Kerry, Netanyahu name Iran's nuclear program as a top international concern
Kerry and Netanyahu met at Villa Taverna, Rome, to discuss a number of mutual interests. As Israel and Palestine have increased peaceful communication, the leaders moved onto the topic of Iran's nuclear weapons program. The leaders agreed that Iran is a top concern for both countries, and they hope to reach a peaceful agreement with Iran to disband its nuclear program.
"It is of major concern to all of us that Iran not be able to develop a nuclear weapon," Kerry said. "While we welcome, and we do welcome, the change of rhetoric, the change of tone, the diplomatic opening that the Iranians have offered through President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif, we have made clear and we are adamant that words are no substitute for actions. And what we will need, all of us - in order to be satisfied with respect to the United Nations sanctions, to the demands of the IAEA, as well as to our own security requirements - we will need to know that actions are being taken which make it crystal clear, undeniably clear, failsafe to the world, that whatever program is pursued is indeed a peaceful program."
Kerry said the plan of action with Iran is "no deal is better than a bad deal," and that for a deal to be made, Iran has to agree to disband its nuclear weapon program entirely; Netanyahu agreed with Kerry.
"I think you're right," Netanyahu said. "I think no deal is better than a bad deal. I think a partial deal that leaves Iran with these capabilities is a bad deal. You wisely insisted there wouldn't be a partial deal with Syria. You're right. If Assad had said, well, I'd like to keep, I don't know, 20 percent, 50 percent or 80 percent of my chemical weapons capability, you would have refused, and correctly so."
Netanyahu said the goal of eliminating Iran's nuclear threat peacefully is close to realization if the U.S. retains its peaceful, political pressure on Iran.