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Iran nuclear deal: John Kerry defends six-month stopgap

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(ABC NEWS) - It was hugs and kisses in Geneva, Switzerland as Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers congratulated one another on the Iran nuclear deal.

It was concluded in the middle of the night after marathon negotiations that included secret, high-level diplomacy carried out over the past year.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Secretary Kerry defended the plan, which does not require Iran to dismantle its nuclear program.

"... We will be negotiating the dismantling, we will be negotiating the
limitations. But you can't always start where you want to wind up," he said.

Under the plan, Iran agrees to freeze its nuclear program and open its nuclear facilities to daily inspection by international officials.

In return, the Tehran regime gets $6 to $7 billion in relief from international sanctions battering its economy – and no new sanctions.

The deal is only temporary, a stopgap whose terms are only for six months. Any more comprehensivve of a deal is expected to be much tougher.

"For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the
Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back," said President Obama.

But the pact brought a sharp rebuke from Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is calling it a “historic mistake” and adding that Israel is not bound by the deal.

Some Republicans are also skeptical.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) says, "Now is just not the time to ease sanctions when they are working. We've got all of the leverage in the negotiation. And we've let them out of the trap."

Meanwhile in Iran, their negotiation team returned home to a heroes’ welcome.

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