WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State John Kerry says both Israel and Egypt pushed the United States to "bomb Iran" before the 2015 nuclear deal was struck.

Kerry is defending the deal during a forum in Washington. He says kings and foreign presidents told the U.S. that bombing was the only language Iran would understand. But Kerry says that was "a trap" in many ways because the same countries would have publicly criticized the U.S. if it bombed.

Kerry says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "genuinely agitating toward action."

Kerry says he doesn't know whether Iran will resume pursuing a nuclear weapon in 10 to 15 years after restrictions in the deal sunset. But he says it was the best deal the U.S. could get.