Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran could open its secret underground uranium enrichment facility to international inspectors as one step to show the world it was serious about not becoming a nuclear power. Kerry also told Scott Pelley what it would take for the U.S. to begin lifting sanctions against Iran and how quickly it could happen. Pelley's interview with Kerry came hours before the Secretary of State met with Iran's foreign minister at the UN. It will be broadcast on the 46th season premiere of 60 Minutes on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/Pt.
An excerpt of the interview appeared on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.
A transcript of the interview is below:
Pelley: Give me an example, one concrete step, one thing that they can do to assure the world that they're giving up their ambitions.
Kerry: They could immediately open up the inspection of the Fordow facility -- a secret facility and underground in the mountains, fortified and unquestionably not something that a peaceful program would be doing. They could immediately sign the protocols, the additional protocols of the international community regarding inspections. They could offer to cease voluntarily to take enrichment above a certain level, keep it at a very low level because there's no need to have it at a higher level for a peaceful program -- number of things they could do, Scott.
Pelley: Enrichment of uranium, which is what happens at Fordow.
Pelley: What bold step could the United States take right now to answer this apparent opening by the Iranians?
Kerry: Well, providing that the Iranians take concrete steps, I'm confident they would have an expectation that the United States is going to respond by perhaps adjusting the sanctions regime that we have today, by setting up a process that shows them how they can have this peaceful program without disturbing our efforts to make sure that no country is now going to build nuclear weapons.
Pelley: But the United States would look favorably on relaxing or eliminating the sanctions if the Iranians were serious about abandoning their nuclear weapon.
Kerry: Well, the United States is not going to lift the sanctions until it is clear that a very verifiable, accountable, transparent process is in place, whereby we know exactly what Iran is going be doing with its program.
Pelley: Rouhani said he'd like to have a deal in three to six months. Is that possible?
Kerry: Sure, it's possible. It's possible to have a deal sooner than that depending on how forthcoming and clear Iran is prepared to be.