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John Kerry Defends International Accord to Halt Iran's Nuclear Program: VIDEO

Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on CNN's State of the Union this morning to discuss the nuclear deal that would freeze Iran's nuclear program.

Watch Kerry defend the deal, AFTER THE JUMP...

IranThe details of the plan, via the NYT:

Iran, which has long resisted international monitoring efforts and built clandestine nuclear facilities, agreed to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent, a level that would be sufficient for energy production but that would require further enrichment for bomb-making. To make good on that pledge, Iran will dismantle links between networks of centrifuges.

Its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent, a short hop from weapons-grade fuel, would be diluted or converted into oxide so that it could not be readily used for military purposes. Iran agreed that it would not install any new centrifuges, start up any that are not already operating or build new enrichment facilities.

The agreement, however, does not require Iran to stop enriching uranium to a low level of 3.5 percent, or to dismantle any of its existing centrifuges.

The paper adds:

Two former American national security advisers, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, recently sent a letter to key American lawmakers endorsing the administration’s approach. “The apparent commitment of the new government of Iran to reverse course on its nuclear activities needs to be tested to insure it cannot rapidly build a nuclear weapon,” they wrote.

But some experts, including a former official who has worked on the Iranian issue for the White House, said it was unlikely that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would ever close the door on the option to develop nuclear weapons. Instead, they said, any initial six-month agreement is more likely to be followed by a series of partial agreements that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities but do not definitively solve the nuclear issues.

Israel is not happy with the deal, wanting a stronger agreement that would have done away with Iran's enrichment program permanently.

NetanyahuTweeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

"This is not a historic agreement, it's a historic mistake. Lifting the pressure, this "first step", might be the last step. Like the agreement reached with North Korea in 2005, this agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place. For years the intl community has demanded that Iran cease uranium enrichment. Now it consents to it, in direct contravention of UNSC res. Iran is taking only cosmetic steps that could easily reversed, and in return, sanctions that took years to put in place will be eased. Without continued pressure, what incentive does Iran have to take serious steps that actually dismantle its nuclear weapons capability?"

Congressional Republicans are not happy with the deal, CNN reports:

In tweets and official statements, House and Senate Republicans argued that the administration was appeasing a duplicitous enemy without securing enough concessions in return.

"Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven't gained anything," tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.

"By allowing the Iranian regime to retain a sizable nuclear infrastructure, this agreement makes a nuclear Iran more likely," said Sen. Marco Rubio, the freshman Florida Republican and potential presidential candidate in 2016. "This agreement shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands."

Watch Kerry defend the deal, AFTER THE JUMP...



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Comments

  1. it would be more accurate to say far right Netanyahu and the conservative Likud party are not happy, one can not say ALL of Israel is unhappy

    Posted by: Moz's | Nov 24, 2013 10:25:17 AM


  2. Israel and the republicans are right this time. Nuclear. is No. Period. Iran is laughing with glee while we open the floodgates of its frozen funds.
    .

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 24, 2013 11:17:34 AM


  3. what Netayahu, Graham, Cornyn, et alia are saying is "Bomb the f*ckers!" there is no wiggle-room, starting point for their ilk...

    Posted by: mike/ | Nov 24, 2013 11:49:46 AM


  4. The video of Secretary of State John Kerry is STILL not available on my and I am certain other computers. This only serves to give a platform for Republicans and other knee jerk naysayers to speak and is therefore UNFAIR to the Obama White House and all Democrats who have worked hard to put this plan together. There WILL be international monitoring now! As for the sanctions they can be turned on again at any time if with no consequence if Iran should fail to EVEN slightly keep their pledge . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 24, 2013 11:55:09 AM


  5. Fool Iran cannot be trusted anyone who thinks different is an idiot

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 24, 2013 12:01:01 PM


  6. Within minutes of the announcement, the Republicans were already denouncing the accord. No effort to review the terms. No attempt to understand how significant were the concessions that the Iranians gave. No understanding that reaching rapprochement with Iran will give us GREATER leverage in the Middle East, which the U.S. sorely needs.

    Of course, this is a U.N.-sponsored effort which would be an anathema to the Republicans regardless. But, and as with the ACA, Republicans will reject this at their own peril. If it succeeds, and in six months time we can make even greater headway with Iran and continue the thaw in our troubled relationship with that ancient people, it will be hailed as one of Mr. Obama's great foreign policy achievements.

    Which means the Republicans will do everything they can, including behind-the-scenes-sedition to encourage Israel to bomb Iran and be as obstreperous and obstructionist as possible.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 24, 2013 12:16:58 PM


  7. Some Americans seem to believe that just because the US wants another country to do something, they have to do it. This blows my mind. What arrogance.

    I'd just like to point out how hypocritical it is to tell one country it cannot have nuclear research/programs, when your OWN nation has thousands stockpiled, ready to destroy the entire planet, and has a history of bombing other countries with them. Given that fact, wouldn't Iran want to have nukes, based solely on the fact the USA (among other nations, such as it's best friend Israel, right next to Iran) has them?

    'Do as I say, not as I do' has never been a convincing or fair argument. How do people not understand that...?


    Posted by: HOCKEYJOCK | Nov 24, 2013 1:17:39 PM


  8. Well, yes. I think it is extremely dangerous (and even foolish) to trust Iran's new government, so quick and easily. It looks almost as if the "big" powers are more enthusiasts about the agreement than the Iranian government itself. And that is not a great picture.

    Posted by: ElCid | Nov 24, 2013 1:41:49 PM


  9. The only foolish thing is to trust Likud. Likud has no respect for America and no respect for Democracy. The only thing that Bibi wants is for tens of thousands of Americans to die so he can continue his genocide against the Palestinian people. Why do you think the overwhelming majority of American Jews cant stand the man??

    Posted by: Jack | Nov 24, 2013 2:27:50 PM


  10. a nuclear iran is too scary to consider. this is a place tightly controlled by a few crazy and intolerant wingnuts who should have retired long ago. the very same place that claims they don't have any gay people. regardless of what other countries are doing we're stupid for taking them at their word. iran is very sophisticated and all the cards are not on the table.

    Posted by: m | Nov 24, 2013 2:59:13 PM


  11. If Israel and the Republicans are unhappy with the agreement, I would suggest that means the Obama Administration got it about right.

    Posted by: BigBlackMariah | Nov 24, 2013 3:17:50 PM


  12. They (Kerry and Obama) are doing the right thing. Contrary to the right-wing, Saturday-morning-cartoon view of the world, Iran is not a monolith internally. What we are apparently doing is to reduce the sanctions slightly for a short time period in exchange for putting mechanisms in place to make sure they are not developing nuclear weapons. That slight reduction in sanctions gives their new president Hassan Rouhani a strong argument to use internally to get "Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei" to buy into the program because Rouhani can show that negotiations are working. Khamenei has an incentive to get the sanctions to end - those sanctions result in an unhappy population, which can start to get rebellious and Khamenei, like all "Supreme Leaders", can be trusted to look after numero uno. When the hard liners try to lobby Khamenei by telling him that there's no point to stopping a weapons program because [insert "Great Satan" of your choice] is an implacable enemy, Rouhani can use the reduction in sanctions as a counter argument.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 24, 2013 4:13:08 PM


  13. Bill the president is a puppet the ayotolla is the leader and he hates everything modern they should have bomb Iran years ago and ended this evil once and for and bill your an anti Semite and most American Jews jack proud stand by Likud since its the party of the greatest jewish leader of the last century begin who stood up for our rights during the British and Arabs genocides in Israel.

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 24, 2013 4:48:29 PM


  14. Sorry bill men to put in bigblackmariah

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 24, 2013 4:50:51 PM


  15. @bill

    it sounds like you're saying that khomeni is rational. just wanted to know if that's what you're thinking. the other thing is technically didn't iran declare war against the us by attacking a us embassy in the 1980's. i don't understand how its possible to negotiate with them about anything before the matter of being at "war" with them is settled. even if you could trust them what is an agreement worth?

    Posted by: m | Nov 24, 2013 5:06:51 PM


  16. Lee

    then why did a majority not vote for likud in the last election?

    In fact the center left party got the majority of the vote

    Oh, facts get in the way of your crazy. Likud was beat in the election BUT since Israel is a parliamentary system likud formed a coalition with even crazier far right religous parties to cement its hold on the kinesset

    Posted by: Moz's | Nov 24, 2013 6:47:43 PM


  17. Why is this on Towleroad?

    Posted by: SeattleMike | Nov 24, 2013 7:02:58 PM


  18. The Likud party is akin to America's Tea Party extremists, they in no way represent the will of the majority of Israelis.

    Posted by: ny2.0 | Nov 24, 2013 7:09:21 PM


  19. Suck it, Israel. Could be the days of you telling us what to do are over.

    Posted by: Tiger | Nov 24, 2013 7:13:05 PM


  20. We don't want Iran to have a nuke because then they could use that nuke - we should have them either, but there was no bigger power to stop us from having them, and the US having them proves the point - the only reason we have them is to threaten to use them. That's what Iran would do as well. Of course it's not "fair," but that's the way it is. The only reason we dealt with Russia all through the '80s was because they had nukes, and worse, were nuts enough to use them. The best way to absolutely prevent that in the future is for a country to never get them at all, not get them and then promise not to use them.

    Posted by: Tiger | Nov 24, 2013 7:16:03 PM


  21. Now can we please get the same deal from crazy Israel ?
    Will Israel stop enriching uranium also and dismantle their illegal nuclear programme ?

    Forget that posturing peacock, Bibi, and let Israel abide by International law also.

    As for @ LEE, "they should have bombed Iran years ago" ..who,USA or Israel ?
    And hasn't the USA been continually at war for ever ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 24, 2013 7:26:47 PM


  22. @M: I've read that experts on Iran believe that they are rational and that they make relatively safe decisions given a specific objective: keeping their jobs. If they are rational, you can trust them to try to do what is in their self interest. Part of the job of the U.S. State Department and the CIA is to determine what they view as their self interests. Being rational does not make them good guys. but it does make some things predictable.

    To put it in simple terms, if you are dealing with a bald-faced liar, that doesn't mean you can't trust the guy if the deal is mutually beneficial and if he has more to lose by reneging than by doing what he promised. That seems to be more or less what Kerry is saying we are doing, but of course as a diplomat he can't say it that crudely.

    Also, while their Islamic beliefs may seem a bit odd to westerners, for analysis purposes those are simply treated as premises. If they are behaving rationally, they will do what is implied by their premises.


    Posted by: Bill | Nov 24, 2013 7:40:41 PM


  23. @Lee: I saw your second comment indicating a typo when you put in my name but meant to reply to "BigBlackMariah". Calling that person an anti-semite is completely unacceptable as he was simply indicating displeasure with a country (due to the policies of its government) and a U.S. political party. Such name calling against a commenter not only trivialize real antisemitism but could be construed as libel and defamation of character.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 24, 2013 8:17:16 PM


  24. What TIGER said. he's right.

    Posted by: Uffda | Nov 24, 2013 8:21:23 PM


  25. And "coincidentally" China announced that anyone flying into the zone of the islands, whose possession it disputes with Japan, will need to announce themselves to the Chinese authorities or they will be attacked. Chuck Hagel said: "We remain steadfast in our commitments to our allies and partners." But these are just hollow words, American influence in the Middle East (and elsewhere) has shrunk. It's not just Israel that we alienated with this decision. It's also the Saudis and the Gulf states.

    Posted by: Victor | Nov 24, 2013 8:48:52 PM


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