Kerry on Iran: ‘We do not recognize a right to enrich’

November 24, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks across the tarmac as he arrives at London's Stansted Airport, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Kerry is in London to meet with Libyan's Prime Minister Ali Zidan and British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Kerry is traveling from Geneva Switzerland were a deal has been reached between six world powers and Iran that calls on Tehran to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that the temporary nuclear deal with Iran isn't a tacit agreement allowing the country to enrich some uranium without pursuing a nuclear bomb.

Kerry was responding to comments from Iran's foreign minister and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying that the deal amounted to a recognition of Iran's right to enrich.

"There is no inherent right to enrich," Kerry said on ABC's "This Week." "And everywhere in this particular agreement it states that they could only do that by mutual agreement, and nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed on."

Kerry added: "We do not recognize a right to enrich."

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Kerry also disputed Iran’s argument that this deal takes potential military force by the United States off the table.

“No, that’s just not accurate," he said.

In a trio of Sunday interviews -- Kerry also appeared on CNN's "State of the Union," Kerry took on critics of the deal, accusing them of being unwilling to accept a good deal because it's not perfect. Those critics include Israeli leaders and a number of members of Congress.

"You can't always start where you want to wind up," Kerry said on ABC.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · November 24, 2013