US's Kerry to reassure Gulf states on Iran nuclear deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry, pictured on July 20, 2015 in Washington, DC, intends to reassure Gulf Arab states about the nuclear agreement signed last week with Iran (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
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Dubai (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that he intends to reassure Gulf Arab states about the nuclear agreement signed last week with Iran.

"I am going to go through in great detail all of the ways in which this agreement, in fact, makes the Gulf states and the region safer," Kerry told Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television.

He was speaking ahead of a meeting on August 3 in Qatar with the foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Kerry said he would also discuss with the ministers what they and Washington could do "to push back against the terror and counterterrorism efforts and other activities in the region that are very alarming to them".

He said he thought the talks would be "very reassuring".

Most of the GCC nations -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- were guarded in their response to the nuclear accord between Shiite Iran and the world powers in Vienna.

Kerry downplayed fears that the lifting of sanctions and subsequent unfreezing of its funds would see Iran strengthen its army and its allies in the region.

"Let me ask you a simple question: who has more cash? Saudi Arabia and the Emirates and Qatar, or Iran?" he responded when asked about this.

Asked about comments by Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who denounced what he called US "arrogance" and said the battle against it would continue, Kerry said: "If it is the policy, it's very disturbing."

"But that's one of the reasons for my meeting with all of the Gulf states; it's one of the reasons for our being very attentive to guaranteeing the security of the region."

On Yemen, Kerry advocated a political solution to the conflict between the Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels and the government of President Abedrabbo Hadi Mansour.

"Obviously, it would be better to have a political resolution, but you have to have people willing to sit down and negotiate," he said.