US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz says he is “confident” that the Republican-weighted Congress will finally approve a nuclear conclusion between Iran and the global powers.
In an interview with American online news aggregator Huffington Post, the top US negotiator in Iran talks said the US lawmakers will approve the agreement, dubbed Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“I’m certainly confident that it’s a very good deal and I’m fairly confident that it will, in the end, be approved,” Moniz said.
With a Republican majority, the pro-Israel US Congress has been taking steps to hamper the agreement with Iran against the backdrop of a row with the Democratic White House.
“Frankly, there have not been particularly good alternatives offered,” to the nuclear agreement, Moniz noted.
GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee suggested on Sunday that the nuclear accord was akin to marching “the Israelis to the door of the oven,” a reference to the holocaust.
Moniz said he was taken aback by Huckabee’s comments, adding, “I think that we need to have a serious discussion about what this agreement accomplishes. It accomplishes a lot.”
The top American negotiator, who mostly held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, during meetings, further expressed hope that the agreement would “earn the trust of the international community in the purely peaceful nature of their nuclear program.”
Moniz said it was “disappointing” that some in the US political system have opposed the nuclear conclusion “before they even saw the agreement.”
The Republican Party members, including the presidential hopefuls, have criticized the outcome of talks with Iran.
Jeb Bush has called it a “terrible deal” while Marco Rubio labeled it “a dangerous and destabilizing failure.”
Rick Perry has also pledged to kill the agreement as “one of my first official acts” as president.
After months of tough negotiations, Iran and the P5+1 – the US, Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany – finally succeeded in finalizing the text of the JCPOA in Vienna on July 14.
Under the agreement, restrictions will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.