John Kerry - Photo by thierry ehrmann

During Thursday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Iran nuclear agreement, Secretary of State John Kerry said the goal of the negotiations was never to dismantle Iran’s entire nuclear program but rather to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons, despite saying in 2013 the “whole point” of sanctions was to get Iran to “dismantle its nuclear program.”

“When we began our negotiations, Iran had enough fissile material for 10 to 12 bombs. They had 19,000 centrifuges, up from the 163 that they had back in 2003 when the prior administration was engaged in them on this very topic,” Kerry said Thursday. “So this isn’t a question of giving them what they want. It’s a question of how do you hold their program back. How do you dismantle their weapons program? Not their whole program.

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