Democrat Senator Chris Murphy held a secret meeting with Iran’s foreign minister last week and isn’t disclosing what it was about:
FEDERALIST – Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and other Democratic senators had a secret meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the Munich Security Conference last week, according to a source briefed by the French delegation to the conference. Murphy’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment by press time.
A State Department official who spoke on background said that the State Department was not aware of any side meetings with Iranian officials that Murphy was engaged in.
The Munich Security Conference, an annual forum on international security policy, welcomes hundreds of world leaders each February. This year’s conference featured robust debate on the United States’ maximum pressure policy against Iran, China’s handling of the coronavirus and technology concerns, and the European alliance with the United States. Other Democrat senators at the conference included Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Former Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts also attended.
Both Murphy and Zarif spoke publicly during a two-hour session on Middle East policy, with Murphy and Zarif both fiercely criticizing U.S. policy.
“Murphy and Zarif both fiercely criticizing U.S. policy”. Of course. This from the man who criticized Trump taking out one of the top terrorists in the world, Qassem Soleimani.
This is also the same Chris Murphy who railed against Mike Flynn for his phone call with the Russian ambassador well after Trump won the election but before he was inaugurated.
Such a meeting would mean Murphy had done the type of secret coordination with foreign leaders to potentially undermine the U.S. government that he accused Trump officials of doing as they prepared for Trump’s administration. In February 2017, Murphy demanded investigations of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn because he had a phone call with his counterpart-to-be in Russia.
“Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously,” Murphy said in 2017 after anonymous leaks of Flynn’s phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak were published. He also strongly criticized the open letter some Republican senators sent Iranian leaders during the Obama administration’s campaign for a nuclear agreement.
But later, as the Federalist points out, Murphy defended John Kerry for his meetings with the Iranians.
“Unless it was authorized by the president or secretary of state, conducting independent foreign policy sends mixed signals to our adversaries,” said Christian Whiton, former State Department senior advisor in the Trump and George W. Bush administrations. “It seems very unpalatable. If we want to talk to Iranians, they know how to reach us and they don’t need to go through an intermediary.”
I don’t know if there’s a legitimate reason for a US Senator to be meeting with such an enemy official of the US, but as Whiton suggests, it sure looks bad. There’s no reason to assume that he wasn’t trying to undermine the president, because that’s what Democrats do when they meet with other foreign leaders. Heck, just last year Murphy met with andthreatened Ukraine President Zelensky that he would lose Democratic support for his country’s aid if he investigated Joe and Hunter Biden.