Republicans stand by Iran letter, despite furor

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks to reporters after a procedural vote on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said on Thursday that Republicans stood behind a letter to Iran’s leaders threatening to undo any nuclear deal despite an outpouring of criticism from the White House, U.S. allies and Democrats. “I certainly think I should have signed it, and I think that the message needs to be sent.” The letter signed by 47 of the 54 Republican senators warned Iran that any nuclear deal made with President Barack Obama, a Democrat, could last only as long as he remained in office – a highly unusual intervention into U.S. foreign policy-making. McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham, another frequent critic of Obama’s foreign policy, spoke extensively in the Senate on Thursday defending the letter. Republican Senator Tom Cotton approached his fellow lawmakers and asked them to sign the letter last week.

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