Successful Iran Accord is Preferable Option

Successful Iran Accord is Preferable Option Successful Iran Accord is Preferable Option

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told lawmakers on Wednesday the successful implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran is preferable to a military strike.   

Carter, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and three members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, namely State Secretary John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, testified at a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing as part of the White House’s campaign to convince Congress to back the Iranian nuclear deal, which calls on Iran to temporarily curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Carter said there is a possibility that the nuclear agreement will move forward, but will not be “successfully implemented,” the AP reported.

“That’s why we are under instructions from the president to preserve, and indeed we are improving… the military option,” Carter said. “Temporary as it is, it needs to be there because that’s our fall back.”

At the same time, Carter said that the successful implementation of the agreement would be better than taking military action because a strike would be temporary and likely would prompt Iran to step up its nuclear activities.

Kerry, the lead negotiator of the deal, tried to allay the concerns of Republican senators who complained that they are being asked to vote on the deal without being privy to verification documents being separately negotiated by international nuclear inspectors.

Kerry said there is no side deal or secret agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. There are, however, technical documents that are standard practice and not released publicly.

“We are aware of what the basics of it are,” Kerry told the committee members. “It is standard procedure for 189 counties that have an agreement with the IAEA. ... We don’t get that. It is not shared with the world, but we do get briefed on it.”