Ernest Moniz: US withdrawal from Iran deal would be ‘foolish’
The nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries has a lot of merits and it would be “foolish” for the next American president to withdraw from it, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says.
“The next president could certainly withdraw from the deal. It’s a political arrangement, basically,” Moniz told CBS News on Tuesday night.
“However, we believe that a year and a half from now, the merits of the deal are likely to be very, very clear and it would certainly be a foolish step, to be perfectly honest,” he maintained.
The US official also dismissed allegations that Iran is hiding evidence of possessing military-grade nuclear material.
“There have been allusions to throwing drugs down the toilet. It doesn’t work that way with nuclear material,” he said.
On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany – finalized the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after months of tough negotiations.
Some Republican presidential hopefuls have strongly opposed the nuclear agreement and have threatened to revoke it on the first day of their presidency.
For instance, Senator Ted Cruz has vowed to immediately “rip to shreds” the internationally-negotiated nuclear agreement with Iran.
“If I am elected president, on the very first day in office I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal,” he said during the second GOP presidential debate.
Analysts say Republican candidates are opposing the nuclear agreement to avoid angering the Israel lobby and preventing their Democratic rivals from getting any political advantage by resolving the Iranian nuclear issue.
Washington appointed a lead coordinator for implementing the JCPOA, after the Republican-dominated Congress failed to block the accord by the end of 60-day period it was given to review it.