Update: An earlier version of this story stated categorically that Kerry had been caught meeting with Iranians in France and that the photo included in this article "proves" it. We received a statement from one of Kerry's representatives denying that he is the person in the photo. Although Kerry subsequently admitted that he met with Javad Zarif 'three or four times' after President Obama left office, it cannot be proven that the person in this particular photo is John Kerry. We regret the error.
It was reported last week that former Secretary of State John Kerry had been meeting with various diplomats to ensure former President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran remained intact.
In what the Boston Globe described as "shadow diplomacy," it was reported that Kerry had met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in New York city, in addition to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron. The Globe's report came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Iran was breaking most of the terms of the nuclear deal.
What happened Saturday?
Jason Osborne, who is a former senior adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, tweeted a photo of what appeared to be Kerry leaving a meeting at a fancy restaurant in Paris on Saturday.
So John Kerry just left a meeting @ L’Avenue in Paris w/3 Iranians. A friend was sitting next to their table and he… https://t.co/Tksz8gcOe0— Jason Osborne (@Jason Osborne)1526135853.0
According to Osborne, whose friend was apparently sitting next to Kerry, the former secretary of state was meeting with three Iranians. The Iranians reportedly had a security detail and left the restaurant in diplomatic vehicles.
At the end of his tweet, Osborne questioned if Kerry is "FARA registered," a reference to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA requires U.S. residents and businesses working in the interest of foreign powers to register with the federal government as "foreign agents."
The answer to Osborne's question is unknown, and it's unclear if Kerry would need to register given he is a former secretary of state. It's also not clear what Kerry was discussing with the Iranians. After all, Trump ended the Iranian nuclear deal this week.
Still, there were questions last week over whether Kerry violated the Logan Act — an 18th century law that prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in discussions with foreign governments "with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government" or “to defeat the measures of the United States" — when he met with the diplomats.
Others have amounted Kerry's actions to "collusion," a charge Democrats routinely levy at Trump.