Skip to main content
Tags: iran | senate | letter | nuclear deal | bob corker

Iran Letter May Backfire on Senate, GOP Opponents Warn

By    |   Tuesday, 10 March 2015 08:51 AM EDT

After 47 senators sent a letter to the leaders of Iran denouncing the nuclear deal currently being negotiated, some in the GOP believe the move could backfire.

In an open letter Monday, Republican lawmakers warned that any nuclear deal Iran's leaders cut with President Barack Obama could expire the day he leaves office. The letter was an attempt to make it more difficult for Obama and five world powers to strike an initial agreement by the end of March to limit Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes.

But some dissenters are saying the move will undermine Republicans' ability to get Democrats to sign on to a congressional vote to approve or reject an Iran deal, Politico reported.

Specifically, Republicans will need the support of Democrats to alter the deal, but the letter could create an atmosphere of excessive partisanship, limiting the ability of the two parties to come together and debate the agreement brought by the administration, Politico said.

"I knew it was going to be only Republicans on [the letter]. I just don't view that as where I need to be today," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who refused to sign the letter, told Politico. "My goal is to get 67 or more people on something that will affect the outcome."

Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins was also skeptical of her colleagues' tactic of going over the White House and directly to Tehran to address a foreign policy issue.

"It's more appropriate for members of the Senate to give advice to the president, to Secretary [of State John] Kerry and to the negotiators," Collins said, according to Politico.

"I don't think that the ayatollah is going to be particularly convinced by a letter from members of the Senate, even one signed by a number of my distinguished and high ranking colleagues."

Democrats are also warning that Republicans have risked alienating the 12 or so Democrats who had pledged to support Republicans on a sanctions bill, or a separate measure that would allow Congress to reject a deal with Iran.

"It really makes it difficult. There was a time in Congress where politics stopped at the water’s edge on foreign policy. We gave the president whatever he needed to do his best. We could debate it, disagree with it," said Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, according to Politico.

"Now I'm afraid we've reached a level here with that letter. It's just, I could not think of a more overt effort to jeopardize peace negotiations."

The New York Daily News ran a cover headline — "Traitors" — to describe those lawmakers who signed the letter. In addition, there is a petition on the White House website accusing Republicans of treason. It already has at least 6,000 signatures. 

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden also blasted the senators for sending the letter, saying it was "beneath the dignity of an institution I revere."

He said it undermines the White House's ability to negotiate with other countries and that the senators were sending a "false" and "dangerous" signal to other nations in trying to halt the negotiations.

"The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere," Biden wrote.

"This letter, in the guise of a constitutional lesson, ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American President, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States."

He added, "In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the President does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them.

"This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America's commitments — a message that is as false as it is dangerous."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

After 47 Republican senators sent a letter to the leaders of Iran denouncing the nuclear deal currently being negotiated, some in the GOP believe the move could backfire, creating an atmosphere of excessive partisanship that will limit the Senate's ability to debate any agreement reached.
iran, senate, letter, nuclear deal, bob corker
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 08:51 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved