Senator Shelley Moore-Capito joined with 46 other senators this month in signing an open letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran. In a news conference earlier this week, Capito commented on the action calling the letter “straight forward,” and not a significant move.
A petition calling for charges to be filed against the lawmakers collected 165,000 signatures in less than two days, according to media reports. Democrats are calling the letter a violation of the Logan Act–a law written in 1799 that forbids unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments.
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded to the letter saying that it has “no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. 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 even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.”