GOP Oversteps Chain of Command in Iran Letter

Picture of letter head for Iran nuclear deal warning.

The USA Senate letter head was used in the warning to Iran.

47 Republican senators issued Tehran warnings that nuclear deals may only be good until 2017 if the next president disagrees. Democrats and republicans are reacting to the letter as this news is coming out.

Obama’s Democrats said the letter to the leadership in Iran could damage diplomatic talks and could lead to war with Tehran.

The Letter to Iran with the US Senate Letterhead

The following is the letter:

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 congressionalexecutive
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.


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