Obama denounces Republican letter on Iran nuclear talks

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is criticizing a letter 47 Senate Republicans sent to the leaders of Iran.

The letter informed Iran that if President Obama negotiates an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program without Senate approval, it expires when his presidency ends.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk was one of the Senators who signed the letter.

President Obama says the Republicans are interfering with his foreign policy. Vice President Joe Biden says the senators’ attempt to undermine Obama offends him “as a matter of principle.”

The letter comes as Obama and five world powers are in delicate negotiations to reach an initial agreement by the end of March to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif is quoted by the website of Iranian state TV on Tuesday as saying the letter by 47 GOP senators was “unprecedented and undiplomatic.” He had earlier dismissed the letter as a “propaganda ploy.”

All four Republican Senators who are running for president signed that letter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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