Politics

Kerry gave a detailed defense of the Iran deal in Boston last fall. Here’s what he said

Why should the United States have stayed in the Iran deal? Just ask the deal’s architect.

Former secretary of state John F. Kerry, who forged the 2015 deal, issued a strongly worded statement on Tuesday criticizing President Trump’s decision to withdraw from it.

But he went into much greater detail in a talk moderated by Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane at the Hubweek ideas festival in Boston in October.

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At the time, Trump was poised to “decertify” the deal, a first step toward withdrawing from it.

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At the Hubweek talk, Kerry gave a detailed defense of the benefits of the deal and offered an insider’s perpsective into how it was negotiated.

“There is no rationale whatsoever, no excuse — it is reckless, it is dangerous, it is irresponsible — for the United States of America, the proponent of this agreement, the chief negotiator of this agreement, to turn around under a new president, and say ‘I don’t like it, we’re going to get out’ when there’s no rationale for doing so,” he said.

He said it’s important for diplomats to understand those on the other side of the negotiating table and warned that getting out of the Iran deal would inflame Iranian hard-liners.

“Those who are trying to change the relationship with the world, and lift sanctions and do business with the world, this makes their political life miserable and difficult. And ultimately, if the hard-liners are so empowered by threats of President Trump, you get into a vicious cycle, downward spiral toward confrontation,” Kerry said.

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Trump announced Tuesday he was withdrawing the United States from the deal, declaring he was making the world safer.

Hubweek, co-founded by The Boston Globe, Harvard Univerrsity, MIT, and the Massachusetts General Hospital, includes talks featuring big thinkers, tech giants, a documentary film festival, and art events.