McCain: White House can call Iran deal 'a banana' but it's a treaty

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhy did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? If you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era MORE (R-Ariz.) hit back Tuesday at the Obama administration's refusal to call the deal over Iran's nuclear program a "treaty."

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Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said earlier this month that the administration is negotiating an agreement, not a treaty, which would have to be approved by Congress.

"We’re negotiating an agreement that has a specific duration on it. We’re not negotiating a permanent treaty, and we never have been," Rhodes said during an interview on the "Charlie Rose Show."

The Arizona Republican, however, suggested that the administration can call the deal what it wants, but it's a treaty.

"This is clearly a treaty," McCain, who’s chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, speaking to a group of reporters. "They can call it a banana, but it's a treaty."

McCain and 46 other Republicans sent a letter this week to Iranian leadership suggesting that any deal on Iran's nuclear program could be overturned after Obama leaves office in 2017.

Democrats have slammed the letter, suggesting that Republicans are undermining Obama and the other negotiators.