Kerry: ‘Almost depressing’ conversation preceded Iran deal

Kerry: ‘Almost depressing’ conversation preceded Iran deal
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Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPompeo has never directly spoken to Iranian counterpart: report Trump's rejection of the Arms Trade Treaty Is based on reality Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie becomes first African to deliver Yale graduation speech MORE on Friday suggested the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran nearly didn’t happen.

Days before the deal was announced on Tuesday morning, talks faced a breaking point, Kerry told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

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“On the Sunday before we got a deal, Joe, I would say about a week out, I have a very sober and almost depressing conversation with my counterpart,” Kerry said.

Kerry admitted he was uncertain whether a final deal was possible during 20 months of grueling negotiations.

“Things did change,” Kerry said of diplomatic momentum during the talks. “We managed to obviously move forward and make progress.”

“But there were some down moments,” he said. “There were some moments of great pessimism.

“We began the day with a very serious evaluation of whether or not it was doable. And I made it crystal clear if things did not change, we were going to go home, we were going to have to wrap it up.”

Kerry hailed the agreement as increasing global harmony and strengthening security.

“This agreement makes the region safer, Israel safer, the United States safer, the world safer,” Kerry said.

“I think when people analyze it, they’ll see that,” he said.

“What I think people need to understand about this agreement, nothing in this agreement is based on trust,” Kerry added. “Every step of the way, it is based on intrusive inspections, on verification, tracking and monitoring.”

The deal provides Iran with economic sanctions relief in exchange for tighter restrictions on its atomic energy capabilities.

Kerry also urged skeptics of the deal to remember that it is a peaceful solution to the significant problem of Iran possessing nuclear weapons.

“I believe that the alternative to what we are trying to do here is conflict,” he said. “If we are not able to hold on to this, then the Iranians will say, ‘Well the United States can’t be trusted. You can’t negotiate with the United States.’”

“And they will free to go forward with their programs,” Kerry added.

Congress is now reviewing the deal within a 60-day window of time that came with Tuesday’s announcement.

Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran, urged lawmakers on Friday to remember the sacrifices of America’s military while weighing the deal’s details.

“This is a choice between a diplomatic solution and war and military action,” he said. “There will be no alternative, and the president said it the other day.”