Secretary of State John Kerry's Interview With Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC (Excerpts)

February 26, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 


QUESTION: But one reason that even the [Israeli] prime minister is very concerned about you and your policy and the President’s policy is the Iran negotiations. Iran has right now lived up to every one of its commitments in terms of not installing more centrifuges, not reactivating the construction at Arak, not enriching beyond a certain level. So, so far, so good. But the next part is really the hard – the hard step.


QUESTION: And are you prepared to accept a deal that lets them continue enriching beyond a certain level and reinstall those advanced centrifuges and continue construction on their – and keep their missiles?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Andrea, I’m not going to – let me --

QUESTION: And keep their missiles?

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me just say to you that I’m obviously not going to negotiate on a television program, even yours. And I appreciate --

QUESTION: It’s always open to you.

SECRETARY KERRY: But we’re not going to – President Obama is not going to enter into a bad deal. He didn’t do that in this first step, and he’s not going to do it in a final step. The President is committed. As he said from the beginning, his policy is Iran will not have a nuclear weapon. And it’s important for us in this negotiation to keep the rhetoric and the tone of this in a place where we could actually try to have the best opportunity to get to a final deal.

It’s going to be tough. We know this. We have no illusions about this and we are approaching it with an attitude of looking for maximum accountability, maximum transparency, maximum verification so that the world can know that if there is a final agreement, they are assured that Iran is on a peaceful track. That’s what we’re looking for. We believe there’s a way to get there. But none of us would say to you today, “We know we will get there.” It’s a very difficult negotiation.