During an interview with VICE NEWS, President Barack Obama communicated his embarrassment with Republican senators who, evading his authority and effecting foreign policy, warned in a letter to Iranian leadership the possibility of dissolving any nuclear deals made by the administration after the president leaves office.
“I’m embarrassed for them,” the president remarked. “For them to address a letter to the ayatollah — the supreme leader of Iran, who they claim is our mortal enemy — and their basic argument to them is: don’t deal with our president, because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement… That’s close to unprecedented.”
The 47 signatories to the letter included Republican Senate leadership and potential presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.
The president condemned the Republican senator’s lack of respect toward the role of the presidency.
The letter suggested that a nuclear agreement lacking congressional support may not last long term.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system,” the letter stated. “Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement. . . . 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.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to the letter Tuesday. Khamenei called attention to the standard that these arrangements be honored despite changing governments.
Khamenei also suggested that a group of senators threatening to nullify a government’s commitments after it leaves power could be “the ultimate collapse of political ethics and the disintegration of the U.S. system.”
[Vice News] [Reuters]