Democratic senator will keep up fight against Obama on Iran nuclear deal

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One of the few Democratic senators to go against President Barack Obama’s feverish pitch for a nuclear deal with Iran says he will continue to speak out against what he believes is a seriously flawed deal.

In remarks at the annual AIPAC policy conference on March 22, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey denounced the nuclear accord which Obama has described as a pillar of his foreign policy legacy.

Sen. Bob Menendez
Sen. Bob Menendez

Menendez, one of four Senate Democrats who voted to kill the agreement last autumn, said the deal “has freed Iran to test the administration’s blind commitment to legacy. But my friends, legacy is not a policy and hope is not a national security strategy and there is too much at stake to confuse the two.”

The New Jersey Democrat has repeatedly called for new sanctions legislation as leverage in case Iran breaks its obligations under the nuclear accord, which many believe Teheran has already done.

“Now we’re only a short time into this process, and already I know we need new legislation to fill the space around the [nuclear deal] that has not been addressed,” he said

The former top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vowed that “so long as I have a voice and a vote, I will not yield to those who wish to break my resolve on stopping Iran’s illicit nuclear program and on preserving the unshakable bond between Israel and the United States.

“We can never allow Iran to threaten Israel or the region ever,” he added. “I will continue to stand with you … no matter what political powers I have to take on, even if they are in my own party.”