John Kerry: Israel And Saudi Arabia Urged A Preemptive US Strike On Iran Prior To Nuclear Deal
Former Secretary of State John Kerry revealed earlier this week that just prior to negotiations on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the leaders of Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia pushed hard for the US to preemptively strike Iran. Kerry divulged the information during a panel discussion at a nuclear weapons reduction forum at Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday where he defended the deal, saying those that wanted harsher action would have led the nation into another major Middle East war.
Kerry described the lead up to the deal as involving intense and aggressive lobbying toward military escalation by the three countries, whose leaders attempted to personally intervene. “Each of them said to me: You have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand,” Kerry related at Tuesday’s forum.
He further explained, “I remember that conversation with President Mubarak. I looked at him and said: It’s easy for you to say. We go bomb them and I bet you’ll be the first guy out there the next day to criticize us for doing it. And he went: ‘Of course, ha-ha-ha-ha!’”
Kerry also identified Benjamin Netanyahu as taking a clear lead role in pushing for direct military action against Iran, saying, “It was a trap in a lot of ways. But more importantly, Prime Minister Netanyahu was genuinely agitating towards action.”
Though it’s not clear exactly when these exchanges took place, Kerry chaired the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2006-2013 before his term as Secretary of State under Obama. This was also the same post-Iraq invasion period that regime change in Syria was being openly discussed. Syria has long been seen as Iran’s closest ally and as constituting a key potential geographic land bridge linking Shia allies from Iran and Iraq to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has heightened its rhetoric against Iran of late, claiming that the Shia dominant Islamic Republic is establishing a permanent military presence in war ravaged Syria in support of the Assad government and Hezbollah – an intolerable scenario which Netanyahu has called “a red line”.
“You have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand… Prime Minister Netanyahu was genuinely agitating towards action.” Kerry’s statements on Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia begin at the 51:00 minute mark.
As once again recently confirmed at an emergency session of the Arab League held in Cairo two weeks ago, Iran is currently being scapegoated by Israel and Saudi Arabia for just about all tensions which have recently exploded in an increasingly volatile Middle East, including the civil war in Yemen, Houthi missile attacks on Riyadh, inter-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) infighting, the Hezbollah “takeover” of Lebanon, as well as the sectarian war in Syria. However, as Kerry has consistently said over the past year, “Iran deserves the benefits of deal they struck.”
And at the very least Kerry’s disclosure of Israel and Saudi Arabia’s constant warmongering confirms that these two increasing allies (as their newly revealed intelligence sharing relationship confirms) are not “victims” of Iranian aggression – as they’ve consistently claimed – but are themselves the aggressors, given their lobbying the Obama administration for a Bush-style ‘preemptive strike’ on Tehran.
During the nuclear weapons reduction forum on Tuesday Kerry further warned that without the deal Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt would be currently locked in a nuclear arms race, and the region would be much closer to outbreak of major war. But increasingly, the region’s current covert proxy wars threaten to break out into full blown overt wars at the moment ISIS is being defeated and as the regime change project targeting Syria has failed.