Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo says undermining American foreign policy is the “gravest of offences” after allegations John Kerry shared Israeli military secrets with Iran.
Mr Pompeo’s remarks centre around leaked audio, revealed by The New York Times, in which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Mr Kerry told him that Israel attacked Iranian interests in Syria “at least 200 times” – to his “astonishment”.
The timing the alleged conversation took place remains unclear, and the State Department suggested the attacks were public knowledge.
“I would just make the broad point that if you go back and look at press reporting from the time, this certainly was not secret, and governments that were involved were speaking to this publicly, on the record,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
Mr Kerry, who serves as President Joe Biden’s climate envoy and was secretary of state in the Obama administration, denied the allegations as “unequivocally false”.
“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened – either when I was secretary of state or since,” Mr Kerry said on Twitter.
Mr Pompeo was asked in a Fox News interview if Mr Kerry’s alleged conversation “skirts the line of treason with Iran”.
“It’s very dangerous for a former secretary of state to be out talking about Israeli operations that he may have learned from some other foreign leader, he may have learned it from some American source that he had – maybe inside the State Department I was running at that time,” Mr Pompeo said.
“If you are out actively trying to undermine American foreign policy you’ve committed the gravest of offences.”
Mr Pompeo stressed the need to learn the facts and suggested Mr Kerry simply answer questions about what he said and when he said it.
“Then we’ll leave it to Congress to decide how they want to continue to do their oversight function,” he said.