Reid: GOP ‘empowering the ayatollahs’

Reid: GOP ‘empowering the ayatollahs’

Republican senators are empowering hard-liners in Iran with their letter opposing President Obama’s nuclear deal with that country, Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWarren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare Dem senator says his party will restore 60-vote Supreme Court filibuster MORE (D-Nev.) said Monday.

The letter, signed by 47 Republicans, warns Iranian leaders that a deal could be overturned by Congress after Obama leaves the White House in 2017. 

Reid described the letter as an unprecedented act against the executive branch.

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“Republicans are undermining our commander in chief while empowering the ayatollahs,” he said from the Senate floor. “We should always have robust debate about foreign policy, but it's unprecedented for one political party to directly intervene in an international negotiation with the sole goal of embarrassing the president of the United States.”

Reid is just the latest Democrat to express outrage over the Republican letter, which came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delayed a procedural vote on legislation that would allow lawmakers to weigh in on any deal. 

The White House and several of Reid’s colleagues also expressed outrage over the GOP missive.

Reid said the letter was an attempt by Republicans to negotiate with Iran. He suggested that such a move was hypocritical after Republicans backed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress last week. Netanyahu suggested that the current deal with Iran was a “bad deal.”

“Just last week was here in the Capitol. Republicans at the speech... stood, applauded, stomped their feet and yelled supporting what the prime minister of Israel had to say,” Reid said. “Today these same Republicans are trying to negotiate with the very same leaders in Iran that Netanyahu said we should not be negotiating with.

“Even at the height of our disagreements with President George W. Bush, Senate Democrats never considered sending a letter to Saddam Hussein or other Iraqi leaders at the time,” he said. “It's time for Republicans to accept that the citizens of our country twice elected President Obama by large margins as president of the United States. Obviously. Republicans don't know how to do anything other than juvenile political attacks against the president.”