New York Times 'buried' bombshell that John Kerry told Iran about Israeli covert operations in Syria: Critics
'At best, this shows that Kerry is enormously and irresponsibly indiscreet; at worst, he’s exposing American intelligence to an enemy in order to attack an ally'
The New York Times is taking criticism for "burying" a report that former Secretary of State John Kerry told Iran that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times.
The story focuses on leaked audio of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking candidly about Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the powerful branch of Iran's Armed Forces and a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. However, 22 paragraphs into a 26-paragraph story, the Times dropped a major revelation.
"Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment, Mr. Zarif said," Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi wrote.
IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS JOHN KERRY TOLD HIM ABOUT ISRAELI COVERT OPERATIONS IN SYRIA
Kerry has denied the claims in the story, calling them "unequivocally false."
Kerry, now President Biden's special climate envoy, served as President Barack Obama's Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017, where he was instrumental in brokering the Iran nuclear deal. The deal was heavily opposed by Israel, with whom Kerry has frequently sparred.
Conservative critics questioned why the Kerry item wasn't given more attention by the Times, given Iran is an enemy of the United States and Israel is a strong ally. The IRGC's influence over Iran's government is already well-known.
"While no one would be surprised to hear that Israel carries out covert operations against Iran, why in the world would an American Secretary of State pass that information to a regime that leads 'Death to America' protests in its streets? Isn’t this the real news in the US, especially with Kerry now joining another administration as its 'climate change envoy'?" HotAir's Ed Morrissey wrote.
NEW YORK TIMES' 'FAUCI AWARDS' DRAW SOCIAL MEDIA RIDICULE: 'EMBARRASSING'
"At best, this shows that Kerry is enormously and irresponsibly indiscreet; at worst, he’s exposing American intelligence to an enemy in order to attack an ally. And frankly, it looks a lot more like the latter than the former, and a lot more like an actual crime by a high-ranking US government official."
National Review's Jim Geraghty noted the Kerry revelation was "buried fairly deep" in the story. The piece also delved into Zarif's rivalry with IRGC leader Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in 2020.
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President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, infuriating Kerry and other Obama officials. Kerry revealed at the time he had engaged in behind-the-scenes diplomacy with Zarif to try to salvage the agreement.
This article was updated to show Kerry has denied the report in the Times.