Secretary of State John Kerry struck back at critics of the nuclear deal with Iran, saying Israel will be safer as a result and that war was not a viable alternative.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Tuesday’s historic agreement between Iran, the U.S. and five world powers as a “bad mistake of historic proportions” that will give Iran a “sure path to nuclear weapons.”
In an interview with NBC News, Kerry insisted that was not the case, saying the deal was the best option and had long-lasting implications.
“What the critics of this plan never offer… is a realistic alternative,” Kerry said. “It’s wrong for people to think this doesn’t have long-term accountability.”
Kerry dismissed Netanyahu’s vocal opposition to the deal, telling NBC News that the prime minister has been “making comments that are way over the top” without having been fully briefed.
“Israel is safer” as a result of Tuesday’s accord, Kerry added. “This is under attack by people who really don’t know the terms of the agreement.”
He stressed that if Iran fails to meet the requirements of the deal, all options remain on the table.
“The United States doesn’t lose anything… by giving them the opportunity to prove this is a peaceful program,” Kerry said. “What’s the alternative … go to war now?”
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com