump-Putin communications US calls for Venezuela to release opposition leader's chief of staff Trump: 'It is time' to recognize Israeli control of Golan Heights MORE doubled down on his criticism of former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBiden leads CNN poll, but Harris, Sanders on the rise Beto is the poor man's Obama — Dems can do better Joe Biden could be a great president, but can he win? MORE on Saturday, accusing Kerry of "unseemly" contacts within Iran's government.

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In a pair of tweets, Pompeo appeared to mock Kerry over the United State's withdrawal earlier this year from the Obama-era Iran nuclear agreement that was signed under Kerry's stewardship. In his tweets, Pompeo also accused Kerry again of "unprecedented" contact with "the world’s top state sponsor of terror."

"What @JohnKerry has done by engaging with #Iran’s regime, the world’s top state sponsor of terror, is unseemly, unprecedented, and inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy. The deal failed. Let it go," Pompeo tweeted.

"#JCPOA didn’t stop all paths for #Iran to develop nuclear weapons, contrary to the way it was sold to the American people," Pompeo added in a second message, referring to the Iran deal.

Pompeo's second round of criticism followed one day after the current secretary of State made similar comments about his predecessor.

Pompeo originally called Kerry's meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif "unseemly" and "unprecedented" at a press briefing Friday, adding that he would leave "legal determinations" to others.

“I’ll leave the legal determinations to others,” Pompeo said Friday. “But what Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented. This is a former secretary of State engaged with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.”

Kerry responded Friday afternoon in a statement to The Hill in which a spokesman accused Pompeo of "hijacking" the State Department for "political theatrics."

“Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous Secretary of State, and in a long phone conversation with Secretary Pompeo earlier this year he went into great detail about what he had learned about the Iranian’s view. No secrets were kept from this administration,” a spokesperson for Kerry told The Hill.

“There’s nothing unusual, let alone unseemly or inappropriate, about former diplomats meeting with foreign counterparts … What is unseemly and unprecedented is for the podium of the State Department to be hijacked for political theatrics,” the spokesperson added.

Pompeo's initial remarks on Friday followed a tweet from the president on Thursday, who called Kerry's meetings with Zarif "illegal."

“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!” President TrumpDonald John TrumpCummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications Property is a fundamental right that is now being threatened 25 states could see severe flooding in coming weeks, scientists say MORE wrote.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires those who represent the interests of foreign powers to disclose such relationships and any related activities and finances. Kerry said Wednesday on Fox News that he met with European and Iranian diplomats, but maintained that no negotiations were aimed at undermining the Trump administration’s policies.