National Security

Iran denies link between negotiator’s son and Kerry’s daughter

John Kerry, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran Deal, Vanessa Kerry
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The Iranian government is denying an Internet rumor that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s son was the best man at the wedding of Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter.

The denial by the Iranian-controlled Fars News Agency comes hot on the heels of allegations over the weekend on the website of former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) that purported a “frightening” link between the negotiators of the nuclear deal.

{mosads}According to West’s website, Zarif’s son was the best man at the 2009 wedding of Kerry’s daughter Dr. Vanessa Kerry to Dr. Brian Nahed. Nahed is of Iranian descent but was born and educated n the United States.

“I have to say, connecting the dots gets more and more frightening,” website Editor-in-Chief Michele Hickford wrote.

Fars denied the report, citing officials within the Iran Foreign Ministry who called it a “sheer lie” and “news fabrication.”

The bride also appeared to shoot down the rumor on Sunday evening.

“No wedding party when we married,” a Twitter account appearing to belong to Vanessa Kerry tweeted. “No Zarif’s son.”

The two were married in Boston in 2009. An announcement at the time was placed in The New York Times.

Zarif was Kerry’s main negotiating partner throughout the course of the negotiations on the nuclear deal.

The responses from both Kerry and Iran to the rumors highlight the political pressure in both countries, with many skeptical of a multinational deal that would place limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

West, who left office in 2013, is a staunch national security hawk who has taken a hard line against Iran in the past.

The report on his website appears designed “to damage Kerry’s credit and reputation” amid the congressional and public debate over the nuclear deal with Iran, Fars said.

While some Democrats have come out in support of the agreement, practically every conservative has lambasted it as a weak deal that only makes it easier for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.  

Similar opposition exists in Iran, where hard-liners have accused Zarif and other negotiators of selling out Iranian interests.

“We have members of parliament who oppose it, we have members of the National Security Council who oppose it,” Foad Izadi, professor at Tehran University, recently told The Telegraph. “The expert community here, they generally oppose it, because they read it and see it could have been better.”

To push back against that criticism, Iran President Hassan Rouhani went on live national television on Sunday to make the case for the deal.

“This idea that we have two options before the world, either submit to it or defeat it, is illogical,” he said, according to reports. “There is also a third way, of constructive cooperation with the world in a framework of national interests.”

Tags Iran John Kerry Mohammad Javad Zarif
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