Senate Republicans wrote a letter to Iran’s leaders that complicated international negotiation between the United States and Iran by explaining the limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions.
The United States wishes to see Iran freeze most of its nuclear enrichment program for at least 10 years. The negotiation will also include restrictions. In exchange for Iran’s corporation, the U.S. And other countries would gradually lift economic sanctions, yet maintain monitoring of nuclear facilities.
A senior Obama administration official confirmed that the letter was written by freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) and signed by 47 of the 54 Republican senators. Tehran, the capital city of Iran, has been demanding an explanation behind the letter, especially when the countries have been pushing to complete the agreement.
The letter warned Iranian leaders that if President Obama does not receive congressional approval for the agreement, it could be voided “with the stroke of a pen” by a future president, and that future congressmen could modify the agreement “at any time” if lawmakers consider it too lenient.
“I like the idea that the republicans sent this letter because if the future president did change something, Iran would definitely be angry about it, which is scary,” said senior Erica Gelbman.
Cotton said he had no regrets about writing the letter and sending it to the Iranian officials. He also mentioned that Obama was not negotiating “the hardest deal possible” since the letter sparked such fierce criticism. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also defended the letter, warning that the administration is negotiating a “very bad” nuclear deal.
Iranian officials met for five hours in a luxury hotel on the shores of lake Geneva discussing what the letter read.
“It is pretty scary that the Iranians are having meetings. I mean this negotiation is about a nuclear deal so to even think that they are discussing anything at all is frightening to me. I just want Iran and my country be on good terms and come up with a negotiation that satisfies everyone,” said junior John Wallentine.
An official, who wishes not to be identified because of ground rules set by the administration, declined to say how the U.S. officials responded to the meetings. He also refused to provide other information about the discussions. However, he did mention that the discussion did not stop the U.S. and Iran from continuing to negotiate, especially when the deadline for an agreement looms.
He said, “These kinds of distractions are not helpful when we’re talking about something so serious”.
The U.S. and Iran originally planned to complete a deal by last July, but that was clearly pushed back very far. Now, they wish to complete the deal by the end of this month and work out the details. However, they are not sure that plan will go through. They hope by June 30 to have a final draft done on the nuclear accord.
Do you think the letter was a good idea? Why or why not?