Kerry: Countries 'chomping at the bit' for Iranian markets

Kerry: Countries 'chomping at the bit' for Iranian markets
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Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in MORE said on Wednesday that international businesses are eager for the market opportunities Iran presents.

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“There are countries chomping at the bit to do business,” he told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Kerry also said  critics of his landmark nuclear deal with Tehran are mistaken when they argue the deal provides American funding to Iran’s coffers.

“It is not our money, it is their money,” he said, noting that any cash assets Iran receives are its own, currently frozen via economic sanctions. “We don’t hold it in American banks.”

Kerry argued that this economic reality makes congressional approval of President Obama’s agreement with Iran essential.

“Iran is already a threshold nation,” he said, citing Iran’s potential for atomic weapons. “If this agreement is in place, we will certainly know what Iran is doing.”

“The fastest way to an arms race in the Middle East is not having this deal,” Kerry added.

Kerry’s remarks come as Obama works to win support for his historic Iran pact among lawmakers in Congress.

Obama is currently one senator’s vote shy of blocking Republicans from a two-thirds majority needed to overcome a potential veto.

Congress is voting Sept. 17 on a resolution either approving or disproving of the historic accord, which eases economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for greater restrictions on its nuclear energy capabilities.