Kerry: ‘Everybody Has A Right To Be Skeptical’
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP)— Secretary of State John Kerry says world powers remain skeptical with Iran despite a six-month nuclear deal being reached in Geneva.
“I think everybody has a right to be skeptical,” Kerry told CBS News, stating there are indications that there are people in Iran who want to build a weapons program. “We don’t take everything at face value.”
The agreement commits Iran to curb its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for limited and gradual sanctions relief, including access to $4.2 billion from oil sales. The six-month period will give diplomats time to negotiate a more sweeping agreement.
This current deal opens a door to a “larger, more comprehensive agreement,” Kerry said.
Kerry said that even though a short-term agreement was reached, there is still a lack of trust with Iran.
“It’s not based on trust, it’s based on verification,” Kerry told CBS News, adding that the U.S. will now begin to get into Iran’s nuclear facilities to see what is going on.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu panned the agreement, calling it “an historic mistake.”
“Iran is taking only cosmetic steps that could easily reversed, and in return, sanctions that took years to put in place will be eased,” Netanyahu said. “Without continued pressure, what incentive does Iran have to take serious steps that actually dismantle its nuclear weapons capability?”
Kerry stated that Israel and the region are now safer because the agreement forces Iran “to destroy the higher enriched uranium they have, which is critical to being able to build a bomb.”
Kerry also said that military force is not off the table.
President Barack Obama said Saturday night that the agreement “cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.”
“These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon,” Obama said at the White House.
Obama also warned Iran that if it doesn’t reach its commitments, “we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure.”
Kerry joined foreign ministers of Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in Geneva for the deal’s final negotiations.
The Geneva negotiations followed secret face-to-face talks between the U.S. and Iran over the past year, The Associated Press has learned. The discussions, held in the Persian Gulf nation of Oman and elsewhere, were kept hidden even from America’s closest allies, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago.
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