TEL AVIV – Israel and Egypt pushed the U.S. to bomb Iran ahead of the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal, then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has remained one of the deal’s biggest critics, was “genuinely agitating toward action,” Kerry stated.
When he served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry met with Saudi King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Netanyahu, all of whom he said pushed for military action in Iran.
“Each of them said to me, you have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand,” AP quoting Kerry as saying.
Kerry asserted that this was a “a trap,” since a U.S. attack on Iran would have led to criticism by the Arab world.
Kerry claimed that even though he was unsure whether Tehran would pursue a nuclear weapon in 10 to 15 years after the terms of the deal’s sunset clause expire, the accord was nonetheless the best the U.S. could hope for and “without exaggeration, the likelihood is very high that we would have been in a conflict” without it.
He also slammed President Donald Trump’s attempts to “fix” the deal and alleged that even during his election campaign, Trump had “polluted” all chances of diplomacy with his vociferous objections to it.
“That was a blatant over-simplistic political appeal to the American Jewish community … because most of those people hadn’t read the agreement,” he said.
Today, the deal, Kerry said, “is doing precisely what it was set up to do.”