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Kerry on Iran: 'The Deal is What We Said it Was'

Secretary of State John Kerry said the Iran deal was an agreement based on "transparency, accountability, verification."
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/ Source: NBC News

Secretary of State John Kerry responded Sunday morning to Iranian claims that the United States is misleading the public on what exists in the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “The deal is what we said it was.”

“When we did the interim agreement, there were these same kinds of discrepancies, or spin, if you want to call it that, with respect to what the deal was or wasn't,” Kerry said in an appearance on "Meet the Press". “But in the end, the deal was signed and the deal has been agreed to and lived up to.”

He added, "No one contests that Iran has lived up to every component of that agreement. And the deal is what we said it was."

When asked how he could make a deal with a country on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, Kerry said trust did not exist with Iran.

"There is no element of trust in what we're doing. You have to build trust, and that takes place over a long period of time," he said.

“This is an agreement that is based on transparency, accountability, verification. You have to be able to know what is happening.”

He added that he believes the deal protects American security and “shuts off the four principle pathways to a bomb for Iran.”

Kerry refused to say whether he asked the president to remove Cuba from the state sponsors of terrorism list. He said that he made his recommendation to the President, but “did not want to tip his hand” publicly.

He also declined to comment on the Democratic primary, but praised Hillary Clinton’s record at the State Department, calling her a “good friend.”

— Dale Armbruster