European allies are joining the Obama administration in criticizing Republican congressional interjection into nuclear negotiations with Iran, saying that an open letter from Republican senators to Iranian leaders has been counterproductive and come at a particularly sensitive time in the talks.
“Suddenly, Iran can say to us: ‘Are your proposals actually trustworthy if 47 senators say that no matter what the government agrees to, we can subsequently take it off the table?’ ” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday during a visit to Washington.
“This is no small matter we’re talking about,” Steinmeier warned in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “This is not just an issue of American domestic politics.” Germany, France and Britain, along with Russia and China, are U.S. negotiating partners in the Iran talks.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggested Thursday that political divisions in the United States made Iranian negotiators question the Obama administration’s ability to follow through with any agreement.
“Of course I am worried, because the other side is known for opacity, deceit and backstabbing,” Khamenei said, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.