The letter to Iran, designed to undermine nuclear program negotiations between the Obama administration, Tehran and European powers, was signed by 47 of 54 Republican senators. The issue, underscored by a speech to Congress by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu – at Republicans’ invitation – that railed against the deal, allowed Republicans to briefly unite on a policy point. The party has otherwise been riven by conservative and libertarian factions who disagree about issues such immigration, the economy and foreign intervention.
But the condescending tone of the letter, which suggested that Iranians do not understand the American political process, provoked harsh words from Iran.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday during a meeting with members of Iran’s top clerical body, which includes President Hassan Rouhani. “The letter by American senators indicates the collapse of political ethics in the United States.”