Former Ambassador Calls Republicans’ Letter to Iran ‘Regrettable and Shocking’

Did 47 Republican Senators overstep their bounds by sending an open letter to Iranian leadership?

By Andy UhlerMarch 10, 2015 9:20 pm

Amid State Department negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, a group of Republican Senators sent a letter to Iranian leadership, warning that the policies set in place by President Obama’s administration may not last past 2016.

Robert Hutchings, Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, says although the letter undermines United States foreign policy, it’s unlikely to result in political backlash for the Republican Senators.

“We’ve gotten into such a partisan mode that the Republican side decided to breach long standing practice and reach out to a foreign government, over the heads of the administration, on a set of extremely delicate negotiations,” Hutchings says.

Hutchings says U.S. credibility during nuclear negotiations may be damaged by the Senators’ actions.

“Partisans on one side or the other will have their opinions,” Hutchings says. “I think the real damage is to American foreign policy.”

“These are serious issues and you can only have one government at a time, so if you’re the opposition, you fight the fights within the borders of this country, but you don’t fight them abroad,” Hutchings says. “That has been the pattern for my entire career as a diplomat and now as a public policy scholar, and now that tradition has been breached.”