Things just got real up in here.

You might remember the hubbub surrounding Sen. Tom Cotton’s so-called “47 Traitors” open letter addressed to Iranian officials. You know, the one where Cotton, et al. were proved right?

Well earlier today, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (the same dude who thought it would be cute to lecture the Senate about the U.S. Constitution), took a verbal swipe at Sen. Cotton. As U.S. News and World Report writes:

The Iranian foreign minister addressed the U.S. domestic political debate regarding the negotiations, referencing a letter sent by 47 Republican senators to leaders of the Islamic republic warning that any deal agreed to by President Barack Obama could be undone by a subsequent administration. The initiative was led by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark, whom Zarif called out by name Wednesday, saying with a chuckle that upon completion of a deal Iran expects sanctions to be dropped in the U.N. Security Council “whether Sen. Cotton likes it or not.”

“We don’t want to get bogged down into the domestic procedures in the United States. I’ve studied and lived in the U.S.,” Zarif said. “I know enough about the U.S. Constitution and U.S. procedures, but as a foreign government I only deal with U.S. government. I do not deal with U.S. Congress.”

Shortly thereafter, Sen. Cotton released a statement urging Congressional approval of any Iran deal, and reiterating the need to oversee President Obama’s efforts:

President Obama promised sanctions would only be lifted when Iran’s compliance with restrictions on their nuclear program were verified. But earlier today, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif once again contradicted the President’s interpretation saying:

If we have an agreement on the 30th of June, within a few days after that, there will be a resolution before the UN Security Council under Article 41 of Chapter 7 which will be mandatory for all member states whether Senator Cotton likes it or not.

“Sanctions relief isn’t about what I like, but what will keep America safe from a nuclear-armed Iran. But I suspect Foreign Minister Zarif is saying what President Obama will not because the President knows such terms would be unacceptable to both Congress and the American people. The repeated provocative statements made by members of the Iranian leadership demonstrate why Iran cannot be trusted and why the President’s decision to pursue this deal and grant dangerous concessions to Iran was ill-advised from the beginning. These aren’t rhetorical tricks aimed at appealing to hard-liners in Iran; after all, Mr. Zarif was speaking in English in New York. Rather, they foreshadow the dangerous posture Iran will take and has taken repeatedly—including as recently as yesterday with the interception of a U.S.-affiliated cargo ship—if this deal moves forward.”

And that’s when Sen. Cotton took to Twitter to challenge Mr. Zarif to a debate:

Publicity stunt? Probably. Regardless, Sen. Cotton is successfully drawing much needed attention to the double speak coming from both the White House and Iran.

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