Diplomatic Relations Won't Change With Iran Over Nuke Deal, John Kerry Says

Kerry all but ruled out a visit to Tehran during the his tenure.

ByABC News
July 19, 2015, 9:02 AM

— -- The historic nuclear deal with Iran isn’t likely to restart diplomatic relations with Tehran, Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC News’ "This Week."

In an interview with Jonathan Karl, Kerry all but ruled out a visit to Tehran during the his tenure.

"It's not being contemplated," Kerry said. "We don't have relations at this point."

In a joint interview with Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz, the two lead U.S. negotiators said they’d be on Capitol Hill next week urging members of Congress to accept the deal, even though many of them have expressed frustration that the United Nations will get to vote on passage of the agreement before they do.

"They have a right to do that," Kerry said. "I mean honestly, it's presumptuous of some people to suspect that France, Russia, China, Germany and Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do. They're individual countries and they have sovereignty. They're members of the United Nations and they have a right to have a vote."

Congress now has 60 days to consider the agreement and would need a veto-proof two thirds majority vote to strike it down.

Moniz addressed the deal’s critics, specifically Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told ABC News earlier in the week that giving the Iranians 24 days to scrub military sites before international inspectors can enter is akin to giving a drug dealer 24 days to flush his meth down the toilet.

“There have been various analogies to throwing things down the toilet etc.,” Moniz said. “This is not so simple with nuclear materials. We have plenty of evidence of exquisite environmental sampling that will reveal the traces of nuclear work.”

Kerry added that the U.S. has the ability to watch and track Iran’s military facilities “at any time,” a reference to unspecified surveillance and intelligence techniques.

As for the controversial lifting of financial sanctions, some which will occur immediately and other over a period of five and then eight years, Kerry said it could have been worse.

"Three of the seven [negotiators] thought [Iran] shouldn’t be held to any kind of restraint," Kerry said. "We prevailed."