Kerry: Congress opposition to nuclear deal to mean end of sanctions, failure of US

Tehran, April 29, IRNA – The US Secretary of State John Kerry said any opposition on the part of the US Congress to striking a nuclear deal with Iran will mean the end of sanctions.

He made the remarks during an interview Sunday at his Beacon Hill home while talking to the US newspaper “The Boston Globe”.

“A former member of the US Senate himself, John Kerry is fine with Congress having a role in any nuclear deal the Obama administration and the international community strikes with Iran.

But the US secretary of state stresses that the choice the United States faces won’t be between this (still tentative) pact and an even tougher deal. The choice will be this deal or no deal,” the newspaper wrote.

“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, they’re walking away,” Kerry says of the other parties to the negotiations.

And if they do walk away, Kerry said during a Sunday sit-down at his Beacon Hill home, that would spell the end of the international sanctions regime on Iran.

“There will be no sanctions, because none of them will enforce sanctions if they think we had a reasonable deal, but only the Congress decides no,” Kerry said.

“In that circumstance, the United States won’t be able to keep the P5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) together for such an effort.”

“The whole mythology I’ve heard, from [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to Republican members of the House and Senate — ‘Oh, just squeeze them to death, raise the sanctions’ — not gonna happen,” he concludes.

“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,” he said.

“If we saw them moving towards that, which we will [be able to], we will then be able to move first back to sanctions if we want to, or immediately to a military option,” Kerry notes

“For now, Kerry isn’t hugely concerned about the somewhat different Iranian statements on the framework,” the daily said.

“If it’s not what we believe we agreed to and if it’s not what we have to have, we won’t sign a deal,” he declared.

Talking to IRNA on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif commented on the issue.

He said, ‘We’ve said from the beginning that agreement and sanctions do not go with each other and according to the framework we reached in Lausanne, the sanctions should be lifted simultaneously with the implementation of agreements.’

On what is happening in US Congress and disputes between two political parties over nuclear agreement, Zarif said, ‘US government is responsible for implementation of any agreement and their internal wrangles do not concern us and according to international laws, domestic problems of countries do not exempt them from their commitments.’

Commenting on the same issue, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi too stressed that once a comprehensive deal is achieved about the nuclear dispute, the bills passed by Congress of a single party cannot work.

Iran will hold the US government accountable for the commitments it would undertake as per the accord and the US will have to honour its obligations, Araqchi said.

It is the US government that has to settle scores with the Congress, Araqchi added.