Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with multiple current Biden administration officials several years ago to “undermine” former President Trump’s dealings with the country, a report claims.
One of the meetings between Zarif and Robert Malley, now the special envoy for Iran policy, took place in 2019 after Trump withdrew the US from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, The Washington Times reported Sunday.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry also met with Zarif in the first few years of Trump’s presidency — which he had publicly acknowledged. And so did Obama-era Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, the report said.
While exact details of what was discussed at the meetings was not clear, a former senior US official told the newspaper that Zarif’s goal was “to devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump administration.”
The source added that Zarif was looking to regain support for the Iran nuclear deal — or a similar agreement, in case the next US president was a Democrat.
Malley, Kerry and Moniz helped negotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which curtailed the country’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
Sources told The Times that Malley, in his meeting with Zarif, likely urged Iranian officials to sit tight until 2021, when it was expected a Democratic administration could restore the deal.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that the US is prepared to restart negotiations with Iran about both nations rejoining the deal.