Kerry to Congress: If nuclear deal sours, Iran will 'quickly' face heightened sanctions

US secretary of state delivers video message on interim Iran agreement to American legislators.

November 27, 2013 09:36
1 minute read.
 US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to reporters with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Kerry hand gesture 'clam down' 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)


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US Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday stressed that the effectiveness of the recently-struck deal between Iran and world powers relied on the Islamic Republic's ability to prove its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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Following his diplomatic push in Geneva, Kerry addressed the US Congress in a video message delivered Tuesday about the interim agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva.

"In the end it's really up to Iran to prove that its nuclear program is peaceful," Kerry said in his broadcast. "The whole world has an interest in making sure this is a peaceful program," he added.

While Kerry had firmly reiterated the White House's plea to US legislators against imposing new sanctions on Tehran amid negotiations, he touted the diplomatic route that lead to an initial deal, but warned in his video "We all know that if the agreement falls apart, Iran is going to quickly face even tougher sanctions".

In a nearly eight-minute video outlining the recently-brokered deal on Iran's nuclear program, Kerry explained the details of the agreement, including its omissions, and addressed the science behind the process of creating nuclear weapons.

He assured US lawmakers that the historic agreement, aiming to end a decade-old standoff, "doesn't lift the current the architecture of our sanction, our sanctions are basically banking and oil sanctions, and those sanctions will stay in place".

Kerry, in a bid for congressional support of the Iran accord, looked ahead to negotiations over a final agreement restating the Obama administrations' stance that Iran "cannot and will not acquire a nuclear weapon".

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