Secretary of State John
Kerry and Foreign Minister
Zarif take a stroll
in Geneva during a break in the talks.
Republicans Don't Understand their Own Constitution!' (Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Days ago, 47 U.S. Senators, all Republican, sent a letter to Iranian leaders to 'advise them' that under the U.S. Constitution, President Obama cannot conclude a 'binding international treaty' without Congressional approval. According to this news account from Iran's state-run Kayhan, the response from Iran Foreign Minister Zarif was that evidently, it is the Republican senators that don't understand their own constitution, and that the letter is a 'propaganda ploy' showing the Unted States cannot be trusted.
U.S. Republicans have sent Iran a letter to say that any
nuclear deal could be scrapped once President Barack Obama leaves office. Foreign
Minister Mohammad JavadZarif
said yesterday [March 9] that this suggests that the United States is "not
trustworthy" and that "This kind of communication is unprecedented
Zarif linked the letter to
Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress last week, in which the leader
of the occupying regime argued against the emerging agreement.
"A propaganda campaign began with Netanyahu's speech to
Congress and this is their second ploy," Zarif
said. "While there is no agreement yet, a group is commenting on its
nature. That a group is opposed to reaching an agreement in
unfortunate. We insist that any possible deal should be one in which our
people's rights are observed and we are certain that measures will be taken to
achieve such a deal," he said.
Click Here to Read the Letter from 47 Republican senators.
The White House and congressional Democrats also denounced
the letter, accusing the senators of trying to sabotage negotiations. President
Obama called it an attempt to undermine the administration's foreign policy.
In the letter, the 47 Senate Republicans say that any deal
is only an "executive agreement" that may not last beyond Obama's
presidency, which ends on Jan. 20, 2017.
"The next president could revoke such an executive
agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms
of the agreement at any time," said the letter, which was pushed primarily
by freshman Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
As the nuclear talks continue, White House spokesman Josh
Earnest described the Republican letter as "the continuation of a partisan
strategy to undermine the president's ability to conduct foreign policy."
The letter is essentially designed to "throw sand in
the gears" of ongoing talks, Earnest said, which is not
a "role that our Founding Fathers envisioned for Congress to play when it
comes to foreign policy."
Posted By Worldmeets.US
Obama, speaking after a meeting
with European Council President Donald Tusk, noted that an agreement with Iran
has yet to be reached. If there is, the president said, "then we'll be
able to make the case to the American people, and I'm confident we'll be able
to implement it."
In recent weeks, the Obama Administration has criticized House
Republican leaders for inviting Netanyahu to address a joint session of
Congress on Iran.
Some Congressional lawmakers have objected to the prospect
that if arrived at, Obama might not submit the agreement for congressional
approval. They have also discussed the possibility of boosting sanctions on
Iran, although Obama Administration officials have said such a move would hurt
Criticizing that letter, Earnest noted that many signers
simply oppose any nuclear agreement with Iran.
Vice President Joseph Biden said the letter was
"expressly designed to undercut a sitting president in the midst of sensitive
international negotiations. … It was beneath the dignity
of the institution I revere,” Biden said in a statement.
Zarif said he was astonished by
the letter, which he said suggested that U.S. lawmakers "not only don't
understand international law but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of
their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of
The Iranian minister said, "In our view, this letter
has no legal value and is for the most part a propaganda ploy."
Many U.S. commentators note that the letter, like the
Republican invitation to Netanyahu, marked a dramatic break from traditions
that partisan politics should "stop at the water’s edge” and not spread criticism
of U.S. defense and security policy abroad.