U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry argued on Monday that the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers last year had made the world – including Israel – safer.
Kerry rejected President-elect Donald Trump's references to the agreement as a "disaster" and "the worst deal ever negotiated".
"The region is safer, Germany and the United States are safer, Europe is safer, Israel is safer and the world is safer... It depends on all of us to keep this alive," he said at an event at which he was awarded the German Order of Merit, according to Reuters.
The Secretary of State added that President Barack Obama had already approached Trump about the matter.
During the election campaign, Trump publicly spoke out against the Iran deal, calling it “disastrous” and vowing to “rip it up” as president.
After he won the election, Trump’s senior foreign policy adviser, Walid Phares, hinted that while Trump might not actually rip up the agreement, he would act to change it.
Kerry’s remarks on Monday are not the first time that he and Obama have argued that Israel is safer by the deal and that even the Jewish state agrees with this notion.
Kerry in February cited comments by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot as proof that the nuclear deal with Iran has improved Israel's security.
Obama claimed in August that the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the West had been successful, and said that even Israel acknowledges this fact.
“It has been well over a year since the agreement with Iran to stop its nuclear program was signed. And by all accounts it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work.”
“And it's not just the assessment of our intelligence community. It's the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community,” he stressed. “The country that was most opposed to this deal (ie. Israel -ed.) that acknowledges this has been a game-changer that Iran has abided by the deal that they no longer have the sort of short term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons.”
Despite the comments, Israel appears to remain opposed to the deal. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking on Sunday to the Saban Forum, reiterated his longstanding position on the threat Iran poses to the State of Israel, and added that he looks forward to speaking with Trump “about what to do about this bad deal."