No sanctions on Iran if Congress does not pass nuke deal: Kerry

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry today warned that Iran would not face any international sanctions if the Republican-majority Congress does not pass the nuclear deal, which has been negotiated by the US and key world powers.

“The fact is that the real fear of that region should be that you don’t have the deal,” said Kerry, the architect of the Iranian nuclear deal.

“If Congress doesn’t pass this, if Congress were to kill this, then we have no inspections, we have no sanctions, we have no ability to negotiate, because I assure you the ayatollah, if the United States arbitrarily and unilaterally kills this, you’re not going to have another negotiation. They will feel free to go and do the very things that this prevents,” Kerry warned in an interview to CNN.

Kerry made rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows on mainstream US television networks making a vociferous argument in favour of the agreement which was reached in Vienna last week.

“We have created a mechanism by which we can go to the United Nations; one country can take this to the (UN) Security Council. We have an ability to snap back all the sanctions or to put any sanction on we want, hold them in material breach if they do not give us access. That’s never existed previously,” Kerry told the Fox news when asked what happens if Iran violates the deal.

“But we never ever had a discussion about anywhere anytime. It’s called managed access. It’s under the IAEA. Everybody understands it. And the intelligence community has made it clear to us, as they did before we signed onto this deal, that we would be able to know what they are doing during that intervening period of time,” he added.

In another interview to ABC news, Kerry said the UN resolution, which brought about sanctions in the first place, said that if Iran will suspend its enrichment and come to negotiations, all the sanctions will be lifted.

“Now they’ve done more than just come to negotiations, they’ve actually negotiated a deal. And three of the seven nations thought they should not, therefore, be held to any kind of restraint. We prevailed and insisted, no, they have to be,” he said.

“But we have ample other resolutions that allow us to hold them accountable for moving any weapons,” Kerry argued.

The nuclear accord was struck in Vienna last week after almost two years of negotiations which culminated in a final 18-day stretch of virtually round-the-clock talks.

It put strict limits on Tehran’s nuclear activities for at least 10 years designed to stop the country developing a nuclear weapon, in return for lifting sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.