Tags: Iran | John Kerry | World | US | Safer | Iran | Nuclear Deal

John Kerry Declares US, World 'Safer Today' Because of Iran Deal

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Monday, 18 January 2016 09:14 AM

The United States and world are is safer today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared Monday morning, because of the nuclear agreement that has been reached with Iran.

"Before we had agreement with Iran, Iran had a completely invisible, unaccountable, unverified nuclear program." Kerry, who made the rounds of Monday morning's cable news shows, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

"They had 19,000 centrifuges, they had enough nuclear material to make 10 to 12 bombs, and they were hurtling towards a program that was going to create an inevitability of confrontation. Today that is not true; that is entirely reversed."

The deal means that there is now an unprecedented level of verification, and "they have rolled back their program, sent their nuclear material out of the country, destroyed their plutonium reactor, ceased activity at their hidden facility and allowed 130 inspectors to come into the country going forward," said Kerry.

The question, though remains if the United States will still be able to work with its allies on the other issues of concerns surrounding Iran.

"It is not sort of a fantasy on the part of the Saudi Arabians or others in the region, that Iran's activities in the region have been disquieting, including us, which was why the missiles sanctions and human rights sanctions are left in place. We will continue now, I hope, to try to work at the resolution of those kind of issues," said Kerry.

Further, Kerry said it's understandable why Saudi Arabia has cutoff diplomatic relations with Iran after its embassy in Tehran was burned in protest over the execution of Iranian cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

"In fact, we joined in the United Nations in the Security Council in opposing what Iran had done with respect to the embassy and the attack that took place in Tehran," said Kerry. "I think what we need do is work with all of our friends and allies in the region, which I will do and the president has absolutely commissioned all of us to engage diplomatically."

Kerry further disputed reports saying Iran will get more than $150 billion as a result of the deal, calling that widely reported figure a "fictional number" and saying he did not know where it came from.

"They will get about $55 billion over a period of time," said Kerry, noting that it will take some time before the country can rebuild its infrastructure. "They have massive needs within their country and we will be able to track where this money is going and what is happening with it."

Meanwhile, there are still divisions in the Iranian government, including some who made the argument that 10 U.S. sailors who were captured last week should have been kept as hostages.

"None of us appreciated what we saw on the video," said Kerry. "It infuriated me as a former sailor, as a member of the military, but nevertheless, we were able to resolve that potential conflict . . . And it is to the enormous credit of the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] that they understood this was better resolved. That would not have happened if we hadn't made the the agreement."

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The United States and world are is safer today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared Monday morning, because of the nuclear agreement that has been reached with Iran.
John Kerry, World, US, Safer, Iran, Nuclear Deal
Monday, 18 January 2016 09:14 AM
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