(ANTIMEDIA) Washington, D.C. — Former Secretary of State John Kerry recently said both Israel and Egypt urged the United States to “bomb Iran” before the 2015 nuclear deal was agreed upon, the Times of Israel reported last week.
According to the Times, Kerry was defending the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last Tuesday at the Ignatius Forum in Washington, D.C. At that meeting, he said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “genuinely agitating towards action” leading up to the Obama administration’s monumental deal with Tehran.
Kerry also said that when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he met with Saudi King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Netanyahu, all of whom pushed 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,” Kerry said, according to the Times. He did not specify when they allegedly expressed this sentiment, but he chaired the committee between 2009 and 2013.
Kerry said he believed their urgings were a “trap,” arguing that the Arab countries would have publicly criticized the U.S. if it had bombed Iran.
While it would be no surprise to see Israel and Saudi Arabia pushing for a military confrontation with Iran (a war they continue to believe they should not have to fight alone), it may surprise some that Egypt was also a part of this list of hostile nations. While Egypt doesn’t get the same media attention as Saudi Arabia and Israel when it comes to the demonization of Iran, one should note that Egypt was one of the countries backing Saudi Arabia’s assault on Qatar, which was also designed to contain Iranian influence.
Kerry is a strong proponent of the JCPOA to this day, stating that without the deal there was a “likelihood that we would have been in a conflict.” However, the JCPOA also greatly benefited Israel and Saudi Arabia. The two countries used their victim status to attain a monumental arms deal from the United States, an effort to quell the two countries’ concerns regarding the nuclear agreement. This element of the JCPOA’s consequences is largely being overlooked.
Kerry also criticized Donald Trump for interfering with the JCPOA, saying Trump’s moves amount to a “blatant over-simplistic political appeal to the American Jewish community…because most of those people hadn’t read the agreement.”
Trump’s blatant opposition to the agreement goes against the better judgment of his most hawkish advisors.
As Vox has explained:
“Trump doesn’t hate the Iran deal for policy reasons. He’s never offered a detailed public policy case against it, and experts don’t really believe he has one. ‘I don’t think anyone actually thinks he knows anything about the particularities of this agreement,’ says Sarah Kreps, a professor at Cornell University who studies arms control agreements.”