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WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden is furious.
Biden, who also serves as president of the Senate, Monday night blasted Senate Republicans in a long, angry statement for their letter to Iran's leaders, which he described as "beneath the dignity of an institution I revere."
Forty-seven Republicans on Sunday wrote directly to Tehran to suggest that any nuclear deal with the Obama administration would not be constitutionally binding because a future president or Congress could take steps to revoke it. Biden called the move an unprecedented affront "designed to undercut a sitting president."
"In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country -- much less a longtime foreign adversary -- that the President does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them. This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments -- a message that is as false as it is dangerous," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
Foreign Minister Zarif added that "I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.