WASHINGTON (JTA) – Any nuclear agreement signed with President Barack Obama could end when he leaves office, a letter to Iran’s leaders signed by 47 Republican senators threatened.
The letter, first obtained by Bloomberg View, explains that without congressional approval, any agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear capabilities is “nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. 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.”
The March 9 letter, initiated by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), also was signed by potential presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).
“President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then – perhaps decades,” the letter states. It points out that the Senate must ratify any treaty negotiated by the president by a two-thirds vote, part of an abbreviated lesson in the U.S. Constitutional system provided in the letter.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) decried the letter as “inappropriate.”
“This is a brazen attempt by Senate Republicans to sabotage negotiations aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” she said in a statement. “This bizarre, inappropriate letter is a desperate ploy to scuttle a comprehensive agreement and the chance for a peaceful resolution, which is in the best interests of the United States, Israel and the world.”