Departing US Secretary of State John Kerry says he believes the Iran nuclear agreement will survive and has warned President-elect Donald Trump that canceling the deal would harm the US in an irreparable way.
Speaking on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kerry said unraveling the achievements of outgoing President Barack Obama will take Trump longer than he expects.
"I just don’t believe that,” Kerry said while taking about Trump instantly reversing Obama’s actions. "I don’t believe they will be.”
Kerry cited the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as one of Obama's policy victories that Trump will struggle to dismantle.
Trump is under immense pressure not to quash a landmark nuclear deal. During his presidential campaign, Trump had threatened to either dismantle the agreement or seek a better deal.
However, Iran has repeatedly said that the deal is not negotiable.
The nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was clinched between Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – in July 2015.
According to the accord, which came into force in January 2016, the six world powers committed to lifting the nuclear-related sanctions against Iran and the Islamic Republic agreed to limit its nuclear work in certain areas.
"If the United States were to decide suddenly and say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to pursue this and so forth,’ I’ll bet you — I haven’t talked to all of them, but I bet you that our friends and allies who negotiated this with us will get together and that Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain will say, ‘You know what? This is a good deal. We’re going to keep it,’” Kerry said.
"We’ll have made ourselves the odd person out," Kerry said. "[And] we will have done great injury to ourselves, and it will hurt for the endurance of one year, two years, whatever, while the administration is that.”
Kerry predicted that the nuclear deal with Iran will survive despite Trump’s opposition to it. "So I believe this is an agreement that can endure.”