Sen. Menendez to Seek Iran Sanctions as 'Insurance'

Image: Sen. Menendez to Seek Iran Sanctions as 'Insurance'

Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 01:11 PM

By Greg Richter

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The United States seems to want a nuclear deal with Iran even more than Iran does, says Sen. Bob Menendez, and after talks ended last week with nothing accomplished, he's willing to introduce legislation to add more sanctions.

"You can't want the deal more than the Iranians, especially when the Iranians are on the ropes," Menendez, D-N.J., said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he took Secretary of State John Kerry's advice and held off on introducing legislation to add new sanctions against Iran if it continues moving its nuclear program forward.

But since the talks ended with no resolution, he's ready to start drafting a bill, calling it "insurance."

Talks are set to resume November 20.

"It's an insurance for the United States to make sure that Iran actually complies with an agreement that we would want to see," Menendez said. "It's also an incentive to the Iranians to know what's coming if you don't strike a deal."

It was learned this weekend that President Barack Obama actually began easing current sanctions last summer, just after the election of Hassan Rouhani as president.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately criticized the action, with Israeli news reports describing the leader of the American ally as being in shock.

The United States seems to be moving farther away from the "global position" adopted by the U.N. Security Council, Menendez told ABC. That position says Iran must cease all enrichment and accept more

When Iran's president Rouhani was his country's chief nuclear negotiator, he once bragged that he was able to get his way with negotiators while continuing to move the nuclear program forward.

"If past is prologue, we have to be very wide-eyed about what these negotiations are and what we accept," Menendez said.

Related Story:

Kerry: 'No Rush' in Diplomacy with Iran on Nuclear Program



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