The Obama administration's handling of the nuclear talks with Iran shows the need for the controversial letter he wrote to Iran's leaders, Sen. Tom Cotton said Sunday on "Face the Nation."
Cotton and 46 other Republican senators signed the open letter, explaining to Iran that any nuclear deal signed by the White House isn't binding if not ratified by Congress.
Republicans, along with several Democrats, are angry that President Barack Obama is not allowing Congress a voice in the talks.
"Iran's leaders needed to hear the message loud and clear. I can tell you they are not hearing that message from Geneva," where the talks are being held, Cotton said. "In fact, if you look at the response of the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, it underscores the need for the letter in the first place. ... He thinks that international law can override our Constitution."
Zarif called the letter a "propaganda ploy" and said it has "no legal value."
The letter has draw fire even from some Republicans who say it serves no purpose other than scuttling the negotiations.
Secretary of State John Kerry himself told CBS the letter was an"unconstitutional, unthought-out action" written by someone who has been in the Senate for little more than 60 days.
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Cotton told host Bob Schieffer he was surprised to hear Kerry use such descriptives, since the secretary had testified before the Senate just this past week that the agreement wouldn't be binding without congressional approval.
"Now he says that future Congresses can't change a mere executive agreement if we disagree with them or if a future president disagrees with them?" Cotton said. "That's not the way our constitutional system works."
In response to Kerry and others who have pointed out Cotton's short time in the Senate, he noted his previous tenure in the House where he was part of a 400-member majority that sought for almost two years to impose tougher sanctions on Iran.
He compared Iran to North Korea, which agreed not to use its nuclear program for military purposes in the early 1990s.
"They almost immediately started cheating on it, and a mere 12 years later they detonated their first nuclear weapon," he said. "Now the world has to live with the consequences of a nuclear North Korea. I don't want to live with the consequences of nuclear Iran."
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