Clinton said on Tuesday President Obama and his team are "in the midst of intense negotiation” with Iran over its nuclear program.
She stated that "we all must judge any final agreement on its merits but the recent letter from Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership and one has to ask what was the purpose of this letter?”
"Either these senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians [sic] or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy. Either answer does discredit to the letter’s signatories,” she observed.
In an open letter to leaders of Iran on Monday, 47 Republican senators warned that a potential nuclear deal with Tehran would not be acceptable until it is approved by the US Congress.
They also said the agreement would be abandoned after Obama leaves office in January 2017. "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."
The White House was quick in its condemnation of the letter, accusing Republicans of throwing "sand in the gears” of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany, which have entered a sensitive final stage.
Iran and the P5+1 are holding negotiations to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
The scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the talks.
The illegal sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear program.
The Republican-dominated Congress is pushing a new round of sanctions on Iran. Obama has warned Congress not to impose more sanctions on Iran, saying he will veto any such move.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters on Monday in Tehran that the Republican letter has "no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy.”
Zarif said it appears to be an attempt to disrupt the nuclear talks underway between Iran and the P5+1 countries. "It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid of even the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history.”