Pataki: 'I would not have sent' Iran letter

Pataki: 'I would not have sent' Iran letter

Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) said in an interview broadcast Sunday that Republican senators were wrong to send an open letter to Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

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“I would not have sent the letter,” Pataki told “The Cats Roundtable” host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York. “I’ve always believed that foreign policy, and, in particular, negotiations with foreign states, have to be conducted by the president and his team.”

Pataki added that he would not want a future Republican president undermined in similar fashion by a Democratic Congress. His remarks come amid buzz he will run as GOP presidential candidate in 2016.

“I’m seriously looking at it,” Pataki said of a potential White House bid. “To sit on the sidelines is not in my nature.”

Freshman Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator: Supreme Court abortion cases were 'wrongly decided as a constitutional matter' Senate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips Cotton: US could win war with Iran in 'two strikes' MORE (R-Ark.) sent Tehran the divisive communication last Monday. It vowed Congress could void any deal on Iran’s nuclear arms capabilities it found unsatisfying. Cotton and 46 other GOP Senators signed the message.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, said last Thursday the gesture showed U.S. “tricks and deceptions” in the talks. President Obama responded last Friday by saying he was “embarrassed” for the letter’s signers.

Cotton has defended his actions as necessary for preventing a dangerous Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons.

“They’ve been killing Americans for 35 years, they’ve killed hundreds of troops in Iran, now they control five capitols in the Middle East,” he said last Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “They are nothing but hard-liners in Iran and if they do all of those things without a nuclear weapon, imagine what they would do with one.”

The Obama administration hopes Iran will slow or stop its quest for nuclear weapons in exchange for removing economic sanctions. The Obama administration has partnered with Britain, France, China, Germany and Russia on the delicate talks.

The White House must reach a tentative outline on an Iran deal by a self-imposed March 24 deadline. A final agreement must happen by June 30. Talks between the West and Iran resume in Lausanne, Switzerland on Sunday.

An open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran by kballuck1