On Tuesday, Iran launched a coordinated rocket attack against American forces stationed at the al-Assad airbase in Iraq. The attack came after President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force.
Reporters were quick to get former Secretary of State John Kerry’s take on the situation.
“Well, I think that, generally speaking, the United States needs to find a way to do diplomacy here because it’s not going to serve anyone to have tit-for-tat escalatory process here,” Kerry said.
He made it clear he was not aware of the details of Tuesday’s attack and “whether it was the Iranians or a surrogate of the Iranians” but he feels that, overall, the United States needs to take a diplomatic approach when dealing with Iran.
“Clearly, when the Obama administration engaged in the negotiations with Iran, we did so because Iran was very close to getting a nuclear weapon and they had major enrichment materials,” Kerry explained. “They had the nuclear capacity and they were two months away from having the nuclear capacity and they were two months away from having the capacity to break out the 10 or 12 bombs.”
According to the former secretary of state, the Obama administration successfully “negotiated away from” the possibility of Iran having roughly a dozen nuclear weapons. He said their negotiations “lengthened that time that they could take to even potentially get a bomb” and provided “inspections” as well as “accountability.”
Naturally, Kerry pointed to President Donald Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal as the reason for the attack.
“Donald Trump just regrettably pulled out of that,” Kerry said, referencing the Iran Nuclear Deal. “And now we’re seeing the repercussions of going back to where we were when we began the process of trying to eliminate a nuclear weapon.”
“I think it’s a tragedy for the world that instead of diplomacy this administration has rushed to confrontation,” the former secretary of state explained. “If this develops into a tit-for-tat, increased effort, it will become a war that is needless and didn’t have to happen and it would be a reckless war of choice by the president of the United States.”
Former Sec. of State @JohnKerry – who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal – on confirmed attacks on Iraqi military bases following the killing of General Soleimani: "I think it's a tragedy for the world that instead of diplomacy, this administration has rushed to confrontation." pic.twitter.com/TVX1ChG8mW
— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) January 8, 2020
Author: Beth Baumann