Former Secretary of State John Kerry’s confirmation that he met with the Iranian Foreign Minister “three or four times” since leaving office has sparked a flurry of angry condemnations from the Trump Administration.
Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “beyond inappropriate” for Kerry to meet with an Iranian official, saying it was “unseemly and unprecedented.” He added that this amounts to Kerry “actively undermining” US policy.
Kerry has made no bones about disagreeing with the Trump Administration, which withdrew from the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran. Kerry declined to answer specific questions about what he advised Foreign Minister Zarif, but did say “I think everybody in the world is talking about waiting out President Trump.”
President Trump accused the meeting of being “illegal,” and claimed Kerry may have violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). Others have suggested that if Kerry was directing Iran on getting around administration hostility, it could amount to a violation of the more serious Logan Act.
The Logan Act from 1799 forbids attempts to influence foreign officials in relation to “disputes or controversies” with the US. Despite being on the books for centuries, only two indictments have ever happened under this act, and no convictions.