(AA) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden slammed Monday a group of 47 Republican senators for writing a letter to the Iranian leadership that warned against signing any deal with President Barack Obama-led government.
Biden said the move threatened the ability of any future American president to negotiate with other countries.
“The letter sent on March 9th by 47 Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting president in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere,” Biden said in a statement.
The Republican senators in the letter said that any nuclear deal between the U.S. administration, along with world powers, and Tehran, could be reversed in the future.
The letter stressed that Obama would leave office in January 2017, but the senators would stay in office “well beyond then, perhaps decades.”
In the statement, Biden said, “Around the world, America’s influence depends on its ability to honor its commitments. Some of these are made in international agreements approved by Congress.”
However, he said, the authors of the letter know that the vast majority of U.S. international commitments take effect without congressional approval.
The vice president added that this might be the case if the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany, collectively known as the P5+1 countries, reached an agreement with Iran over its nuclear issue.
Biden also touched upon several cases where American presidents have taken decision without congressional approval.
“In 36 years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country, much less a longtime foreign adversary, that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them,” he said.
He also warned that if the talks collapsed because of the Congressional intervention, the U.S. would be blamed.
Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 countries have until the end of March to reach a political framework about Iran’s nuclear program. A final deadline is set for July 1.
The deal sought by the six-nation group would have Iran accept limits on its uranium enrichment capacity and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct inspections without interference.