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Kerry: Deal on Iran issue only alternative to force

Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee
Associated Press

Washington — Secretary of State John Kerry is taking the Obama administration’s defense of the Iran nuclear deal on the road.

He’s telling audiences in New York Friday that the deal struck last week in Vienna is the only alternative to military action and must be tested if diplomacy is to succeed.

In a reprise of his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Kerry said the agreement is the best way to prevent Iran from developing an atomic weapon. If Congress rejects the deal, he said Iranian hardliners would speed ahead with their nuclear program and the international sanctions regime would collapse.

Kerry appeared on NBC’s “Today” show and was addressing the Council on Foreign Relations before meeting with the leaders of Jewish groups.