Talks with Iran won’t be based on trust: Kerry

Kerry stressed that Rouhani’s apparent overtures would be looked at with an extremely critical eye.

Written by New York Times | Tokyo | Published: October 4, 2013 2:24 am

Jennifer Steinhauer

Secretary of State John Kerry,in his first remarks about Iran since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel warned the United States to be wary of talks with the country,on Thursday said the United States would negotiate with Tehran only if it provided proof that it would not pursue nuclear defence programmes.

“Our hope is that there is a way forward,” Kerry said at a news conference here after a meeting with Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel and the Japanese defence and foreign ministers,adding that he could assure Israel that “nothing we do is going to be based on trust. It’s going to be based on steps,” in which Iran must prove it is not going to pursue a nuclear programme,or it will face a cold shoulder from the United States.

“A country that generally wants to have a peaceful programme does not have difficulty proving that it’s peaceful,” he said.

Kerry said “it would be diplomatic malpractice of the worst order” to not attempt a diplomatic solution to the longstanding conflict with Iran before pursuing a military one.

However,Kerry stressed that Rouhani’s apparent overtures would be looked at with an extremely critical eye.

“There is nothing here that is going to be taken at face value and we have made that clear,” he said. “It is not words that will make a difference,it’s actions,and the actions clearly are going to have to be sufficient that the whole world will understand that not only will they not be on the road to get a weapon but also there is no ability to suddenly break out.”

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