US Secretary of State John Kerry has given his first interview to Israeli media since spearheading the controversial framework deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
Speaking to Channel 10, Kerry sought to bypass Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's stern opposition to the deal by appealing directly to the Israeli people.
Kerry sought repeatedly to reassure Israelis that despite the criticism from Netanyahu and many others, any deal with Iran would be watertight.
"I say this again – we will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran's pathways to a bomb and that doesn't give us the confidence – to all of our experts… in fact, to global experts – that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon," he insisted.
"President Obama has absolutely pledged they will not get a nuclear weapon," Kerry added.
The Secretary of State added that despite what he termed the "hysteria" surrounding the deal, Israel – and the world – would be safer after it was sealed. "I believe that where we are heading will in fact protect Israel," he stated.
He also dismissed critics who noted that the framework deal would expire after a decade or 15 years, meaning that Iran could have the best of both worlds – pause its nuclear program to gain relief from sanctions, and then restart it when the deal expired.
But Kerry said that wouldn't happen.
"We will have inspectors in there every single day. That is not a 10-year deal. That’s forever. There have to be inspections.
"There’s a lot of hysteria about this deal. People really need to look at the facts, and they need to look at the science behind those facts."
The full interview is to be aired tomorrow on Channel 10.