WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not see eye-to-eye over the proposed Iran nuclear deal that was eventually rejected by the Tehran regime.
Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi Monday, Kerry called out Netanyahu for opposing the deal.
“The time to oppose it is when you see what it is, not to oppose the effort to find out what is possible,” Kerry said.
Kerry told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday that Netanyahu might not recognize what was in the deal.
“I’m not sure that the prime minister, who I have great respect for, knows exactly what the amount or the terms are going to be because we haven’t arrived at them all yet,” Kerry told NBC News. “That’s what we’re negotiating. It is not a partial deal. Let me make that crystal clear as I have to the prime minister directly. It is a first step in an effort that will lock the program in where it is today, in fact set it back, while one negotiates the full deal.”
Speaking to CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Netanyahu claimed that the proposed deal let Iran retain all of its uranium enrichment capacity.
“The deal as was proposed and described to us by the American sources … means that Iran maintains its capablity to enrich material for nuclear bombs. It also maintains another route, the plutonium heavy water route, to make nuclear bombs,” Netanyahu told CBS News. “All Iran gives is a minor concession of taking 20 percent enriched uranium and bringing it down to a lower enrichment. Iran effectively becomes a threshold nuclear power nation.”
Netanyahu stated that Iran could hit the “jackpot” if a nuclear deal is reached.
“Iran might hit the jackpot here. And it’s not good for us, not good for America, not good for the Middle East,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu added: “When you have the Arabs and Israelis speaking in one voice – it doesn’t happen very often – I think it’s worth paying attention to us.”
Kerry told reporters that Iran was unable to sign off on the proposed deal during weekend talks in Geneva.
“The French signed off on it, we signed off on it,” Kerry stated. “There was unity but Iran couldn’t take it.”
Kerry added that President Barack Obama will not allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon, citing the killing of Osama bin Laden and winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“So believe us on Iran. He will not bluff,” Kerry said.
The Jerusalem Post reports the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain will meet with Iran again on Nov. 20.
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