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U.S. President Barack Obama aboard Air Force One, Jan. 7, 2015 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

Will GOP Senators’ Open Letter to Iran Derail Nuclear Deal?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On Monday, 47 GOP senators published an open letter warning Iran’s leadership that any deal on Tehran’s nuclear program concluded solely on the basis of U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive authority would remain vulnerable to being reversed by future congressional and presidential action. While impolitic and a breach of the long-standing protocol that the White House is the primary American interlocutor with foreign governments, the letter starkly and bluntly lays out a series of constitutional and political arguments to make its case.

What impact will the letter have on the down-to-the-wire negotiations to reach a substantive political accord with Iran on the terms of a final deal before the upcoming March 29 deadline? Will it cause hardliners in the Iranian regime to assert their opposition and scuttle the talks? Will it force the Obama administration to involve congressional Republicans in the process? The answers to these questions will depend on three sets of Iranian calculations. ...

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