After sending a letter to the foreign minister of Iran, Republicans in Congress now face criticism for interfering in ongoing talks between the volatile nation and the White House.
The letter warned Iran that any negotiations that are made with President Barack Obama may be revoked after a new president is elected in 2016. Originally, 47 of the 54 Republicans in the U.S. Senate voiced their approval of the letter by signing it, but some have since distanced themselves from the controversy that it has become.
Many of the Republicans who signed support the idea of the letter, due to Obama failing to discuss the detailed and secretive talks the administration has been having with the leaders of Iran. The president has also threatened a veto on any bill that authorizes Congress receiving the final say on whether the negotiations will become legitimate or not.
Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, who did not sign the letter, said on March 10, “I think that, no doubt, the fact that the president, you know, issued a veto threat on a very common-sense piece of legislation, probably evoked, you know, a good deal of passion.”
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While Republicans in Congress were concerned about the president’s threats, others thought the perception of the ongoing feud between Obama and Republicans was creating too much negative publicity for America around the world.
Richard Haass, who is the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations and previously worked in the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, voiced his concern about how the U.S. is currently being viewed internationally.
“If you are a country in the Middle East or Asia relying on Washington, this raises questions about America’s predictability. I hear this all the time. I just know it makes others around the world more uncomfortable and contributes to a more dangerous and disorderly world.”
Members of the GOP continued to press Obama on opening up dialogue with Congress about the ongoing talks, which are set to continue in Lausanne, Switzerland on March 15.
“I’m not going to sit here and defend the letter,” said Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger. “But the letter might never have been written had the administration been more open with members of the Senate and members of the House about what was going on and what their goals are.”
The current talks between Iran and the U.S. deal with halting any chance of Iran using its nuclear energy facilities to build weapons of mass destruction. For years, Iran has insisted it only uses its nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but many remain skeptical of the nation’s statement.
Photo Credit: Barack Obama via Flickr Creative Commons