Kerry assures Israel is ‘safer’ after Iran’s nuclear deal
Though “Israel is threatened by what has been going on in Iran”, the deal brokered on Saturday will keep the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program under supervision and control, said John Kerry.
"But I believe that from this day - for the next six months - Israel is in fact safer than it was yesterday because we now have a mechanism by which we are going to expand the amount of time in which they (the Iranians) can break out (toward making a nuclear bomb),” he told CNN.
The remark comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had slammed the international deal over Iran's nuclear program as a “historic mistake.” He said that after this agreement was reached, the world has become “a more dangerous place.”
In an attempt to reduce tension Kerry assured that from this day there will be “insights” into the program “that we didn’t have before.”
The much-anticipated agreement reached in Geneva gives Iran initial relief from sanctions in exchange for halting its enrichment of uranium to above 5 per cent for six months.
However Kerry stressed that “there's very little sanctions relief here - that the basic architecture of the sanctions stays in place."
The Obama administration pointed out that it has no illusions about the risks that the Islamic state might not follow through but the US entered the deal with eyes "absolutely wide open."
The US and Iran secretly engaged in a series of high-level talks over the past year, according to an AP report. The negotiations were allegedly hidden even from America’s key ally in the region, Israel.
The talks were held in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman and were personally authorized by President Barack Obama, the report claims. It says that since March top US officials - Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Jake Sullivan, Vice-President Joe Biden’s foreign policy adviser - have met at least five times with Iranian diplomats. The last four meetings were held after Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was inaugurated in August and were very productive, three senior administration officials told AP on condition of anonymity.
The Iranian deal with P5+1 world powers caused a stir in the US Senate with many criticizing the decision of the Obama administration. Key Senate Democrat, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez said that the US government body is likely to consider legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran, if it breaches the interim agreement.
Expert in US-Iran relations Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich believes that lobby groups and congressional members at the moment are far more powerful than President Obama and there are various forces in the US which may want to derail the diplomatic process. “It’s taken 34 years to demonize Iran; it will not go away overnight. The US lobby groups, the media, the think tanks, they are not on board yet,” she told RT.