Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia encouraged the U.S. to “bomb Iran” before the 2015 nuclear deal was brokered by the Obama administration and other world powers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “genuinely agitating towards action” before the deal was finalized, Kerry said during the Ignatius Forum in Washington, D.C.
Kerry also stated that during his tenure as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Saudi King Abdullah, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Netanyahu all pushed for military action against Iran.
“Each of them said to me, you have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand,” said Kerry.
“Without exaggeration, the likelihood is very high that we would have been in a conflict” without brokering a nuclear agreement with Iran, he said.
Kerry also criticized President Donald Trump for his calls to fix the nuclear deal, stating that Trump has “polluted the water” by questioning the agreement. He said Trump’s criticism of the accord is “a blatant over-simplistic political appeal to the American Jewish community.”
Trump in October announced his refusal to recertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal as part of a new and tougher approach towards the Islamic Republic. Trump blamed former President Barack Obama for lifting sanctions on Iran right before “what would have been the total collapse of the Iranian regime.”