Secretary of State John Kerry said “we are not negotiating a legally binding plan” with Iran in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
“With respect to the talks, we’ve been clear from the beginning. We’re not negotiating a ‘legally binding’ plan. We’re negotiating a plan that will have in it a capacity for enforcement. We don’t even have diplomatic relations with Iran right now. And the Senators’ letter erroneously asserts that this is a legally binding plan, it’s not” he stated.
Earlier, Kerry offered more criticism of the letter written by 47 Republican Senators to Iran, arguing that it was hypocritical for Republicans to write a letter to people “they have criticized other people for even engaging with or writing to” And “to write them [Iranian leaders] and suggest that they’re going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way, was absolutely incorrect, is quite stunning. This letter ignores more than two centuries of precedence in the conduct of American foreign policy. It –formal treaties obviously require the advice and consent of the United States Senate, that’s in the Constitution, but the vast majority of international arrangements and agreements do not. And around the world today, we have all kinds of executive agreements that we deal with, protection of our troops, the recent agreement we just did with Afghanistan, any number of noncontroversial and broadly supported foreign policy bills. The executive agreement is a necessary tool of American foreign policy, it’s been used by presidents from both parties for centuries, literally. And it is recognized and accepted by Congress from the earliest period of American history.”
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