Kerry defends Iran deal, says ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ to scrap it
search

Kerry defends Iran deal, says ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ to scrap it

After Trump’s decision to decertify pact, ex-secretary of state implores Congress not to make ‘gigantic mistake’ by nixing it

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) shakes hands with then US secretary of state John Kerry (left) in Geneva, January 14, 2015. (AFP/Rick Wilking/Pool)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) shakes hands with then US secretary of state John Kerry (left) in Geneva, January 14, 2015. (AFP/Rick Wilking/Pool)

Former secretary of state John Kerry on Monday warned the US Congress that it would be “extraordinarily dangerous” for it to reject the Iran nuclear deal that he helped broker.

US President Donald Trump last month decertified Iran’s compliance with the 2015 agreement, but stopped short of scrapping the deal outright, instead handing the issue over to Congress.

Kerry told the Chatham House international affairs think tank in London that the decision “was clearly made without relevance to any fact whatsoever” and criticized the involvement of Congress.

“It’s been flipped over to the Congress with instructions, you guys fix it.”

“How the US Congress, which wasn’t part of the negotiations, which isn’t certified to be part of the negotiations, fixes an agreement which is working is beyond me,” he added.

“What President Trump regrettably has done by his invective against the deal, he’s polluted the pool in a way that whatever Congress does is going to be interpreted as their effort to kill the deal through the back door.”

US President Donald Trump speaks about the Iran deal from the Diplomatic Reception room of the White House on October 13, 2017. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

Congress was given 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions that were lifted in return for Tehran abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

Kerry said there was a “great danger” that Congress could act unilaterally to alter the deal, narrowing Iran’s room for maneuver and “creating a downward spiral that becomes extraordinarily dangerous.”

“It would be a gigantic, historic mistake when dealing with nuclear weapons to allow anyone’s politics to get in the way and break apart an agreement that is preventing a country from pursuing a nuclear weapon,” he added.

Opponents of the deal claim that it does not go far enough to prevent Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon, and point to Iran’s recent missile tests.

read more:
comments