Dr. Leslie Gelb is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He penned an op-ed blasting the GOP senators who signed on to the letter to the leaders of Iran authored by Senator Tom Cotton’s, calling the letter an act “of near-treachery.” Here’s the text of the letter. Here’s the Gelb interview:
HH: I begin the program, though, with Dr. Leslie Gelb. Dr. Gelb, former correspondent of the New York Times. He is current president emeritus and board senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations .He is a columnist over at the Daily Beast, and yesterday, he wrote a blast at Tom Cotton and the 46 other Republicans who wrote the letter to Iran, the title of the column by Dr. Gelb is “GOP Hates Obama More Than A Nuclear Iran.” Dr. Gelb, welcome, it’s good to have you on the program.
LG: Good to be here.
HH: First thing, this is a hard-hitting column, so I want to go to the very substance of it. You call the four paragraph letter from the Republican Senators an “unintelligible rant.” I read it all on the air yesterday. Do you really think it’s an “unintelligible rant?”
LG: Absolutely. Absolutely, because first of all, it doesn’t make clear in any sense what’s wrong with the agreement being negotiated, and just as important, and even perhaps more important, it doesn’t give any reasonable alternative. All it says is hey, you mullahs over there, you guys that we think are intolerable, don’t think for a minute we’re going to put up with any deal you make with the president of the United States. That’s what it says.
HH: Well, I’m reading here, “what these two Constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen. And future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.” That’s intelligible to me. Are they wrong about that?
LG: Are they technically correct? Yes, they are. But what they’re saying is, and you know, this, they’re saying you don’t have to pay any attention to the president of the United States, because whatever he does with you, we’re going to undo it, or the next president is going to undo it. And that is really extraordinary to undermine a sitting president that way. Continue Reading