US Secretary of State John F. Kerry speaks to the audience as he discusses the Iran nuclear deal in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel would be blamed by the international community if Congress succeeds in killing the nuclear deal reached with Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Friday.
Kerry made an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, during which he launched an impassioned defense of the agreement while warning of the consequences of a congressional rejection.
"What happens is if the United States Congress unilaterally walks away from this arrangement that we have reached, we go right back to square one where we were with no alternative," Kerry said. "Iran is enriching. We have no inspections. We have no ability to know what they're doing. We don't roll back their program. We're right back where we were and we are going to head to conflict."
"I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed," the secretary said.
Congress has opened a 60-day review of the deal considered crucial to its fate. And Iranian hardliners are trying to undermine the pact, which ally Israel calls a dire security threat.
Earlier Friday, Kerry said that it would be a huge mistake if Israel decided to take unilateral military action against Iran
over its nuclear program in the future.
Kerry was asked in an NBC "Today" show interview if the nuclear deal reached last week between would make it more likely that Israel might attempt a military or cyber attack on Tehran.
"That'd be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don't think it's necessary," Kerry said.The remark drew a rebuke from Kulanu MK Michael Oren
, who entered politics following a stint as Israel's ambassador to Washington.
"If American legislators reject the nuclear deal, they will do so exclusively on the basis of US interests," Oren said. "The threat of the secretary of state who, in the past, warned that Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid state, cannot deter us from fulfilling our national duty to oppose this dangerous deal."