Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the co-author of a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran if the Islamic Republic does not reach a political framework agreement in nuclear negotiations with world powers by March 24, gave an impassioned speech against a nuclear Iran at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Monday night.
“As long as I have an ounce of fight left in me… Iran will never have a pathway to a weapon,” Menendez said. “It will never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to star a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch.”
Menendez said Iran “needs to understand that there are consequences to an impasse [in the nuclear talks], and those consequences are additional consequential sanctions.”
The senator also defended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much-debated speech to Congress on Iran, saying that while he agrees “with some Democrats that the political timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress tomorrow may have been unfortunate,” he “must disagree” with those who say the speech is “destructive” to U.S.-Israel relations-a specific reference to recent comments by U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice.