Working toward a verifiable nuclear deal with Iran

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Switzerland (© AP Images)

Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that the United States and its P5+1 negotiating partners are working to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions in a deal that “can withstand scrutiny.”

“The purpose of these negotiations is not to get any deal; it’s to get the right deal,” Kerry said after holding nuclear talks with Iran in Switzerland on March 4.

“We continue to be focused on reaching a good deal, the right deal, that closes off any paths that Iran could have towards fissile material for a weapon and that protects the world from the enormous threat that we all know a nuclear-armed Iran would pose,” Kerry said.

“The purpose of these negotiations is not to get any deal; it’s to get the right deal.”

Any deal the United States agrees to would effectively cut off the pathways for Iran to get enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Also, any deal reached would allow “intrusive access and verification measures” necessary to ensure Iran’s nuclear facilities are on a peaceful path.

“And that would allow us to promptly detect any attempt to cheat or to break out, and then to respond appropriately,” Kerry said, adding that “contrary to some public reports, we are only contemplating a deal in which important access and verification measures will endure.”

The other P5+1 countries — Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany — must also approve any nuclear deal. The United States and Iran are scheduled to reconvene nuclear talks on March 15.