Ayatollah: GOP Letter to Iran Sign of US 'Disintegration'
Meanwhile, from John McCain: 'Maybe that wasn't exactly the best way to do that'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2015 11:33 AM CDT
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a gathering of senior officials of the Basij paramilitary force in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

(Newser) – The 47 GOP senators who sent a letter to Iran's leadership about nuclear negotiations likely anticipated the reaction they got from President Obama. But some were taken aback by public backlash, and now they have another opinion to mull: that of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said today through Iran's state news agency that the letter is a sign of "the collapse of political ethics and the US system's internal disintegration," the AP reports. The country's leader mentioned how, according to the letter, any deal made now would "be null and void after this government leaves office" and that states typically stick with previously made promises no matter who's in charge. Khamenei then accused those handling the nuclear deal negotiations of putting pressure on Iran, stating that in the 11th hour, "the tone of the other party, particularly the Americans, becomes harsher, harder, and more violent. This is part of their tricks and deceits."

And, despite a statement by the letter's main driver, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, on Monday's Fox & Friends that "many Iran experts say that Iran's leaders don't understand our Constitution," Khamenei assured everyone today that "Iranian officials know what they are doing." Meanwhile, a scathing New York Times editorial addresses the "Republican idiocy on Iran," calling the senators' letter "disgraceful and irresponsible" and accusing GOPers of "being willing to sabotage any deal with Iran (before they know the final details)" and "diminish America's standing as a global power capable of crafting international commitments and adhering to them." Even Sen. John McCain, who partially blamed the letter's haste on an approaching snowstorm, is reconsidering the missive. "Maybe that wasn't exactly the best way to do that," he said Tuesday on Fox News, per the Times.