John Kerry has revealed that the former US President Barack Obama was put under pressure from certain Middle Eastern leaders to bomb Iran.
The former US secretary of State said the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers helped Washington prevent war, during a speech at the annual retreat of “mediators and peace process actors” in Norway.
“We were hurtling toward conflict,” Kerry said on Tuesday. “I mean, there’s just no other way to describe it.”
Press TV reports:
“Leaders in the region were saying to me personally, and to the president, President Obama, you should bomb these guys,” Kerry added. “That’s the only way to resolve this issue.”
“And we chose a different path,” he said. “What we did is to find a mutually acceptable way to guarantee that both sides were able to agree on a path forward that met both sides’ needs.”
Saudi Arabia and Israel had fiercely criticized the Obama administration for trying to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue at the negotiating table instead of opting for a military solution.
Kerry then noted that both sides had to abide by the deal and fulfill their obligations under the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The comments were an indirect jab at Obama’s successor, President Donald Trump, who has consistently criticized the historic deal, calling it “one of the worst deals ever made.”
The new Republican president has also threatened to scrap the JCPOA, accusing Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of it.
Shortly before Trump’s January 20 inauguration, Kerry said the nuclear accord was one of Obama’s policy victories and warned Trump that canceling it would harm the US in an irreparable way.
Tehran has warned that it would restore its nuclear activities to the pre-JCPOA level, if the US fails to keep its end of the bargain.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has on multiple occasions verified Iran’s adherence to its commitments under the JCPOA.