Hoyer Discusses Senate Republicans' Letter to Iran on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

For Immediate Release:

March 11, 2015

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this morning to discuss the letter that 47 Senate Republicans sent to leaders of Iran. Below are excerpts from the interview and a link to the video. 

Click here to watch the video.

“I think [Senate Republicans’ letter to Iran's leadership] was ill-advised. It was sophomoric in many ways, and I that think it gave comfort to our enemies and pause to our allies. You know, Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand, and you've got the President of the United States, who is our chief negotiator under the Constitution, talking and trying to get to a place that I think all of us want to get to – that is a non-nuclear armed Iran. We're in the last throws of those negotiations, and forty-seven [Republican] Senators interject themselves into this in a totally inappropriate, unprecedented way. I think it was very unfortunate.”

“Unfortunately, even in terms of national security, we're seeing partisanship injected way beyond what it ought to be. We see this letter from the forty-seven [Republican] Senators. We see 167 [Republican] Members of the House last week vote against keeping the Department of Homeland Security open, over the objection of their leaders.”

“We can have a vigorous, and appropriately should have, a vigorous debate here in Congress, here at home, about whether we're following good or bad policy, but we don't write to the other side. Clearly, I think Iran is correctly viewed as an enemy, and I think [the letter] was very, very unfortunate...”

“I've been pretty hard-line on the fact that our policy is prevention. Prevention means they don't get a nuclear weapon, they don't have the capability to construct a nuclear weapon, and I agree with Tony Blinken that any deal we reach to accomplish that objective must be accompanied by the most intrusive verification process, perhaps that has ever been installed in any country, and absent that, we can't trust the Iranians to follow an agreement.”

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