Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today slammed Republican Senators for sending a letter to Iran that warned any deal the nation makes with President Barack Obama during nuclear talks could be undone by a future president or Congress.
“Either these senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy,” Ms. Clinton told reporters today at the United Nations. “Either answer does discredit to the letter’s signatories.”
The letter, signed by 47 Republican Senators, was penned by Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, notes any deal could be revoked “with the stroke of a pen” by Mr. Obama’s successor.
Ms. Clinton, also a former senator, said Mr. Obama was hoping to reach a diplomatic deal to “close off pathways to a nuclear bomb and give us unprecedented access and insight into Iran’s nuclear program.”
“Now, reasonable people can disagree about what exactly it will take to accomplish this objective, and we all must judge any final agreement on its merits,” Ms. Clinton said. “But the recent letter from Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership.”
The White House, meanwhile, has argued that the letter from the Republicans aligns them with hard-liners in Iran who want to see any deal quashed.
It is not the first time in recent days Republicans in Congress have been accused of acting skirting diplomatic tradition regarding the administration’s talks with Iran. House Republicans invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress about the nuclear talks, despite the fact that the head of state is up for re-election and was not meeting with Mr. Obama on his visit.
Ms. Clinton was addressing the media today in large part to answer questions about her use of a personal email account at the state department.
“Now, I would be pleased to talk more about this important matter,” Ms. Clinton said of Iran, “but I know there have been questions about my emails.”