(MONTREUX, Switzerland) — As peace talks continue to end the ongoing civil war in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had harsh words for Syrian President Bashad al-Assad. Saying that the leader is not ready to move forward, Kerry commented on the changes that could come to the country if Assad did not stand in the way.
“Assad needs to put Syria in front of Assad,” he said in an interview with Al Arabiya News. “This should not be about one man, one family. This should be about Syria, the future of Syria, and Assad right now is the one person who stands in the way of peace and the future of Syria.”
The secretary of state also suggested that in a post-Assad era, it was possible that U.S. allies could keep peacekeeping troops in Syria. Though there would be no American troops on the ground, he said he had “no question” that several countries had resources to keep troops in the country.
State Department Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said there isn’t anything in the works in response to Kerry’s comments. What he may have been referring to, she said, were ongoing discussions about what could progress from Syria’s current state.
Regarding Iran’s nuclear program, Kerry acknowledged the fact that the country could resume enriching uranium above prohibited levels if they decide to back out on the deal that recently went into effect.
“…If they broke out, if they decided, well they’re going to throw this agreement away….sure they can turn this agreement around,” Kerry said. “But guess what? If they do that, then the military option that is available to the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Rafael Romo and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN