From "Addicting Info."
Republicans are desperate to derail historic peace talks between the United States and Iran and things are getting unimaginably ugly.
In a move that is perhaps singular in all of American history, Republicans in Congress went behind the backs of President Obama’s administration and wrote a letter to the leaders of Iran explicitly telling them to ignore any kind of nuclear deal Obama may extend. Going a step further, the group of 47 Republican lawmakers made a de facto guarantee that regardless of the outcome of the talks, they would fight tooth-and-nail to ensure that the deal never gets ratified.
Take a moment to marvel at that position for a moment: They haven’t even seen the plan, have no idea what items are being discussed, yet have dismissed even considering it out of hand. It boggles the mind.
In the letter, addressed to “the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the group does its best to condescend and offend, taking the tone of a teacher speaking to a dimwitted child.
It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution – the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices – which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.
The letter goes on to painstakingly explain how the different branches of the United States government work (a process the Iranians undoubtedly already know), while suggesting that Obama has almost no power to make any kind of deal – even while experts and insiders say negotiations are actually making good headway and may be close to being finalized.
But the letter takes an even more outrageous approach when the group reminds the Iranians that “the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms.” Later adding: “President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then – perhaps decades.”
The message is clear: Don’t you dare think about dealing with the president, because we will spend the rest of our lives (in some cases, quite literally) destroying you, if only out of spite.
This letter is a gesture that, if viewed by the norms of history, borders on treason, and comes directly on the heels of the Republicans last gambit: Inviting Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give a speech at a joint session of Congress without informing President Obama. Again, the move was a calculated effort to undermine any deal by inciting animosity from Iran and sending a message to the world that the Republicans in Congress will not support the president no matter what so don’t bother talking to our leader.
Dealing with Iran, and working towards a realistic deal regarding their nuclear ambitions is obviously rife with pitfalls. Any negotiation can only be described as a high-wire act that tasks diplomats with balancing a million different interests and concerns. To watch as members of Congress actively seek to undermine this historic treaty with a country that almost never agrees to come to the table is heartbreaking and infuriating.
Thankfully, there are signs to suggest Iran views Congressional Republicans as about as silly as Americans do. What’s more, their threats are ringing hollow. According to Bloomberg:
Experts who support the White House’s Iran negotiations say such threats are largely bluster, and that if the Obama administration is able to reach a deal with Iran now, it will be very hard for the next president to stand against it…
After all, said [Executive Director of the Council for a Livable World John] Isaacs, the next president wouldn’t just be derailing a U.S.-Iran agreement, but undoing the work of seven countries, including close U.S. allies such as the U.K. and Germany. If a deal is working at least reasonably well until 2017, and the Iranians are mostly complying, efforts to change or repeal it would risk putting the U.S. and Iran back on a path to war — or at least that is the argument the pact’s supporters will make.
While the deal continues despite the Republicans attempts, this most recent shameless ploy can only make things harder for the Obama administration. If talks stall, Republicans will likely celebrate, even as the country suffers the consequences of yet another failed attempt at diplomacy in the Middle East.
More from another source...
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) appeared on "Fox and Friends" this morning to discuss the open letter he and 46 of his Republican colleagues in the Senate are sending today to Iranian leaders about the ongoing nuclear negotiations between their country and the U.S.
"Many Iran experts say that Iran's leaders don't understand our Constitution," Cotton said. "So they need to understand that under our Constitution, Congress plays a very important role of approving international agreements. And any deal that isn't approved by the Congress won't be accepted by the Congress, now or in the future."
Cotton said he hopes more Republicans, Democrats and possible presidential candidates also sign the letter.
"We already have four Senators on the letter who are thinking about running for president," Cotton revealed. "Rick Perry said last week that he wouldn't honor a deal that doesn't go through Congress. I've spoken privately with other presidential candidates who might join us. And for that matter, I would encourage Hillary Clinton to join us in saying that Congress must approve any nuclear deal with Iran."
"Many Senate Democrats have been strong on this issue. They think that we need to approve any nuclear deal with Iran, but the White House is putting a lot of pressure on Senate Democrats to hold their fire," Cotton explained.
Cotton said they don't know yet what the final terms of the proposed agreement are, but he does know that National Security Advisor Susan Rice has already conceded that Iran will have a robust nuclear enrichment capability.
Cotton added that the president has said that this deal will have a sunset clause, perhaps as soon as ten years.
"Those two terms alone make this deal unacceptable, dangerous to the United States and dangerous to the world," Cotton stated.
Watch more above and read the open letter below.
The Text and a list of Names...
An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.
First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.
Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.
What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as 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.
We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.
Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR
Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT
Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA
Senator Mitch McConnell, R-KY
Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL
Senator John McCain, R-AZ
Senator James Inhofe, R-OK
Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS
Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL
Senator Michael Enzi, R-WY
Senator Michael Crapo, R-ID
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC
Senator John Cornyn, R-TX
Senator Richard Burr, R-NC
Senator John Thune, R-SD
Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA
Senator David Vitter, R-LA
Senator John A. Barrasso, R-WY
Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS
Senator Jim Risch, R-ID
Senator Mark Kirk, R-IL
Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO
Senator Jerry Moran, R-KS
Senator Rob Portman, R-OH
Senator John Boozman, R-AR
Senator Pat Toomey, R-PA
Senator John Hoeven, R-ND
Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL
Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI
Senator Rand Paul, R-KY
Senator Mike Lee, R-UT
Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH
Senator Dean Heller, R-NV
Senator Tim Scott, R-SC
Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX
Senator Deb Fischer, R-NE
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV
Senator Bill Cassidy, R-LA
Senator Cory Gardner, R-CO
Senator James Lankford, R-OK
Senator Steve Daines, R-MT
Senator Mike Rounds, R-SD
Senator David Perdue, R-GA
Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC
Senator Joni Ernst, R-IA
Senator Ben Sasse, R-NE
Senator Dan Sullivan, R-AK