Must-see morning clip: John Kerry lays out expectations for Syria and Iran

The Secretary of State wants Assad out as president and a full account of Iran's nuclear program

By Prachi Gupta
September 30, 2013 6:32PM (UTC)
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The past few weeks have brought major breakthroughs for international relations between the U.S. and Syria -- where an airstrike may have been avoided by diplomacy -- and Iran, which has embraced dialogue about its nuclear program. Leading both developments at the United Nations General Assembly was Secretary of State John Kerry, who explained what the U.S. wants to achieve in Syria and Iran to "60 Minutes'" Scott Pelley on Sunday evening.

On diplomacy with Syria, Kerry said the hope is that Bashar Assad will decide to not run for president again. "By having Assad make the decision, if he really cares about his country, that he will not run again. If he were to make that decision, entire ingredients of Syria would change overnight," he explained.


Kerry also laid out specific expectations for Iran, whose new president, Hassan Rouhani, is willing to reveal the details of the nation's nuclear program in exchange for loosened economic sanctions:

"They could immediately open up inspection of the Fordow facility, a secret [urananium enrichment] facility and underground in the mountains. They could immediately sign the protocols, the additional protocols of the international community regarding inspections. They could offer to cease voluntarily to take enrichment above a certain level, because there's no need to have it at a higher level for a peaceful program."

"The United States is not gonna lift the sanctions until it is clear that a very verifiable, accountable, transparent process is in place, whereby we know exactly what Iran is gonna be doing with its program," Kerry explained. "And if it does, of course."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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