Meet the Press   |  November 10, 2013

Iran nuclear talks: What's the bottom line?

Secretary of State John Kerry outlines different priorities of leaders from various countries in the negotiations with Iran.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let me play you a comment that i think gets to the ultimate question of what does it mean to get it right? what is the bottom line demand of the united states ? the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has been out spoken about this this week. he was on this program late last month, and this is what he said about the prospect of a deal with iran . i want you to listen and i'll get your reaction on the other side.

>> i think the pressure has to be maintained on iran , even increased on iran until it actually stops the nuclear program , that is, dismantles it. i think any partial deal could end up dissolving the sanctions. a lot of countries are just waiting for a signal to get rid of their sanctions regime.

>> so a couple of points there. you want them to stop their weapons program. others, like the israeli prime minister saying, no, they've got to dismantle their infrastructure before they get the kind of economic relief that is part of this deal.

>> well, i'm not sure that the prime minister, who i have great respect for, knows exactly what the amount or the terms are going to be, because we haven't arrived at them all yet. that's what we're negotiating. and it is not a partial deal. let me make that crystal clear as i have to the prime minister directly. it is a first step in an effort that will lock the program in where it is today, in fact, set it back while one ngegotiates the full deal. and there will not be a relaxation of the pressure. you know, nobody has talked about getting rid of the current architecture of sanctions. the pressure will remain. there will be, hopefully, if this is arrived at, a means of absolutely guaranteeing that while the negotiation on the real end game takes place, iran 's program is not going to continue, is not going to grow. it seems to me that israel is far safer if you make certain that iran cannot continue the program. now, every day that we don't have it, they're continuing it. so i think the american people , and most people in the world, want the president of the united states with the awesome power that we have to exhaust all the diplomatic remedies before we resort to the use of military force if we have to. that option is not off the table. nothing is off the table, david.

>> but here's the question. if the only reason they're coming to the table now is because they feel the economic pain of sanctions, it's not just the israelis, it's the saudis, it's republicans in congress who have said -- if that's the only reason they're coming to the table, what's the rush? why not increase that economic pressure so you get not just a halt but actually get a dismantlement of the architecture which is the goal the president seeks?

>> because the president believes, as i do, that the pressure exists today, which is why they're willing to negotiate. i mean, look, i was there and i voted for these sanctions. we voted for these sanctions in order to bring around to the negotiating table. now that they're there, you have to act in some good faith in an effort to be able to move towards the goal you want to achieve. if, as their act of good faith, they freeze their program and allow us absolutely unprecedented access to inspection and do other things -- i'm not going to go into the list. but if they do the things we believe is necessary so that we can guarantee we know what is happening and we can move it back while we negotiate the end game , it seems to me you've got to do something that indicates your good faith. now, the president has made it clear, he will not reduce or change the overall core architecture of the oil sanctions, banking sanctions. iran will still be under enormous pressure precisely to complete the task. i think there is a lot of hype and an awful lot of speculation about what is going on here when all that is happening is an effort through the sanctions congress put in place to get negotiations when those negotiations hopefully produce an actual