Trump: Kerry must be prosecuted for meeting Iranians



 US President Donald Trump has said that former Secretary of State John Kerry should be prosecuted for discussing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iranian officials after leaving office.

Talking to reporters after an event on healthcare at the White House on Thursday, Trump accused Kerry of telling Iranian officials not to speak with members of the Trump administration, the Washington Post reported.

As (former) President Barack Obama's Secretary of State, Kerry helped craft the landmark nuclear deal, which Trump scrapped.

"I'd like to see - with Iran, I'd like to see them call me... You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That's a violation of the Logan Act. And frankly, he should be prosecuted on that," Trump said.

Logan Act prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the US government without authorization.

"But my people don't want to do anything that's - only the Democrats do that kind of stuff, you know? If it were the opposite way, they'd prosecute him under the Logan Act," the President added.

Thursday appeared to be the first time when the President publicly acknowledged that he asked members of his administration to examine whether they could prosecute Kerry.

Kerry's spokesman Matt Summers disputed the President's accusations and urged him to "focus on solving foreign-policy problems for America instead of attacking his predecessors for theatre".

In a radio interview in September, Kerry had said he met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif "three or four times" since leaving office and that their discussions included the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry also defended the meetings in an interview that month on Fox News Channel, stating that "every Secretary of State, former Secretary of State, continues to meet foreign leaders". IANS