Foreign Ministry confirms Zarif’s meeting with U.S. senator

May 25, 2019 - 19:23

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had a meeting with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, saying such meetings are aimed at neutralizing the so-called B-Team’s impact on the American political society.

Asked on Saturday about the meeting between Zarif and Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.), Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, “Dialogue and exchange of views with America’s non-administrative political elites, including members of Congress (who are not administrative officials), have been taking place for more than two decades with the aim of enlightenment and declaration of the Islamic Republic’s policies.”

“These individuals are neither administrative officials nor entitled to negotiate (with Iran), and Iranian officials have not negotiated and will not negotiate with them either,” Tasnim quoted the spokesperson as saying.

“The purpose of such meetings – which, by the way, take a lot of time and energy from the foreign minister in his tightly scheduled visits- is to counteract the influence of lobbies such as the ‘B-Team’ over America’s political society and public opinion. That’s why they (the meetings) face a harsh reaction and resentment from the hardliners,” Mousavi said.

His comments came after Politico reported on Thursday that Feinstein, who sits on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, met with Zarif a few weeks ago when he was in New York.

The California Democrat said the dinner was “arranged in consultation with the State Department.”

“The office was in touch with State in advance of the meeting to let them know it was happening and to get an update on U.S.-Iran activity,” Feinstein’s office said.

Asked about Feinstein’s meeting with Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blasted the senator and former secretary of state John Kerry for engaging Iran.

The Logan Act, which was enacted in 1799, forbids private American citizens from communicating with a foreign government having a dispute with the U.S. However, nobody has ever been prosecuted under the act.

The B-Team, a phrase first used by Zarif, refers to a group of four anti-Iran hawks, namely U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


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