Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to Federalist reporting Tuesday of Democratic senators privately meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif without State Department knowledge or approval.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and other Democrat senators met with Zarif last week on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, an annual forum convening hundreds of world leaders each February to discuss international threats.
“I have seen that piece about some senators meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif,” Pompeo said during a press conference with Ethiopian Minister Gedu Andargachew in the east African nation Tuesday, according to Townhall.
This guy is designated by the United States of America. He’s the foreign minister for a country that shot down a commercial airliner and has yet to turn over the black boxes. This is the foreign minister of a country that killed an American on December 27. And it’s the foreign minister of a country who is the largest world sponsor of terror and the world’s largest sponsor of anti-Semitism… If they met, I don’t know what they said. I hope they were reinforcing America’s foreign policy and not their own.
Other Democrats attending the conference in Munich include Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Former Secretary of State and former senator from Massachusetts John Kerry also went.
Murphy’s meeting with Zarif comes while Murphy has defended Democratic rogue meetings with foreign leaders in the past while offering harsh criticism of Republicans who sent an open letter to the Iranian regime while the Obama administration stamped out the details of a nuclear agreement with the Middle Eastern adversary. Murphy, a staunch defender of the agreement said the Republicans were “undermining the authority of the president.”
In 2017, Murphy also condemned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn following anonymous leaks of a phone call between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kysylak surfaced.
“Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously,” Murphy said at the time.
At the conference in Munich, Murphy and Zarif both criticized U.S. foreign policy during a two-hour discussion on the Middle East.