U.S. Republican senators with White House aspirations have turned Iran into a punching bag in recent days and are seeking to block any nuclear arms deal President Obama negotiates with Iran.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a firebrand Republican from Texas who recently announced he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, on April 30 called Iran the single greatest threat to the United States and decried its "unmitigated hostility to America."
His colleague in the Senate, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, another presidential aspirant, meanwhile, is refusing to back down from a fight to force the Senate to vote on a series of measures that the White House has warned could potentially kill any nuclear deal with Iran.
One measure Rubio is championing would require Iran to recognize Israel's right to exist as a pre-condition of any nuclear deal.
Rubio is using procedural tactics to stall a bipartisan bill in the Senate giving Congress 30 days to review any deal Obama negotiates to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for putting restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities.
With reporting by Reuters, Politico, and NBC News