FUS Secretary of State John Kerry should not seek to undermine President Trump's Iranian strategy through his own contacts with the regime, a senior State Department official warned Thursday.

"I do not have any personal knowledge of these meetings, but if that happens I would find it very inappropriate," said Manisha Singh, Deputy Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.

Kerry has confirmed in recent days that he has met "three or four times" with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif since taking office. The two played key roles in the 2015 Nuclear Accord negotiations that President Trump decided in May to leave, but their subsequent talks were criticized by foreign policy critics for shadow diplomacy.

"What I've done is trying to learn from him what Iran would be willing to do to change the dynamics in the Middle East for the better," Kerry told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. What do you do to achieve peace in Syria, I mean, those are the things that are really important, because those are the obstacles for the people, for Iran's ability, the people of it to convince them that they are ready to accept something else. "

[[[[Opinion: John Kerry deserves prison for secret Iranian diplomacy

The unveiling of Kerry's meeting met with approval from a Democratic MP on the podium, who welcomed the prospect of "shadow diplomacy" under these circumstances.

"Honestly, I am not sure that it is so bad that other people are trying to represent our country, given the erratic nature of this government," said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.

Hewitt asked if Kerry was "trying to exercise" [Iran] "Trump's exit from the Iran deal, but the former Democratic Senator denies it.

"No, that's not my job and my coaching would not work, you know, that's not how it works," he said. "I was very outspoken to Foreign Minister Zarif and told him, look, you must realize that the world does not know what happens to missiles, what happens to Hezbollah, what happens to Yemen."

Singh stressed that the Trump team does not believe that the 2015 nuclear deal can help stem the regime's regional aggression, much less its own human rights abuses. "We have a long list of things to focus on, and it would be unfortunate if people from a previous government were trying to jeopardize the progress we are making in this government," she told the legislators.



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