John Kerry on 'Stealth Campaign' to Save Iran Nuke Pact

Former Secretary of State is talking to world leaders
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2018 5:30 PM CDT
In this file photo, former Secretary of State John Kerry attends a tennis match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – While President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly slam the Iran nuclear deal, John Kerry is quietly trying to save it. The former secretary of state has held private meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an effort to salvage the pact he spent years helping to forge, an insider tells the Boston Globe. Kerry also briefed House and Senate members last week on how Europe might sustain the deal if Trump pulls out. "It is unusual for a former secretary of state to engage in foreign policy like this," a foreign policy expert admits. But does it raise the specter of the Logan Act, a law designed to stop private citizens from representing the US government?

Not according to law professor Stephen Vladeck, who says no one has been prosecuted under the Logan Act—and Kerry is only "working to keep in place something that’s still technically a 'measure of the United States,'" he adds. But not everyone agrees: "Kerry working with foreign governments to save the flawed #IranDeal certainly raises Logan Act questions," tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, per Fox News. The Globe notes that Kerry is coordinating his efforts with Diplomacy Works, a group of his former State Dept. advisors who have apparently influenced media coverage and prompted top Israeli officials to sign a letter supporting the Iran deal. "Our effort is self-aware," says a member of the group. "This isn't President Obama's agreement. It's the world's agreement."

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