President Obama responded to news of an “open letter” from Senate Republicans to Iran over the ongoing nuclear talks by accusing them of aligning themselves with “hardliners” in Iran’s government in opposing the process.
The hardline conservatives in Iran’s parliament have opposed the deal on the grounds that the US couldn’t be trusted to honor their side of the bargain. The Republican letter indeed borrows heavily from that narrative, warning Iranians that any deal they make with President Obama will just be dishonored, either by Congress or by the next US president.
Senate hawks have been trying to violate the interim nuclear deal by imposing new sanctions, but have so far failed to get enough support to override a presidential veto.
Their warning to Iran, in essence, is that sooner or later they’ll get enough votes to override a veto, or get a president in power who won’t veto deliberate US violation of the terms of the deal, to kill the deal.
Iranian officials are so far not taking the threat too seriously, with FM Javad Zarif dismissing it as a propaganda ploy, and saying international law didn’t support the letter’s claim that the US could just dishonor the pact at will in the future.