The plan agreed upon by Russia and the US is to follow a "tightly fixed schedule” that envisions international monitors taking control of Syria’s chemical weapons until they can be destroyed or removed from the country by mid-2014, a timetable that will be difficult to meet even if Assad’s regime cooperates.
Under the pact, Syria must submit a "comprehensive listing" of its chemical weapons stockpiles within one week, Mr Kerry said.
The goal, he said, was the complete destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of 2014.
Mr Kerry said that if Syria did not comply with the agreement, which must be finalised by the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), it would face consequences under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the part that covers sanctions and military action.
The comments by Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar to a Russian state news agency were the first by a senior Syrian government official on the deal struck a day earlier in Geneva. Under the agreement, Syria will provide an inventory of its chemical arsenal within one week and hand over all of the components of its program by mid-2014.
"We welcome these agreements," Haidar was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti agency. "On the one hand, they will help Syrians get out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they averted a war against Syria by removing the pretext for those who wanted to unleash one."