Senator Bob Menendez announced today that he will oppose the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. He articulated his reasons for voting against the agreement eloquently:
“I have looked into my own soul and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it.”
“President Obama continues to erroneously say that this agreement permanently stops Iran from having a nuclear bomb,” he said. “Let’s be clear, what the agreement does is to recommit Iran not to pursue a nuclear bomb, a promise they have already violated in the past. It recommits them to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), an agreement they have already violated in the past. It commits them to a new Security Council Resolution outlining their obligations, but they have violated those in the past as well.”
The deal “leaves Iran with the core element of a robust nuclear infrastructure,” Menendez said, contradicting remarks by senior Obama administration officials.
Menendez also pushed back against Obama’s claim that those who oppose the deal favor war with Iran.
“The president and Secretary Kerry have repeatedly said that the choice is between this agreement or war,” he said. “I reject that proposition, as have most witnesses, including past and present administration members involved in the Iran nuclear issue, who have testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and who support the deal but reject the binary choice between the agreement or war.”
After outlining the conditions required for a good deal, Menendez flatly declared that the deal fails to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon at any time it chooses.
“The agreement that has been reached failed to achieve the one thing it set out to achieve—it failed to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state at a time of its choosing. In fact, it authorizes and supports the very road map Iran will need to arrive at its target,” he said.
All true, and well put.