Sen. Menendez vows to keep fighting Obama on Iran deal

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has forcefully denounced the international nuclear accord reached with Iran’s regime last year.

The key Senate Democrat drew a stark contrast with the Obama administration over its diplomatic engagement with Tehran on Tuesday, in a sign of lingering tensions in some corners of the party.

“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,” said Menendez, the former top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations.

Sen. Menendez did not hold back from his criticisms on Tuesday, claiming that three missile tests Tehran has conducted in recent months are proof the agreement has no teeth.

The agreement “has freed Iran to test the administration’s blind commitment to legacy,” Menendez said in Washington, adding, “legacy is not a policy and hope is not a national security strategy and there is too much at stake to confuse the two.”

Menendez has repeatedly called for new sanctions legislation to serve as a backstop in case Iran’s regime breaks its obligations under the agreement. 

“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.