Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) isn’t done giving the Iranian regime a piece of his mind.
The freshman senator, who was the lead signatory on an open letter to Iran’s leaders warning them not make a nuclear deal with President Barack Obama that isn’t subject to congressional approval, took to Twitter to challenge Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif to a debate.
Just hours earlier, in response to a question from Business Insider, Zarif had warned that if a future president disregarded a nuclear deal with Iran, it would cause “chaos” in the US’s bilateral relations.
“I think the United States, whether you will have a Democratic president or whether you have a Republican president, is bound by international law … and international law requires the United States to live up by the terms of an agreement,” Zarif said during an event at New York University.
Zarif added in a shot aimed specifically at Cotton.
“You know that, maybe Sen. Cotton doesn’t, but you know that 90% of US overseas agreements are executive agreements,” Zarif said.
Cotton tweeted that he had heard Zarif had “called him out,” and offered to debate him on the US’s Constitutional system — among other topics:
The Senator wasn’t finished. Cotton, who served as an infantry officer during the Iraq War, got personal in suggesting Zarif lacked the character needed to even be willing ot debate him:
The US and Iran do not have diplomatic relations and it’s unclear if Zarif even has a visa that would permit him to visit Washington for such a debate.
A debate between a right-wing American politician and Iran’s crafty foreign minister would be a historic event, something on par with the impromptu “kitchen debate” between Soviet premier Nikita Kruschev and staunch anti-communist Richard Nixon that occurred at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959.
It would also be a substantial logistical and diplomatic pain for both the US and Iran, considering the sensitive state of relations between the two countries. The Harvard Law-educated Cotton probably knows just how outlandish his suggestion actually is — but realised that Zarif’s call-out gave him an excellent opportunity to publically bait a major Iranian regime official.
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