Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has stated National Security Council member John Kerry gave him information about Israeli operations in Syria. Zarif said Kerry told him Israel had attacked Iranian assets “over 200 times” (Politico). The GOP is up in arms and is calling for an investigation into Kerry’s statements, which he has denied.
It’s no great secret Israel has attacked Iranian assets in Syria. Hezbollah, financed and directed by Iranian military advisors, have been active in Syria’s civil war for a while. They have been supporting Bashar al-Assad‘s government. Hezbollah has fired upon Israeli positions several times and Israel has struck back (US News). This is no great revelation or state secret.
Iran’s Foreign Minister is a professional diplomat. He doesn’t make statements off the cuff. Like most professional speakers he weighs the potential impact of his words before he speaks. If he didn’t the Ayatollah would have his head removed. It is fairly obvious his claim is meant to damage Kerry. The GOP doesn’t seem to understand this, perhaps because many of them don’t consider the impact of their statements beforehand.
Kerry was a Naval officer in Vietnam. He received 3 purple hearts, the Bronze Star with combat V and the SIlver Star. The Silver Star is the second highest medal for valor. Kerry protested US involvement in Vietnam upon his separation from the Navy, as is his right. Despite politically motivated swift boat vets decrying his award during a run for President; he’s a war hero. It is doubtful he would give Iran intelligence on Israeli operations.
Even if he did make the statement to Zariff it is readily available information, reported on by the press consistently during the Syrian civil war. It is common knowledge. Kerry denies making the statements. It seems odd certain GOP members would take the word of an Iranian politician over that of a decorated US Navy veteran.