A day after releasing a letter that potentially threatened the administration’s negotiations with Iran, some Republicans who signed on are realizing it was a bad call.
Behind the scenes, Republicans are wondering if sending an open letter to Iran’s leaders was the best strategy to keep a bad nuclear deal from being negotiated.
Earlier this week, 47 Republican senators signed a letter warning the Iranian government that many of them would remain in office long after President Barack Obama’s second term was over, meaning any deal reached between the U.S. and Iran could be easily reversed by the next president.
But even among Republicans whose offices have signed the letter, there is some trepidation that the Iran letter injects partisanship into the Iran negotiations, shifting the narrative from the content of the deal to whether Republicans are unfairly trying to undercut the president.
“Before the letter, the national conversation was about Netanyahu’s speech and how Obama’s negotiations with Iran are leading to a terrible deal that could ultimately harm U.S. national security. Now, the Obama administration and its Capitol Hill partisans are cynically trying to push the conversation away from policy, and towards a deeply political pie fight over presidential and congressional prerogatives,” said a Senate Republican aide whose boss signed the letter.