President Barack Obama said a letter from Republican senators to Iranian leaders is ironic because, in his words, some members of Congress appear to want to align themselves with “hardliners” in Iran.
The president termed this “an unusual coalition.”
Forty-seven Republicans, including Senate leaders and several potential 2016 presidential candidates, wrote an open letter to Iran’s leader, warning any deal with Obama might not be honored in future. In the letter, Republicans said that without congressional approval, any deal between Iran and the US would be merely an agreement between Obama and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Obama said he will concentrate on seeing whether negotiators with Iran can strike a deal.
Earlier, the White House responded angrily, accusing the senators of interference and continuing a “partisan strategy to undermine the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy and advance our national security.
“It raises significant questions about the intent or the aims of the authors,” said spokesman Josh Earnest, who accused the senators of establishing a “back channel” with hardliners in Tehran.
Read more: The Times of Israel