GOP senators warn Iran: Deal could be revoked with 'stroke of the pen'

Getty Images

Forty-seven Senate Republicans are signaling in an open letter to Iran and the White House that a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program will be at risk once President Obama leaves office.

ADVERTISEMENT
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system,” the senators wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Bloomberg. “Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution — the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices — which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.”

“Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” they said.

The letter was spearheaded by Sen. Tom CottonTom CottonFacebook Messenger to feature optional end-to-end encryption: report Senators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Dems to GOP: Cancel Memorial Day break MORE (R-Ark.) and signed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellAdelson aides in talks to make pro-Trump super PAC McConnell bashes Reid’s ‘inappropriate’ rhetoric The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.). It was also signed by four Republicans who are said to be considering a run for president: Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report Grayson marries candidate seeking to replace him McConnell pressuring Rubio to run again MORE (Fla.), Rand PaulRand PaulAdelson aides in talks to make pro-Trump super PAC GOP senators move to keep women out of military draft McConnell pressuring Rubio to run again MORE (Ky.), Ted CruzTed CruzGOP senators move to keep women out of military draft GOP senators shoot down Cruz’s aid on campaign trail Rankings: Trump’s top 10 VP picks MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Trump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' MORE (S.C.).

They warned that the deal — which is likely to be at least 10 years in duration — could be at risk once Obama leaves the White House in 2017.

“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” they wrote.

Though it is addressed to the Iranians, the letter is another signal to the administration that many members of Congress want to have some control over any final deal reached on Iran’s nuclear program. Many are concerned the White House will sign off on a deal that is not strict enough, or that only delays Iran’s ability to get a nuclear weapon.

It was reported last year that the White House was going to try to avoid having to seek congressional approval for the deal.

Congress also may take up new sanctions against Iran at some point in the coming weeks — and it is unclear whether negotiators will agree on a framework for the deal before legislation supporting the new sanctions is approved.

An open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran