Saturday 10 December 2016

Kerry says Israeli action against Iran would be 'huge mistake' - NBC

Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey

Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30

US Secretary of State John Kerry leaves his hotel in Vienna as the nuclear talks dragged on
US Secretary of State John Kerry leaves his hotel in Vienna as the nuclear talks dragged on
US secretary of state John Kerry walks in the garden of Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran were taking place in Vienna, Austria (AP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (L to R) react as they pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an "historic surrender". REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday it would be a huge mistake if Israel decided to take unilateral military action against Iran over its nuclear program in the future.

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Kerry was asked in an NBC "Today" show interview if the nuclear deal reached last week would make it more likely that Israel might attempt a military or cyber attack on Tehran.

"That'd be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don't think it's necessary," Kerry said.

He warned later on Friday that if Congress failed to approve the deal agreed last week between world powers and Iran to curb Iran's nuclear programme then Israel could be worse off. Congress has until Sept. 17 to approve or reject the agreement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (L to R) react as they pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (L to R) react as they pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an "historic surrender". REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

"I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed," Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in New York.

"We would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put their program to the test over these next years," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves his hotel in Vienna, Austria as the nuclear talks drag on (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves his hotel in Vienna, Austria as the nuclear talks drag on (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Under the deal agreed in Vienna, U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions will be lifted in exchange for long-term curbs on Iran's nuclear program that the West suspected was aimed at creating an atomic bomb, but which Tehran says is peaceful.

Reuters

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