ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Speaking to reporters during a joint press conference with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to reporting that a number of Democrat Senators secretly met with Iranian Javad Zarif during the Munich Security Conference.
“I have seen that piece about some senators meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif. This guy is designated by the United States of America. He’s the foreign minister for a country that shot down a commercial airliner and has yet to turn over the black boxes. This is the foreign minister of a country that killed an American on December 27. And it’s the foreign minister of a country who is the largest world sponsor of terror and the world’s largest sponsor of anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said. “If they met, I don’t know what they said. I hope they were reinforcing America’s foreign policy and not their own."
"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," the outlet reported.
Zarif was designated for sanctions by the Treasury Department last summer for sponsoring terrorism around the world.
“Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran’s Supreme Leader, and is the regime’s primary spokesperson around the world. The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behavior is completely unacceptable,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the time. “At the same time the Iranian regime denies Iranian citizens’ access to social media, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spreads the regime’s propaganda and disinformation around the world through these mediums.”
Senator Murphy, along with other Democrats, have repeatedly worked to preserve the deeply flawed Iranian Nuclear Agreement. The United States officially left the deal, struck during the Obama administration, in 2018.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been openly undermining United States foreign policy since President Trump took office in 2017, was also seen with Zarif in Munich.
The commercial airline flight Pompeo referred to had 176 innocent people on board from Iran, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany and Great Britain. The Iranian government lied about shooting down the plane for days and blamed the crash on engine failure. The regime arrested the individual who took video of two missiles being launched at the aircraft, leading to its demise.
UPDATE: Senator Murphy has confirmed he did in fact meet with Zarif in Munich.
This story has been updated with additional information.