Kerry: We're There for Our Mideast Allies

The United States will not allow Tehran to run amok and do as it pleases in the Middle East, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

Yaakov Levi ,

John Kerry
John Kerry

The United States plans to continue its efforts to pursue a nuclear deal with Iran, but will not allow Tehran to run amok and do as it pleases, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

If needed, the US will respond forcefully to Iranian efforts to destabilize the Middle East, Kerry said in an interview.

"Iran needs to recognize that the United States is not going to stand by while the region is destabilized or while people engage in overt warfare across lines - international boundaries -  in other countries,” Kerry told PBS in an interview Wednesday.

The US is “well aware” of Iran's support of Houthi rebels in Yemen and Tehran's efforts to dominate the entire Gulf region, he added.

Along with Israel, Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and others have expressed deep misgivings at the deal proposed last week by the P5+1 countries that would allow Iran to continue to develop a nuclear program.

In response to Iran's support of the Houthis, Saudi Arabia organized a task force consisting of several countries to support the government of Yemen against the Iranian-sponsored rebels, and to prevent them from encroaching on other Middle Eastern countries.

The US would respond if necessary, said Kerry. “We're not looking for confrontation, obviously, but we're not going to step away from our alliances and our friendships and the need to stand with those who feel threatened as a consequence of the choices that Iran might be making."

"It doesn’t take this negotiation to prompt this administration to be there for our friends and our allies," said Kerry.  "We are there. We have been there. No administration, this is not an exaggeration, no administration has ever done as much as President Obama has done in order to help provide equipment and munitions and defensive mechanisms, other things to Israel. The president has said that’s a lead pipe, total guarantee." 

"At the same time, all of our other Gulf-State allies and friends in the region, we have already, long before the discussions with Iran, been talking with them about pushing back against Iran’s behavior in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon and other places, and that will continue."