|It would be ‘diplomatic malpractice’ not to engage Iran: Kerry||
TEHRAN – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that it would be “diplomatic malpractice” not to explore whether Iran’s nuclear program can be defused peacefully.
“We have an obligation,” Kerry said at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, the Washington Post reported. “It would be diplomatic malpractice of the worst order not to examine every possibility… before you ask people to take military action or do what you have to do.”
He praised Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, for its decision to reach out and propose substantive new talks about the country’s nuclear program, but said that Iran’s assurances — that it seeks only peaceful nuclear energy, not a weapon — will be put to the test at the negotiating table.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked Rouhani’s credibility, and dismissed recent diplomatic overtures by him as a disingenuous “charm offensive.”
He also threatened Iran with military strike over its nuclear program, saying, “Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”
Iran’s new willingness to talk led President Obama to call Rouhani as the Iranian leader left the UN meeting in New York last week — the first such direct contact between a U.S. leader and an Iranian one since before the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
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