Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has tried to quell Israeli fears regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, saying the Jewish state is more safe and secure today than it was before the P5+1 countries reached an agreement with Tehran on its controversial atomic programme.
"I can't stand here today and tell you that the Iranians are going to do what they need to do. But I do know that Israel is actually safer today than it was the day before we made the deal," Kerry has said in his address to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's 100th Anniversary Celebration.
Kerry argued that this is because in this deal Iran has to destroy all of their 20 per cent enriched uranium; they have to hold their 3.5 per cent low enriched at the current level; they are not allowed to install any new centrifuges; they have to allow us daily inspection inside that secret mountaintop, Fordow; they have to allow us daily inspection in Natanz and they have to allow us regular inspection in the heavy water reactor that has the potential of plutonium.
"They are not allowed to install any further nuclear components into that construction site; they cannot test additional fuel; and we are allowed to go into the storage sites and manufacturing facilities of all of their centrifuge production facilities - all things we couldn’t do before we made this first step agreement," Kerry said.
He reiterated that the US would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.
"We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon – not now, not ever. I promise you that," he said.
"Because of what we’ve done while we negotiate the final comprehensive agreement, we will actually be setting their program backwards, expanding the amount of time that it might take if they were to try to break out.
"That means we have more time to respond, more time to know what is going on. That is why I can say to you in good conscience I believe Israel is safer today than it was before," he argued.
"Now, does that mean this will be successful in the long run? I don't know. But here's what else I do know: If we aren't successful, if we get to the end of these six months and they don't do the simple things you need to do to prove your program is peaceful, then we will have kept united the P5+1, we will have shown the global community our bona fides to attempt to give them an opportunity through diplomacy to do what they need to do, and we will not have taken any sanction off the table. We can ratchet them up when we want," he said.
Kerry said the Obama Administration will go back to Congress, and slap additional sanctions on Iran if the latter fails to deliver.
"If needs be, if we cannot get this done on time, we will take no other option, military or otherwise, off the table. So I am confident that we are going to approach this with a view to making Israel more secure," he said.