US secretary of state John Kerry said in a statement today that applying sanctions to Iran until it capitulated, the strategy urged by Israel and the Republican majority in congress, was an impractical approach.
“I will tell you, sanctioning Iran until it capitulates makes for a powerful talking point and a pretty good political speech, but it’s not achievable outside a world of fantasy,” Kerry said in a press conference in Vienna.
Kerry said that the US was not going easy on Iran.
“Believe me, had we been willing to settle for a lesser deal, we would have finished this negotiation a long time ago,” Kerry said. “A few months ago in Lausanne, we and our international partners joined Iran in announcing a series of parameters to serve as the contours of a potential deal… three more months of long days and late nights, I’m pleased to tell you that we have stayed true to those contours and we have now finally carved in the details.”
“The parameters that we announced in Lausanne not only remain intact and form the backbone of the agreement that we reached today, but through the detail, they have been amplified in ways that make this agreement even stronger,” Kerry said. “That includes the sizable reduction of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium and the number of centrifuges that it operates. It also guarantees that Iran’s breakout time – the time it would take for Iran to speed up its enrichment and produce enough fissile material for just one nuclear weapon – that time will increase to at least one year for a period of at least 10 years.”
“..this agreement addresses Iran’s potential pathways to fissile material for a bomb exactly as we said it would – with appropriate limitations and transparency in order to assure the world of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” Kerry said.