47 US Republican senators who signed a letter to the Iranian government are being accused of violating the Logan Act that was passed in 1799. The law was named after Dr George Logan of Pennsylvania, who acted as a private citizen and who negotiated with a foreign state without presidential approval. The Act was intended to prevent private citizens from communicating with foreign governments in order to manipulate American foreign policy.
The law states:
“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
The Iranian Foreign Minister was dismissive in his disdain as he explains international law to the authors:
“I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”
This serious political miscalculation by 47 of the Israel-lobby-supported GOP senators could conceivably affect Netanyahu’s own bid for re-election as his sophisticated Israeli electorate probably prefer professionals rather than amateurs to determine US-Israel foreign policy.