Tags: Iran | Tom Cotton | Iran letter | backlash | no regrets

Sen. Tom Cotton Won't Back Down on Iran Letter

Sen. Tom Cotton Won't Back Down on Iran Letter
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 March 2015 11:51 AM

As both praise and blame cascade around him for authoring a letter warning Iran's rulers that any nuclear agreement they reach with the Obama administration can be wiped out "with the stroke of a pen," Sen. Tom Cotton is not backing down an inch.

Cotton, R-Arkansas, has been lambasted from one side, mostly Democrats, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also chimed in, and he's been labeled a "traitor" by some.

But Cotton's been lauded by others, mostly Republicans, who have begun to speculate that the 37-year-old, the youngest member of the Senate, would make prime presidential material in 2020.

Rich Lowry, writing in Politico, stated: "Cotton's alleged sedition is hard to fathom. It's not as though he wrote secret letters to the Iranians (that's what Obama has made a practice of doing). It's not as though he traveled to a foreign country to glad-hand a foreign thug in an express effort to undermine the president's foreign policy (that's what then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi did when she went to Damascus and met with Bashar Assad).

"Do Cotton's antagonists not realize that Iranian nuclear negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif works for Khamenei and that if there is any deal, the Supreme Leader will have to sign off on it? It is Obama who has been wooing the most powerful hard-liner in Iran, unless we are supposed to believe that Khamenei himself is now a moderate."
  
Writing in USA Today, Cotton, a former infantry leader with tours of Iraq and Afghanistan and a Bronze Star medal, stuck to his guns, criticizing Obama's unilateral negotiating without taking Congress into consideration.

"If the president won't share our role in the process with his negotiating partner, we won't hesitate to do it ourselves," Cotton wrote.

"Regrettably, it appears the deal President Obama is negotiating with Iran will not be a good one. In fact, if reports are correct, it will be a bad one that will ultimately allow Iran to continue its nuclear program and ultimately develop a nuclear weapon."

Cotton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton squared off on Twitter, with Clinton tweeting: "GOP letter to Iranian clerics undermines American leadership. No one considering running for commander-in-chief should be signing on," and Cotton responding: "No, @HillaryClinton, letter to Iran helps protect USA from bad deal. No CINC should allow world's worst regimes to get world's worst weapon," Fox News reported.

Without question, Cotton's letter hit a raw nerve and pointed out the bitter divisions between Obama and the GOP-controlled Congress. Khameini blasted the letter, calling it "a sign of the decay of political ethics in the American system," AOL reported.

However, Cotton, speaking on Fox News, said: "This is not about partisan politics. This is about stopping Iran from getting a bomb.

"The founding fathers insisted that Congress have the power to ensure that no president, whoever he or she may be, can make a binding international agreement, especially one about nuclear weapons with the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism."

Watch the video here.

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As both praise and blame cascade around him for authoring a letter warning Iran's rulers that any nuclear agreement they reach with the Obama Administration can be wiped out "with the stroke of a pen," Sen. Tom Cotton is not backing down an inch.
Tom Cotton, Iran letter, backlash, no regrets
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2015-51-12
Thursday, 12 March 2015 11:51 AM
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