- Israel, Saudi Arabia & Egypt Wanted US to Bomb Iran Before Nuclear Deal – John Kerry
The leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt all pressurized the US to bomb Iran prior to negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal, former US secretary of state John Kerry said. He described the proposition as a “trap in lots of ways” for Washington.
Kerry, who chaired the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee before heading the US diplomatic corps in 2013, recalled how he met Saudi King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his capacity as legislator. All three leaders lobbied him for military action against Iran. “Each of them said to me: You have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand,” he said.
“I remember that conversation with President Mubarak. I looked at him and said: It’s easy for you to say. We go bomb them and I bet you’ll be the first guy out there the next day to criticize us for doing it. And he went: ‘Of course, ha-ha-ha-ha!’” Kerry said. “It was a trap in a lot of ways. But more importantly, Prime Minister Netanyahu was genuinely agitating towards action.”
It was not clear when the meetings Kerry mentioned took place. He chaired the committee from 2009. Mubarak was deposed in February 2011, while King Abdullah died in January 2015.
Kerry, who was part of a panel of experts at a nuclear weapons reduction forum at Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday, used the occasion to defend the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which he helped to negotiate. The deal, in which Russia was also a major negotiator, placed restrictions on the Iranian nuclear industry in exchange for lifting UN, US and EU economic sanctions against Tehran. Kerry said without the deal Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt would likely be developing nuclear weapons of their own today while a military conflict with Iran would be a very likely possibility.