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Kerry: 'We Should All Hope the World Can Preserve the Nuclear Agreement'

Former Secretary of State John Kerry attends a panel discussion at the International Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 18, 2018. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the State Department when the P5+1 agreement was forged in 2015, said in response to President Trump’s pullout from the Iran nuclear deal that “no rhetoric is required” and “we should all hope the world can preserve the nuclear agreement.”

“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 on social media, adding that  “the facts speak for themselves.”

“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,” he continued. “The extent of the damage will depend on what Europe can do to hold the nuclear agreement together, and it will depend on Iran’s reaction. America should never have to outsource those stakes to any other country. This is not in America’s interests.”

In a rare joint statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they would make the deal work without the U.S. and urged Iran to refrain from retaliation against Washington.

Kerry reportedly met with officials in recent months about saving the deal, including Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Macron, and European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

That drew angry tweets from Trump in response. “The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal. He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!” he tweeted Monday.

“John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Zarif tweeted after Trump’s announcement, “In response to US persistent violations & unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear deal, as instructed by President Rouhani, I’ll spearhead a diplomatic effort to examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for Iran. Outcome will determine our response.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a brief statement Tuesday that as the U.S. exits the Iran deal, “we will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Iranian threat.”

“We have a shared interest with our allies in Europe and around the world to prevent Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon. But our effort is broader than just the nuclear threat and we will be working together with partners to eliminate the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program; to stop its terrorist activities worldwide; and to block its menacing activity across the Middle East and beyond,” Pompeo said. “As we build this global effort, sanctions will go into full effect and will remind the Iranian regime of the diplomatic and economic isolation that results from its reckless and malign activity.”