Here’s how John Kerry responded to Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal

"No rhetoric is required."

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2016 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal. President Donald Trump is weighing whether to pull the U.S. out of Iran's nuclear deal, a 2015 agreement that capped over a decade of hostility between Tehran and the West over its atomic program. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP, File)
Then-Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna in 2016. –Kevin Lamarque / AP

John Kerry says that President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal does a number of things — and none of them good.

“Today’s announcement weakens our security, breaks America’s word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior, while damaging the ability of future Administrations to make international agreements,” Kerry said in a statement Tuesday.

The former Massachusetts senator-turned-U.S. secretary of state, who helped broker the 2015 deal, released the strongly worded statement on his social media accounts following Trump’s announcement that he would move to withdraw from the agreement, which was aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.


“No rhetoric is required,” Kerry said.

“The facts speak for themselves,” Kerry continued. “Instead of building on unprecedented nonproliferation verification measures, this decision risks throwing them away and dragging the world back to the brink we faced a few years ago.”

Kerry said the extent of the damage from Trump’s decision depends on whether the European countries who signed on to the deal can hold the agreement together, as well as how Iran reacts to Tuesday’s decision. Trump said he would move to re-impose all of economic sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 deal in exchange for the country agreeing to limit its nuclear capabilities.

“America should never have to outsource those stakes to any other country,” Kerry said of the president’s decision Tuesday. “This is not in America’s interests. We should all hope the world can preserve the nuclear agreement.”

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced Tuesday that he would “spearhead a diplomatic effort to examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for Iran.”

“Outcome will determine our response,” he said.

Kerry had reportedly embarked on a recent, behind-the-scenes effort to salvage the agreement, quietly meeting with Zarif and European allies to discuss ways of preserving the deal ahead of Trump’s decision this week. After the stealth efforts were reported by The Boston Globe, the Republican president took to Twitter to criticize and taunt the 74-year-old former diplomat for his “possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy.”


Trump called the Iran deal Tuesday a “horrible one-sided deal that should never ever have been made.”