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Lawmakers’ kneejerk reaction to Iran nuclear deal ‘regrettable,’ says Kerry

Watch Secretary of State John Kerry respond to Congress’ reaction to the nuclear deal.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday it was “regrettable” some members of Congress rejected the long-fought comprehensive deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program before even reading it.

“What I regret is that so many members of Congress, without even reading the agreement or knowing what all the components were, were just automatically, out of politics or something, saying no and then finding the reasons to hang their hat on it. I think that’s regrettable,” the former senator said in an interview airing in full on Friday’s PBS NewsHour.

“I mean, we’ve spent four years negotiating this. This was not a rush. If it was a rush, we’d have done it a long time ago. We needed to make certain we were doing the things that closed off the four pathways to a bomb, and we knew it would be scrutinized,” Kerry told NewsHour co-anchor Judy Woodruff.

The White House has defined the four pathways as 1) highly enriched uranium at Iran’s Natanz facility, 2) highly enriched uranium at the Fordow facility, 3) weapons-grade plutonium, and 4) covert attempts to produce fissile material.

The deal requires Iran to reduce its stockpile of uranium and keep its level of uranium enrichment below the level needed to make a nuclear weapon. (Read more key points.)

President Barack Obama has said if lawmakers vote to reject the deal, he would veto their rejection, which would require a two-thirds vote in Congress to overturn.

You can watch the full interview that aired on Friday’s PBS NewsHour.

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