International diplomacy in the 21st century apparently includes Twitter snark.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) wrote a controversial letter to Iranian leaders on Monday casted doubt on the current US nuclear negotiations with Iran. To make sure Iran saw his message, Cotton tweeted a translation directly at Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif:
Zarif, who speaks fluent English and spent “nearly half his life” in the US, did not appreciate the translation. In his own passive-aggressive tweet to Cotton on Monday night, Zarif replied to Cotton with his response, “In English.”
The US and other powers are crafting a deal with Iran that aims to curb its ability to create a nuclear weapon in exchange for rolling back economic sanctions. Republicans are widely sceptical of the deal President Barack Obama’s administration is reportedly negotiating with Tehran. And because Obama is looking to strike an executive agreement rather than a Senate-ratified treaty, he won’t need a congressional vote on the deal.
Cotton’s letter, signed by 45 other GOP senators, warned Iran that the next administration could easily undo any agreement that does not have Senate approval. However, Zarif’s response disagreed with that claim and suggested the Republican senators need a better understanding of international law.
“Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration,” his reply said. “He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognisant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.”
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