The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, says his country is the winning party even if the Iran nuclear deal fails to receive approval from the US Congress in the upcoming September vote.

Whether or not the Iran nuclear deal wins consent from the US Congress, which is slated to vote on the issue next month, the Islamic Republic has already achieved its goal, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), stated at a gathering in Tehran on Sunday, Fars News Agency (FNA) reports.

“The fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA – the nuclear agreement signed July 15 in Vienna by Iran and the P5+1) is not fully clear yet, since there is commotion in the US, and the Congress and the US administration have stood up to each other,” Salehi said, according to FNA.

US Secretary of State John Kerry faced skeptical lawmakers at a recent Congress hearing on the deal and warned them not to nix it, insisting that it includes strict inspections and other safeguards to deter cheating by Tehran.

“No matter [whether] the JCPoA is approved or disapproved by the US Congress and even if Obama fails to do anything, we will be the winning party,” Salehi asserted.

If Congress does not approve the deal, he continued, Iran will still be the winner because “then the US will face problems in maintaining its political credibility and improving its economic conditions, while Iran has not violated the norms and has complied with its undertakings.”

Salehi and Kerry: On the Same Page?

Salehi’s comment seems to support Kerry’s recent warnings at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York, where he took aim at those in Congress who say a better deal could still be reached. That argument would entail the US maintaining or increasing pressure on Iran by threatening foreign governments and businesses trading with Tehran or buying Iranian oil, a strategy that both President Barack Obama and Republicans credit with drawing Iran into serious nuclear negotiations two years ago.

US Secretary of State John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Now that the pact has been finalized, Kerry said such a heavy-handed approach was no longer an option.

“Are you kidding me?” he asked the crowd. “The United States is going to start sanctioning our allies and their banks and their businesses because we walked away from a deal? And we’re going to force them to do what we want them to do, even though they agreed to the deal we came to?”

Kerry warned of severe consequences for pursuing such an approach after the agreement had been accepted by Iran and fellow negotiating countries Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — and endorsed by all 15 members of the UN Security Council.

He said that European governments could walk away from the US-led sanctions strategy against Russia, that the US and Israel would have no support for military action against Iran, if such action were necessary, and he presented an apocalyptic scenario in which the US dollar would lose its status as the reserve currency of the world.

By: Atara Beck, United with Israel

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