His comments came after leaked audio showed Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif claiming that Kerry had told him about more than 200 operations in Syria. Kerry previously denied doing so and reiterated that denial while appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Mr. Secretary, the foreign minister, claimed that you had discussed more than 200 israeli operations against Iranian-backed terrorists in Syria,” said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.
“Did you provide information to Mr. Zarif on Israeli operations against Iranian-backed terrorists during or following your tenure as secretary of state?”
“On no occasion. Never,” Kerry responded.
“Never? So, Mr. Zarif is a liar?” Perry asked.
Kerry, who now leads the Biden administration’s climate efforts, said Zarif “may be confused or incorrect or he’s trying to embellish his — what I read about that article said that he was portraying himself as out of the loop, and quite emotional apparently, is what I read. And I’ve seen him be quite emotional and I can’t vouch for why he did it, what he said. I’m just telling you that didn’t happen. End of story.”
He added that the first time he heard the 200 figure was when the news surfaced in April.
Kerry, who has been accused of working with Iran to undermine former President Trump, told the committee he only remembered meeting with Zarif four times in the aftermath of his time as secretary of state.