News / Middle East

    Iran's Ayatollah Slams Republican Senators' Letter

    Secretary of State Kerry and Senator Cotton on Iran Nuclear Deal Letteri
    March 12, 2015 4:41 PM
    Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that an open letter sent by 47 US Republican Senators to Tehran about ongoing nuclear negotiations was "stunning." Sen. Tom Cotton said in an interview he's trying to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.
    Secretary of State Kerry and Senator Cotton on Iran Nuclear Deal Letter
    VOA News

    Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticized an open letter sent by 47 U.S. Republican Senators to Tehran about the ongoing negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, saying the move showed "disintegration" in U.S. politics.

    The letter warns that the next U.S. president could revoke any deal Iran may reach with a group of six world powers (P5+1).  Those talks are due to resume Sunday as the two sides seek an interim agreement by the end of the month.

    Iranian state media quoted the supreme leader as saying he is concerned about what he called "backstabbing" in the negotiation process.  He said that the international group, particularly the U.S., takes a harsher tone when the two sides get close to the end of the talks.

    "Of course I am worried. Every time we reach a stage where the end of the negotiations is in sight, the tone of the other side, specifically the Americans, becomes harsher, coarser and tougher. This is the nature of their tricks and deceptions," the Mehr news agency quoted the Iranian leader as saying.

    The clerical Supreme Leader said the letter was ''a sign of the decay of political ethics in the American system", and he described as laughable long-standing U.S. accusations of Iranian involvement in terrorism.

    Khamenei has long been a conservative hardliner wary of any detente with the West but has backed the diplomacy pursued by Rouhani, who was elected by a landslide in 2013 promising steps to end Iran's economically crippling international isolation.

    At the same time, Khamenei has not stopped speeches loaded with denunciations of the United States to reassure powerful hardliners in the clergy and security services, for whom anti-U.S. sentiment has been central to Iran's Islamic Revolution.

    Iran has insisted it is not trying to build nuclear weapons.  The United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are seeking assurances that the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

    Kerry stunned

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday the letter left him in "utter disbelief," and that Congress does not have the right to modify an agreement reached between the leaders of countries. He called the Republican letter irresponsible.

    "No one is questioning anybody's right to dissent. But to write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation.....and suggest they're going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way is incorrect, is quite stunning," Kerry said.

    Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the letter written by Arkansas freshman Senator Tom Cotton undermines U.S. foreign policy and ignores more than 200 years of history.

     Some material for this report came from Reuters.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 8
    by: Anonymous
    March 16, 2015 6:11 AM
    You people should be more worried about our stupid president making deals worth or enema

    by: Roger from: Us
    March 15, 2015 9:05 PM
    Any administration that would negotiate with a terrorist supporting nation are the traitors not the senators!

    by: rocknwroll from: us
    March 14, 2015 11:31 AM
    This group of treasonous traitors who call themselves senators should be tried for treason and terrorism for conspiring and acting to destabilize the Unites States government. What is even more disconcerting is that we have 47 fools that would do such a thing in positions of leadership. Tom Cotton should be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    by: Kim Preston from: Seattle
    March 14, 2015 9:43 AM
    Treason pure and simple...........47 Benedict Arnolds. These so called American's have and will try anything to derail the President. They care less about the American people and all about whats good for our party. Their petty bigotry and hate of Obama has caused irreperable damage to the country. They should all be labeled domestic terrorist and be jailed. These same moron's yell that the President wont work with them, liars. If they could curb their racism and hate for this President think how much more he could have done to help the American people. The world is looking at America and shaking their heads and acknowledging that after years of slavery and seperation nothing much has changed

    by: Anonymous
    March 13, 2015 3:46 PM
    This is beyond disrespecting the Presidency, regardless of who is in office. This is out and out TREASON. What is abundantly clear to us is that we now know where the traitors are. It was an idiotic and reprehensible undertaking. We should have been better served and there is no excuse for it.

    by: JS from: Midwest
    March 13, 2015 11:30 AM
    It seems that the Republican party is ALWAYS telling voters what the Founding Fathers meant when writing the Constitution. In my humble opinion, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have looked upon this letter to a foreign hostile country undermining POTUS as an act of treason and the writer's would be in prison or worse. The signers need to be sanctioned at the least. They have no idea what danger they have put the U.S. in.

    by: them from: ny
    March 13, 2015 8:13 AM
    Mark my words - Obama and Kerry will concede yet again by agreeing not to a gradual reduction of sanctions, but to a complete and immediate lifting of sanctions. Such is the desire of the Obama administration - not to restrict Iran from getting a bomb, but rather just to lift these sanctions and allow the peace-loving country of Iran to bloom into the vibrant and successful "flower" that they envision. What we will have after Obama's concessions is a terrorist country with a nuclear arsenal and unrestrained wealth.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 13, 2015 8:38 PM
    Absolute rubbish. What planet are you currently living on?

    by: Luciano Borg
    March 13, 2015 4:04 AM
    This is the very first time I have ever read about the US opposition meddling with a US President's activity! We all remember ex-President Clinton saying that we had to stand behind the then-US President Bush when he "illegally and on false pretext" invaded Iraq!
    - I personally completely disagree with Obama's stand which allows a country that is "sworn to obliterate another country" to meddle with Nuclear and become capable of producing WMDs, but what have the Republicans gained from this?
    - Shouldn't they have waited till they are in power to execute their plans?
    - Would you show your cards to your opponent before it is your turn?

    by: shameful
    March 13, 2015 3:06 AM
    is Congress working for Israel or America? President is trying to seal the deal. Congress wants to break the deal.It sends a wrong message to the world. it looks like..Powerful Congress will break what powerless president makes. Congress has insulted its own president in front of world community. hereafter, Internation community or other countries will be worried about reaching a deal with American president in fear of Congress.
    In Response

    by: Ibejoemon from: Florida
    March 14, 2015 12:51 AM
    The Indigenous people here had the same mistrust. They said, how can you trust a tribe that changes it leader every 4 years? These 47 have crushed America's strength and respect. They claim they are not being told of the negotiations. Pass some laws and leave the POTUS to do his job. Our enemy sees us as disintegating from within. Thanks Repubs and all your "handlers"

    by: John Kelsch
    March 13, 2015 1:58 AM
    When was the last time the Republicans have done anything even remotely intelligent? And they wonder why no one takes them serious… At least Reagan used a Weegieboard to circumvent his shortcomings!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 13, 2015 8:42 PM
    I met Regan once. It was a hot day and his make-up was running.
    It was a horrible sight I cannot erase from my memory. I could never take the man seriously after that.
    Comments page of 8

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora