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 PompeoMike PompeoRepublican lawmakers raise security, privacy concerns over Huawei cloud services WashPost fact-checker gives Pompeo four 'Pinocchios' for 'zombie' claim about Obama Iran deal Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability MORE doubled down on his criticism of former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in A new UN climate architecture is emerging focused on need for speed 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 TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election 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.