Kerry says he’d be 'embarrassed' to go out if Congress kills Iran deal

Kerry says he’d be 'embarrassed' to go out if Congress kills Iran deal
© Francis Rivera

A congressional vote to undermine the Obama administration’s diplomatic negotiations with Iran would be a major setback for the United States on the world stage and personally humiliating Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOcasio-Cortez and Cruz's dialogue shows common ground isn't just for moderates 'Landslide' for Biden? A look at 40 years of inaccurate presidential polls Trump campaign considering making a play for blue state Oregon: report MORE said on Friday. 

“I would be embarrassed to try to go out," Kerry said during remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations. “What am I going to say to people after this? 'Come negotiate with us.' 'Can you deliver?'"


“Do you think the ayatollah is going to come back to the table if Congress refuses this and negotiate this again?” he added.

“Do you think they’re going to sit there and other people are going to say, ‘Hey let’s negotiate with the United States, they have 535 secretaries of State'?," Kerry said, referring to members of Congress.

Kerry’s comments come amid a major lobbying push by the Obama administration to sell Congress and the American public on the multinational deal with Iran, which aims to block its ability to create a nuclear bomb in exchange for the steady rolling back of sanctions.

Along with fellow Cabinet secretaries, Kerry has made multiple trips to Capitol Hill to urge support for the deal while also seeking to win over the public.

In September, lawmakers will be given the chance to vote and kill the deal. Many Republicans already appear willing to block it, and Obama may be forced to rely on Democrats to sustain the veto he would certainly issue if Congress tried to block the deal.  

Voting to halt the agreement would “absolutely” jeopardize foreign relations outside of the Middle East, Kerry said on Friday.

“It’s a repudiation of President Obama’s initiative and a statement that when the executive department negotiates, it doesn’t mean anything anymore, because we have 535 secretaries of State.”

A vote to kill the deal would only isolate America, he and others have been saying.

“I fear that what could happen if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed and we could lose Europe and Russia and China with respect to whatever military action we might have to take,” Kerry said. “Because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put [Iran’s nuclear] program to the test.”