The Obama administration may be livid over freshman Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) open letter to Iran, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Friday that he believes the letter actually gives the president a boost in nuclear negotiations with that country.
Cotton’s letter warned Iran’s leaders that any nuclear deal they strike with the Obama administration could expire as soon as the president leaves office. But Paul, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, said he added his name in order to put pressure on the Iranians that would result in the U.S. crafting a better deal.
“I want the president to negotiate from a position of strength,” he said at a town hall event in Manchester, N.H., as quoted by Bloomberg Politics. “I want him to be able to go to the Iranians and say, ‘Congress is going to have to vote on this, because Congress put these sanctions in place. To remove them, Congress will have to vote on it, so you will have to give up more.'”
Paul made similar comments earlier this week at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, although he added that he signed the letter in part because he thought Obama “doesn’t care or understand the separation of powers.”