Kerry: Any Iran nuclear deal will be ‘failsafe’

Secretary of state says agreement would only be signed if Tehran was guaranteed to refrain from nuclear weapons development

US Secretary of State John Kerry. (photo credit: AP/Ahmad Jamshid)
US Secretary of State John Kerry. (photo credit: AP/Ahmad Jamshid)

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that any deal negotiated with Iran will be “failsafe” and will guarantee that Tehran will not have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

Trying to reassure skeptical lawmakers and US allies, Kerry told MSNBC that the Obama administration wants time to negotiate a deal with Iran that would protect Israel, US interests and the region and “guarantee failsafe that Iran will not be able to have a nuclear weapon.”

Kerry said he spoke shortly before the televised interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assure him that the US understands Israel’s deep concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel sees as a threat to its security. Kerry said he told Netanyahu that the US and Israel both agree that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear-armed nation.

But he said that while the Obama administration wants Congress to hold off on imposing any new sanctions while negotiations continue, Israel wants to see more sanctions to force Tehran to surrender any nuclear weapons capabilities.

Kerry, who has been briefing lawmakers on the most recent negotiations with Iran that took place in Geneva last week, said that Iran would likely view any new US sanctions as a “bad faith” move in the talks and would embolden hard-liners in Tehran who do not want Iran to surrender any nuclear capabilities. Iran insists its program is being developed for peaceful purposes.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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