Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Hossein Fereydoun, brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that he thought Israel, Egypt, and several other Middle Eastern states were laying a “trap” for the United States in urging it to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before the signing of the 2015 Iran deal, AP reported. Speaking at a Washington forum, Kerry said he believed the same states would have publicly criticized a US attack.

Kerry said he did believe Prime Minister Netanyahu was sincere when he was “agitating toward action” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. But he was doubtful the kings and presidents who were telling him that bombing was the only language Iran would understand would stick by the US after it had carried out such a mission.

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Kerry insisted the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Iran was the best the US could hope for, even though he admitted he didn’t know if Iran would resume its nuclear plans after restrictions set by the deal are lifted.

In October, President Donald Trump reluctantly approved the Iran deal, including the so-called sunset clause, which lifts restrictions on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program after 2025. Trump described that and similar measures that expire over time as an “embarrassment.”

According to details of the deal, Iran’s uranium stockpile was reduced by 98% to 660 lbs for 15 years, and the level of enrichment must remain at 3.67%. Iran retained no more than 6,104 out of almost 20,000 centrifuges it possessed.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report is yet to declare that Iran is fully honoring its obligations under the deal, but has been reporting no violations.

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