Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to allay skepticism on the nuclear negotiations with Iran and the U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations.
Noting that there is a “healthy debate” on the effectiveness of the nuclear talks and that “we welcome that,” Kerry said American diplomacy with Iran “is guided by a simple bottom line: no deal is better than a bad deal.”
“The truth is, it is strong diplomacy that has actually made this moment [of getting Iran to negotiate] possible, and we need to give it the space to work,” he said.
Kerry said the interim Iran deal has “not changed one piece of the sanctions architecture, and yet we are able to negotiate.”
“This is not a process that is about trusting Tehran,” he said. “This is about testing Tehran. And you can be sure that if Iran fails this test, American will not fail Israel. That I promise.”
On the Israeli-Palestinian talks, Kerry said he knows “there are many doubters here” about the suitability of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as a peace partner for Israel. Kerry, however, believes Abbas “has demonstrated he wants to be a partner for peace” and has “been genuinely committed against violence.”
Kerry vowed that any peace agreement would “guarantee Israel’s identity as a Jewish homeland,” and said that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “means ending the [Palestinian] incitement.”