Kerry: Collapse of Diplomacy Would Unravel Sanctions

Kerry: Collapse of Diplomacy Would Unravel Sanctions
Kerry: Collapse of Diplomacy Would Unravel Sanctions

The US secretary of state warned the senators, who are seeking to toughen a bill that would give Congress the right to review any final nuclear agreement with Tehran, that If Iranian diplomats left the negotiating table due to congressional moves to sink the deal, it would unravel sanctions against the Islamic Republic.          

"Look, if Russia, China, Germany, France, and Britain, all of whom have nuclear programs, sign off on this, and all their experts say it's a good deal, and Congress for political reasons wants to go kill it, (the Iranians) are walking away," John Kerry said in an interview with the Boston Globe newspaper on Tuesday, noting, "And if they do walk away, that would spell the end of the international sanctions regime on Iran."

"There will be no sanctions, because none of (the other parties to negotiations) will enforce sanctions if they think we had a reasonable deal, but only Congress decides no," he explained, adding in that circumstance, the United States will not be able to keep the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) together for such an effort.

He referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attempts to prevent the deal, saying, "The whole mythology I've heard, from Netanyahu to Republican members of the House and Senate — 'Oh, just squeeze them to death, raise the sanctions' — not gonna happen."

Kerry stressed if efforts made so far to secure the deal failed, "we got 25 years — a hell of a long time — of everyday inspection of the entire fuel cycle, all of their uranium, from the mine to the mill to the yellowcake to the gas to the centrifuge, out into waste."

Before agreeing to a compromise version of the bill, US President Barack Obama had threatened to veto the legislation arguing that some of its provisions threatened delicate negotiations with Iran.

Some US Republicans have introduced amendments aimed at toughening the bill which is now under debate in the Senate.

The talks between Iran and the P5+1 led to a landmark initial agreement on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

The two sides were expected to start a new round of negotiations in New York on Wednesday to resume writing the text of the comprehensive deal, whose details are set to be worked out by an end-July deadline.