Secretary of State John Kerry was apparently completely “comfortable” with being honored for his part in negotiating the controversial Iran nuclear deal.
The State Department came to Kerry’s defense after questions arose about his obtuse acceptance of an award for his role in negotiating the agreement that saw huge concessions by the United States to Iran.
State Department spokesman John Kirby defended his boss Monday for receiving the annual Chatham House Prize along with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
The deal was a “team effort” within the U.S. government and internationally with “lots of hard work all the way around,” Kirby said during the State Department daily press briefing.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked Kirby if Kerry was comfortable receiving the prize at this time considering complaints and criticism over the controversial agreement that was finalized in July 2015 and implemented in January 2016.
“I think he’s comfortable accepting it on behalf of the whole team that was involved in it, and I think the secretary would take issue with the continued criticism about the degree to which the deal makes the region and the United States safer–he believes it does,” Kirby said. “About the degree to which Iran is complying with their commitments, thus far they have been and so have we.”
Kirby acknowledged that the U.S. relationship with Iran “is far from perfect.”
“They still continue to be a state sponsor of terrorism and conduct provocative and destabilizing activities in the region,” Kirby said. “But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the deal itself removes one significant destabilizer in the region which would be an Iran with nuclear weapons.”
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