Kerry warns against scraping Iran nuclear deal

2017-01-11 00:54:48 GMT2017-01-11 08:54:48(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday warned the incoming administration against upending the Iran nuclear deal, saying that such move could cause conflict and damage U.S. credibility.

Speaking at an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, Kerry said he is "absolutely confident" that Tehran's route to building a nuclear weapon has been blocked after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal reached in 2015.

"Now, if that were just arbitrarily undone, we' re going back to a place of conflict almost immediately," Kerry warned.

"We'll also reduce our credibility in the world, because I suspect the Russians and the Chinese and the French and the Germans and the British will just continue the deal," he said.

"Then you're right back where you were, where we had pressures on us to go bomb Iran. Believe me, there were pressures," the top U.S. diplomat said. "So it doesn't make sense, and I believe reason will win out."

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the Iran nuclear deal during his campaign last year, calling it "the worst deal ever negotiated." He also suggested that he would force Iran to return to the negotiating table or risk the accord being dismantled.

Bob Corker, Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said last week that he didn't expect Trump to abruptly "tear up" the Iran nuclear deal after taking office on Jan. 20.

Corker, who was opposed to the nuclear accord when it was finalized in 2015, said the Iran deal was "flawed," but to abruptly abandon the agreement backed by major countries would create an international crisis.

Iran and six world major countries -- the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany -- reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in July 2015 that puts Tehran on the path of sanctions relief but more strict limits on its nuclear program.