Tags: Iran | Bob Menendez | iran | goals | nuclear

Sen. Menendez: US Abandons Initial Goals of Iran Nuclear Deal

By    |   Wednesday, 08 July 2015 04:14 PM

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez an outspoken critic of an Iran nuclear deal charges the Obama administration's "red lines … seem to be green lights" to Tehran.

In an interview with CNN, the New Jersey Democrat complained none of the nation's initial goals for a nuclear deal with Iran are being adhered to.

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"Well, look, I’m afraid that our red lines to the Iranians seem to be green lights," Menendez tells CNN Wednesday.

"The reality is that how do we start these negotiations? We started these negotiations saying Iran cannot have the capacity for nuclear weapons. We started talking about that we needed to dismantle some of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructures. We started saying that there is no right to enrich … "

But Menendez said none of the guidelines have held.

"We have the Iranians having an implicit ability to go ahead and enrich," he charges. "We have a nuclear infrastructure that despite the world powers sitting on the other side of the table, the Iranians have been able to keep most of their infrastructure in place. And at 10 to 15 years they will have a clear pathway towards, if they choose to, towards pursuing a nuclear bomb."

The Free Beacon reports the Obama administration has caved 12 times in the talks with Iran, citing an analysis from the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Menendez charges the deal so far appears "not where the national interest of the United States is nor of our ally, the state of Israel."

Menendez, the former ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, has advocated for a pact that would allow sanctions to be put back in place quickly if Iran violates terms of the deal, The Hill notes.

He also co-sponsored legislation with Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk to impose new sanctions on Iran if negotiators failed to reach a deal by June 30. The administration gave Iran some sanctions relief at the start of 2014 under an interim agreement.

And his opposition is worrisome to the White House along with that of 13 other Democrats in the Senate, The Hill reports.

The White House has conceded to legislation earlier this year that gives Congress the power to review any deal with Iran; lawmakers have 30 days to carry out that review if an agreement is sent to Capitol Hill by a Friday deadline. And if it's later, the review time frame could double.

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New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez - an outspoken critic of an Iran nuclear deal - charges the Obama administration's "red lines ... seem to be green lights to Tehran.
Bob Menendez, iran, goals, nuclear
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 04:14 PM
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