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Kerry: Killing Iran Deal Will Increase Likelihood of War

Image: Kerry: Killing Iran Deal Will Increase Likelihood of War
Secretary of State John Kerry (Brendan Smialowski/Pool Photo via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 02:43 PM

Rejecting the Iran nuclear deal will alienate the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, take an irreversible toll on a diplomatic breakthrough, and increase the likelihood of war, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

"The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can't negotiate with us, that we will screw them," Kerry said in an extensive interview with The Atlantic. "This —"a congressional rejection"— will be the ultimate screwing."

"The United States Congress will prove the ayatollah's suspicion, and there's no way he's ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can't trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn't negotiate in good faith now, would be his point."

He added that Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, and President Hassan Rouhani, would be in "serious trouble" at home if the deal falls through.

"Zarif specifically said to me in the last two weeks, 'If we get this finished, I am now empowered to work with and talk to you about regional issues.'"

Kerry added, "This is in Congress' hands. If Congress says no, Congress will shut that down, shut off that conversation, set this back, and set in motion a series of inevitable about what would happen with respect to Iranian behavior, and by the way, the sanctions will be over."

Kerry also insisted that the deal is "pro-Israel" and rejected criticism that he has encouraged scapegoating of the Jewish state.

"I've gone through this backwards and forwards a hundred times and I'm telling you, this deal is as pro-Israel, as pro-Israel's security, as it gets," Kerry told the Atlantic. "And I believe that just saying no to this is, in fact, reckless."

He said he believed that Israeli opposition to the deal was based on "a huge level of fear and mistrust."

"Frankly, there's an inherent sense that, given Iran's gains and avoidance in the past, that somehow they're going to avoid something again. It's a visceral feeling, it's very emotional and visceral and I'm very in tune with that and very sensitive to that."

Kerry also said he saw the opportunity to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process once the deal with Iran was sealed, describing it as "doable."

He added, "But not unless somebody wants to do it."

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Rejecting the Iran nuclear deal will alienate the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, take an irreversible toll on a diplomatic breakthrough, and increase the likelihood of war, said Secretary of State John Kerry.
john kerry, iran deal, increase, war
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2015-43-05
Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 02:43 PM
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