Kerry: Obama administration not being played for 'suckers' by Iran

The Obama administration is not being played for "suckers” by Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

Kerry's comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Iran's diplomatic overtures during his address to the United Nations Tuesday. The Israeli leader called President Hassan Rouhani a “wolf in sheep's clothing” who is trying to “pull the wool over the eyes” of the international community.

“I did not interpret Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments as suggesting that we are being played somehow for suckers,” Kerry told reporters in Japan. “I understood it to be a warning — don’t be played. And I can assure the prime minister, as I would assure all the people of Israel and everybody in the world, and particularly Iranians, there is nothing here that is going to be taken at face value, and we’ve made that clear.”

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President Obama had a 15-minute phone call with Rouhani last week, the first direct contact between presidents of the two countries since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Kerry said Thursday that rejecting out-of-hand negotiations on Iran's nuclear program “before you ask people to take military action” would constitute “diplomatic malpractice of the worst order.”

“The president has said and I have said that it’s not words that will make a difference, it’s actions,” Kerry said. “As the president has said to the prime minster, no deal is better than a bad deal, because a bad deal could put you in a worse predicament.”

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