Iran's foreign minister tells Republicans: 'Read your Constitution'

Zarif calls Republican letter to Iranian leaders "a propaganda ploy" that was "unconventional" and "unprecedented in diplomatic history."

March 10, 2015 09:07
1 minute read.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif addresses a news conference after a meeting in Vienna November 24. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, took aim at Senate Republicans on Tuesday for a letter co-signed by a number of deputies warning that any agreement struck between the Islamic Republic and the Obama administration would not be binding for a future president.

Zarif posted a response to the letter on his Twitter account, calling it "a propaganda ploy" that was "unconventional" and "unprecedented in diplomatic history."

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"This indicates that like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content," the foreign minister wrote.

The controversy erupted on Monday after 47 Republican caucus members sent a letter to Tehran warning of their intent to undermine any future multilateral agreement.

Opposed to the deal under discussion, which would temporarily cap, restrict, roll back and monitor Iran’s nuclear work, Senate Republicans informed Iran that such a deal would be a “mere executive agreement” without a vote of congressional approval.

“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen,” reads the letter, written by Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), a junior senator, “and any future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded harshly, characterizing the letter as the “continuation of a partisan strategy to undermine the president’s authority.”

Michael Wilner Contributed to this report.

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