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A new report from the Washington Times claims that Biden administration officials such as John Kerry and Robert Malley held meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during the Trump presidency in order to undermine Donald Trump's foreign policy towards Iran.
Multiple meetings were held between the officials between 2017 and 2019.
Kerry, who served as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, now serves as the White House's climate change envoy while Malley, who spearheaded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, colloquially known as the Iran deal, now serves as Biden's envoy to Iran.
The Iran deal was signed under President Obama as a plan to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons while lifting sanctions on the country. The deal was harshly criticized by Republicans, who argued that it fails to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons while allowing them the ability to further fund and promote terrorism across the Middle East.
The deal was ultimately gutted by President Trump in 2018, fulfilling a campaign promise of his. He also reimposed a number of sanctions on the country, causing great damage to the Iranian economy.
According to the report, the meetings held between Zarif and Democratic Party officials included discussions of reviving the deal or drafting up something similar.
The meetings were reportedly held "to devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump administration" and to promote friendlier relations with Iran after Trump left office.
Kerry had admitted previously to holding meetings with Zarif, prompting Trump to call for his prosecution under the Logan Act, which forbids American citizens from negotiating with nations hostile to the United States in unofficial capacities. Nobody has ever been convicted of violating the act.
According to Kerry, he held the meetings to discuss "what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better."
The Biden administration has taken a softer approach towards Iran than President Joe Biden's predecessor, a stance which has frustrated Republicans, who have promoted increased sanctions against the country.