Kerry to Syria: 'The Threat of Force Is Real'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Syria on Sunday that the U.S. “threat of force is real.”

Speaking in Jerusalem flanked by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kerry made the warning a day after the U.S. and Russia reached a “framework” on Syria’s chemical weapons.

“The threat of force is real and the Assad regime and all those taking part need to understand that President Obama and the United States are committed to achieve this goal,” Kerry said.

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“We cannot have hollow words in the conduct of international affairs, because that affects all other issues, whether Iran or North Korea or others,” he said.

Netanyahu echoed Kerry’s comments from Saturday, saying, “if diplomacy has any chance to work, it must be coupled with a credible military threat.”

Kerry also implied that Iran should still worry about the threat of U.S. military force. “My suspicion is that the Iranians recognize they shouldn’t draw a lesson that we haven’t struck [Syria] to think we won’t strike Iran,” Haaretz reports Kerry as saying.

And after the talks with Kerry, Netanyahu said, “The determination the international community shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime’s patron Iran. Iran must understand the consequences of its continual defiance of the international community by its pursuit towards nuclear weapons.”