US Secretary of State John Kerry blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an interview aired Friday, calling the latter's claim that a better nuclear deal with Iran could have been reached a "fantasy."
Kerry, speaking to PBS, relayed the phone conversation he and Netanyahu shared on Thursday evening, in which Netanyahu "expressed his concerns" over the deal announced last Tuesday.
The Secretary of State argued that Netanyahu and other opponents to the deal have not provided an alternative.
“They all say, ‘Oh, why didn’t you crush them with the sanctions?’ I will tell you why. Because they won’t be crushed by sanctions. That’s been proven. And because we will lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions. They are not going to do that if Iran is willing to make a reasonable agreement. So, there is a lot of fantasy out there about this – quote – 'better deal.'"
According to Kerry, had the US complied with Netanyahu's demands and imposed further sanctions on Iran, Russia and China would have likely pulled out of the coalition of world powers.
“They’re not going to [uphold sanctions] if Iran is willing to make a reasonable agreement,” he asserted.
Despite slamming Netanyahu, Kerry insisted that the US stands behind Israel's security and that President Barack Obama is willing “to work to do more to be able to address specific concerns" Israel has with the deal.
“But we still believe that Israel will be safer with a one-year breakout [to a nuclear weapon] for the ten years [of heightened restrictions], than two months,” Kerry argued.
The face-off between Kerry and Netanyahu will go even more public on Sunday, as the Secretary of State embarks on tour of morning television shows, followed by interviews with the Israeli Prime Minister on ABC and CBS.