Kerry responds to Netanyahu warnings on Iran

Published October 3rd, 2013 - 09:08 GMT
Netanyahu and Kerry, respect among two leaders. [wikimedia]
Netanyahu and Kerry, respect among two leaders. [wikimedia]

In what looks like a direct response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech regarding Iran and the US, Kerry claims that  it would be “diplomatic malpractice of the worst order" not to continue talks with Iran in efforts to reach agreements over its nuclear program.

According to AP, this was Kerry’s first public comment on the issue since Netanyahu warned the UN not to trust Iran. Kerry stated that the US or the UN would not be played for “suckers” in this new behavior from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Kerry stated that Iran would have to prove their claims that they are not attempting to develop nuclear weapons for anything other than peace.

Kerry expressed that the US has an obligation to engage in talks with Iran if Iran is being open to negotiations.

"It would be diplomatic malpractice of the worst order not to examine every possibility of whether or not you can achieve that before you ask people to take military action and do what you have to do to prevent it."

"You have to exhaust the remedies before you ratchet up to a next tier of remedies that may have more dramatic consequences," stated Kerry.

Kerry did state that Rouhani’s outreach would be met with a cautious and critical eye.  "There is nothing here that is going to be taken at face value and we have made that clear," he said. "It is not words that will make a difference, it's actions, and the actions clearly are going to have to be sufficient that the world will understand that not only will they not be on the road to get a weapon but there is no ability to suddenly break out and achieve that."

"I assure Prime Minister Netanyahu and the people of Israel that nothing that we do is going to be based on trust," Kerry said. "It's going to be based on a series of steps that guarantee to all of us that we have certainty about what is happening."

While it may have seemed like Netanyahu  was being critical of the US and it’s new relations with Iran, Kerry stated that he does not believe he was. Rather, Kerry said, that the US should still consider that Iran may not be serious about its future projections.

"I did not interpret Prime Minister Netanyahu's comments as suggesting that we are being played, somehow, for suckers," he said. "I understood it to be a warning: Don't be played."

It is expected that several of the permanent UN members will meet with top official of Iran in October in Geneva.

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