Report

White House and Republicans Feud Over GOP Letter to Iran

The White House hit back at Republicans who signed an open letter to the Iranian leadership that attempted to scuttle a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program, accusing them of being in league with Iranian hardliners. The letter, which was signed by 47 Republican senators, advised the Iranians that Congress and the next president could revoke ...

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The White House hit back at Republicans who signed an open letter to the Iranian leadership that attempted to scuttle a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program, accusing them of being in league with Iranian hardliners. The letter, which was signed by 47 Republican senators, advised the Iranians that Congress and the next president could revoke or significantly alter any deal reached with the current U.S. administration.

President Barack Obama responded that it was “somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran,” while Vice President Joe Biden said the letter was “beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, meanwhile, dismissed the letter as a “propaganda ploy.”

Disillusion Sets In Within the Islamic State

The Islamic State is increasingly facing internal dissent, as guerrilla attacks and tensions between foreign and local fighters dent its aura of invincibility. As the group struggles to hold on to the territory it seized in Syria and Iraq, there have been increasing reports of jihadist fighters attempting to desert, and foreign fighters refusing to deploy to the front lines. In the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, meanwhile, guerillas have launched hit-and-run attacks against the group – most recently, killing 12 members of its police force on Sunday.

Headlines

  • Iraqi forces captured the center of the town of al-Alam, the last Islamic State stronghold they needed to secure before launching an assault on the city of Tikrit.
  • Palestinian security forces arrested dozens of Hamas members in the West Bank.
  • Saudi Arabia blocked a speech by the Swedish foreign minister at the Arab League to protest criticism of its human rights record.
  • Saudi Arabia beheaded a Filipino convicted of murder on Monday, bringing the number of executions so far this year to 40.
  • Parties representing Israel’s Arab minority have united for the first time in advance of the upcoming parliamentary election, and could finish third in the vote.

-David Kenner

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

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