Kerry Won’t Say Iran Deal Would Have Been Nixed if Iran Didn’t Return Hostages

‘Within a matter of very few hours we did what could not have been done a year ago, two years ago, three years ago’

BLITZER: "We're back with secretary of state John Kerry. Mr. Secretary, you were a sailor in the Navy. When you saw those ten American sailors with their hands over their heads on their knees, was that enough for you -- did you threaten the Iranians, javad zarif, the foreign minister, the U.S. Was going to walk away from this deal unless they were immediately released?" 
KERRY: "Suffice to say I don't want to get into precise language. I think that's inappropriate. But let me make it clear, I was extremely upset, frustrated. It was inappropriate. And I made it very, very clear to the Iranians that we need those people back and we needed them right away." 
BLITZER: "What would have happened if they wouldn't have returned?" 
KERRY: "I don't think it does any purpose -- I want to, you know, my counterpart foreign minister zarif responded promptly. He could not have been more serious. He understood the gravity of the situation. President rowhani, others engaged. And within a matter of very few hours we did what could not have been done a year ago, two years ago, three years ago. We wouldn't have known who to call three years ago. Maybe the Swiss, maybe the British. That could have become a major hostage situation. It could have been very, very dangerous. But because we have a channel of communication, because we have worked on this nuclear agreement we were able to resolve this. That is very important."

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