The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke in front of Congress on Thursday and repeated that there is no safer alternative then the Iran agreement. He was attacked by critics who say that the deal may mean a way of Iran building a nuclear bomb.
Kerry spoke in front of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and told Senators that the administration does not see a better way to curb Iran’s nuclear power and that no one should dream of a better “fantasy”.
The Secretary of State’s testimony in Congress is the first one after the deal was agreed between the United States, the European Union, The United nations, France, Germany, China and Russia in the previous week and he has been attacked by Republican legislators that the Iranians had “fleeced” and “bamboozled” him.
The deal was achieved in exchange of lifting sanctions to Iran and now Congress has opened a 60 day review period in which the deal is to be discussed more thoroughly. The attacks on the deal do not only come from Republican lawmakers, they also come from Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei who undermines the agreement and says that he does not wish to comply with everything the deal states. Also, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been very vocal in opposing the deal and argue that the security and safety of the entire region might be compromised, if Iran continues to build nuclear weapons.
According to Reuters, John Kerry dismissed all alternatives and stated that there is no alternative that can act as a ”Sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation.” He also added “The fact is that Iran now has extensive experience with nuclear fuel cycle technology. We can’t bomb that knowledge away. Nor can we sanction that knowledge away.”
He also added that Congress must not reject the deal and if that happens, according to Reuters, he said “The result will be the United States of America walking away from every one of the restrictions we have achieved, and a great big green light for Iran o double the pace of its uranium enrichment. We will have squandered the best chance we have to solve this problem through peaceful means.”
The testimony was part of a four and a half hours hearing which included the testimony of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The hearing is a push by the Obama Administration to convince the entire Democrat Party that the deal should be backed. Barack Obama himself has held multiple meetings at the White House on Thursday to convince undecided legislators.
The Republican legislators, on the other hand have commented that Kerry only sees war as another way to stop Iran and according to Reuters, Republican chairman Bob Corker said to Kerry “I believe that you’ve been fleeced” and Senator and Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio addressed Obama for rewarding Iran for “its atrocious human rights record” and added that “This is a deal whose survival is not guaranteed beyond the current term of the president.”
Congress must decide until the 17th of September, according to a new bill signed by Obama in May. It would be a legacy of his presidential term that he created the path for a diplomatic relation with Iran.