Former Secretary of State John Kerry criticized President Donald Trump in an op-ed for The New York Times on Thursday for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal he negotiated on behalf of the Obama administration.
Kerry, who is backing former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid to become the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, claimed that Trump’s actions were only aimed at undoing a legacy-making accomplishment by his predecessor.
“He put his disdain for anything done by the last administration ahead of his duty to keep the country safe,” Kerry wrote.
Kerry, a long-serving U.S. senator before joining the Obama team and the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential nominee, also said the nuclear deal was working but it was thrown away, which then empowered Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qasem Suleimani, whom Trump targeted last week with a drone strike.
“There were no missile attacks on United States facilities. No ships were being detained or sabotaged in the Persian Gulf,” he wrote about the state of the Middle East under the deal. “There were no protesters breaching our embassy in Baghdad. Iraq welcomed our presence fighting ISIS.”
He also said that though Suleimani was a “sworn” enemy of the United States, America benefited from his efforts to fight ISIS.
“Occasionally, when American and Iranian interests aligned, as they did in fighting ISIS, we were the serendipitous beneficiaries of his relationships and levers, as were the Iraqis,” he said referring to Suleimani. “But this was a rare exception.”
During his tenure as Quds Force commander, members of Congress, U.S. military commanders, and other American officials have said Soleimani was responsible for some 600 deaths of U.S. military personnel fighting in Iraq.
“In 2016, we defused deep disagreements with Iran over prisoners and averted conflict when American sailors inadvertently entered Iranian waters and were detained by Iranian forces,” he wrote.
“We have been left with an incoherent Iran and Iraq policy that has made the region more dangerous and put Americans at greater risk,” he wrote.