America’s top diplomat is heading to Doha Monday to deliver an on-site sales pitch for the Iran nuclear deal. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began his charm offensive in Egypt on Sunday where he met with that country’s president and foreign minister.
CCTV America’s Jessica Stone filed this report.
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Kerry begins Mideast sales tour on Iran DealAmerica's top diplomat is heading to Doha Monday to deliver an on-site sales pitch for the Iran nuclear deal. He began his charm offensive in Egypt on Sunday where he met with that country's president and foreign minister.
Kerry had a singular message for Cairo, “It will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer, “ Kerry said at a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shukry. “It is far, far better to have an Iran that doesn’t have a nuclear weapon, than one that does.”
It’s a drumbeat Kerry will continue in Doha. That’s where he’ll meet with Gulf State leaders who worry the deal, which would lift crippling economic sanctions from Iran, will allow Iran greater freedom to sponsor terror groups throughout the region.
Kerry will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Doha. The two appear to see a constructive role for Iran in helping the region defeat the terror group ISIL.
But noticeably absent from the secretary’s trip is the deal’s critic-in-chief, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry will not be touching down in Jerusalem.
“It’s just not part of the parameters for this trip. It’s not, it wasn’t a deliberate decision not to go. There’s an awful lot to cover in eight days, as you can see,” said John Kirby, US State Department Spokesperson on Friday.
According to the U.S. State Department, Kerry last spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu on July 16th, two days after the Iran nuclear deal was announced. Meanwhile, Netanyahu is on a counter-sales campaign of his own against the Iran deal. He’ll make his point via webcast to North American Jews in their synagogues and community centers on Tuesday.
But the White House begins a fresh round of briefings and speeches this week, designed to convince skeptical lawmakers and a wary American public. On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama will deliver remarks on Iran at a Washington-area university.
Also, a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency will be on Capitol Hill this week, answering what are sure to be tough questions about the deal, behind closed doors.