'This Week' Transcript: Secretary of State John Kerry

We've actually succeed through the sanctions that congress put in place to be able to get to a point where we're locking in knowledgeably what their current level is and forcing them to go backwards. And while we go through these next six months, we will be negotiating the dismantling, we will be negotiating the limitations. But you can't always start where you want to wind up. And most people I've talked to who have looked at this carefully, say the alternative that they're proposing just doesn't work.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There also seems to be a clear difference between the United States and the Iran on the issue of whether they have the right to enrich uranium. You say the deal does not include any recognition of that right, the foreign minister of Iran says it includes it in two distinct places. I just want to know, what is the U.S. position? Does the U.S. respect and recognize that right of Iran's? Yes or no?

KERRY: No. There is no right to enrich. We do not recognize a right to enrich. It is clear, in the -- in the NPT, in the nonproliferation treaty, it's very, very that there is no right to enrich.

But under the terms of this agreement, there will be a negotiation over whether or not they could have a very limited, completely verifiable, extraordinarily constrained program, where they might have some medical research or other things they can do, but there is no inherent right to enrich. And everywhere in this particular agreement, it states that they could only do that by mutual agreement and that nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed on. That language appears at least twice in significant places in this agreement.

So, there is no agreement that they can enrich. They have the ability to negotiate it, but they could only gain that capacity to have some enrichment as some countries do, if they live up to the whole set of terms necessary to prove its a peaceful program.

So, Iran has some very stiff hurdles that they are going to have to meet in order to do that. There is no right and no right granted in this agreement.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're seeing the first Israeli...

KERRY: They have the right, according to NPT -- let me say, George, they do have a right, any country has a right, if you're in the NPT, to a peaceful nuclear program. That -- there is a defined within the NPT. But a peaceful nuclear program does not mean you have the right to enrich.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We have just the Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu call it a bad deal. Are you confident that you can convince him to respect it and that Israel will not take unilateral military action against the Iranian nuclear program?

KERRY: Well, actually, Israel and the United States absolutely share the same goal here. There is no daylight between us with respect to what we want to achieve at this point. We both want to make it certain Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon and Iran cannot be in place where they can break out and suddenly get that nuclear weapon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the prime minister says this deal won't do that?

KERRY: With this -- that's not accurate. The deal is the beginning and first step. It leads us into the negotiation so that we guarantee that while we are negotiating for the dismantling, while we are negotiating for the tougher provisions, they will not grow the program and their capacity to threaten Israel.

Israel will actually gain a larger breathing space in terms of the breakout capacity of Iran. It's just clear.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...