London, 3 Dec – Ahead of Thursday’s Senate vote on sanctions against Iran, a high-ranking Democratic Senator gave a speech criticising the nuclear deal and imploring the extension of sanctions against Iran.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., a veteran member of Congress and former chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, has in the past criticised Obama’s handling of Cuba, Syria and the Russians, and believes that he has been punished for expressing these views.
He said: “There have been attempts to punish me for what I’ve said about the administration’s policy on Iran and Cuba. I don’t intend to be intimidated by another branch of government.”
He is one of just four Senate Democrats who voted against the nuclear deal and earlier in 2016, he co-sponsored a bill that would authorise new sanctions on Iran and extend the right to impose current ones.
If the bill, which allows sanctions against Iran to be renewed for another decade, passes through the Congress, President Obama has confirmed the he will sign it.
Iranian officials are reportedly furious about this.
Menendez said: “This is about the fervent belief it’s in the national interest and security of the United States to have more sanctions.”
He is willing to fight for as long as it takes, acknowledging that the Iran issue will not stop once Obama leaves office in January.
Menendez said: “I have always been willing and able to find ways to work with both Democratic and Republican administrations for the betterment of our nation. That will continue to be the case with our next president.”