Israel, Egypt Pushed U.S. to Bomb Iran Before Nuclear Deal, John Kerry Says

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Speaking at a Washington forum, the former secretary of state said that Prime Minister Netanyahu was ‘genuinely agitating toward action’ against Iran

The Associated Press, November 29, 2017, Haaretz.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) during a news conference following a meeting at Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem December 5, 2013. REUTERS

Former Secretary of State John Kerry said both Israel and Egypt pushed the United States to “bomb Iran” before the 2015 nuclear deal was struck.

Kerry defended the deal during a forum in Washington, where he said that a number of kings and foreign presidents told the U.S. that bombing was the only language Iran would understand.

Kerry said that in his opinion it was “a trap” because the same countries would have publicly criticized the U.S. if it did carry out a bombing of Iran as they were secretly supporting.

Kerry said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “genuinely agitating toward action.”

Kerry said he didn’t know whether Iran would resume pursuing a nuclear weapon in 10 to 15 years after restrictions in the deal sunset, but he said it was the best deal the U.S. could get.

In October, lawmakers in the United States approved four different pieces of legislation targeting Iran and its proxy terror group in Lebanon, Hezbollah, after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the nuclear deal, leaving its fate to Congress.

At the time, Netanyahu congratulated Trump for what he called his “courageous decision” not to recertify the nuclear deal with Iran.

“He boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime,” Netanyahu said. “If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain. In a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons. And that’s a tremendous danger for our collective future.”

Netanyahu said Trump has created an “opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.”

“That’s why Israel embraces this opportunity,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier this month, the United Nations agency monitoring Iran’s compliance with a landmark nuclear treaty issued a report Monday stating that the country is keeping its end of the deal that U.S. President Donald Trump claims Tehran has violated repeatedly.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report stopped short of declaring outright that Iran is honoring its obligations, in keeping with its official role as an impartial monitor of the restrictions the treaty placed on Tehran’s nuclear programs.

But in reporting no violations, the quarterly review’s takeaway was that Iran was honoring its commitments to crimp uranium enrichment and other activities that can serve both civilian and military nuclear programs.

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