Senate Dem: 'Amazing To Me' We Included Lifting Arms Embargo, Missile Ban As Part of Iran Nuclear Deal

July 14, 2015

Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) said Tuesday he was amazed that the Iran deal includes provisions on the arms embargo and missile technology.

On Tuesday morning, President Obama announced that the United States reached an agreement with Iran regarding their nuclear program. As the details of the final deal are released, they show numerous concessions from the United States.

Menendez told MSNBC he is concerned that the Obama administration included a lift on the arms embargo and the continuation of Iran’s development of ballistic missile technology.

"It's amazing to me that we included the arms embargo and the missile technology question as part of this deal," Menendez said. "The reality is that there's a reason why Iran wants that. It wants to be able to continue to deploy its terrorism throughout the region as it is presently doing, even in desperate economic straits. I worry about intercontinental ballistic missiles and their ability to produce it."

Another concern for Menendez is the lift of financial sanctions that will allow Iran to receive billions of dollars and allow them to fund their terrorist activities in the Middle East.

"When they get $100 billion to $150 billion, yes, most of it will probably be spent in Iran, but if you just take 10 percent for the terrorism efforts, we have a real challenge in what will happen in the greater Middle East as a result of Iran having that type of money," Menendez said.

Menendez also said that if President Obama said this deal guarantees that Iran wouldn’t achieve a nuclear weapon that he would be less skeptical.

"The question is, this does not guarantee that Iran will not achieve a nuclear weapon in the future," Menendez said. "And I wish when the president came out today one of the things he would have said that would have assuaged me a little bit would have been under no circumstances will the United States permit Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon. He didn't say that."

Menendez said the reality of the deal is that after ten years when all the provisions are expired, Iran will be in a stronger position to break out and develop a nuclear weapon.

"The reality is that a decade from now, when many of the elements of this program are over, Iran is going to be able to move forward. It has a significant part of its infrastructure in place," Menendez said. "The question is, if you're going to have to face an Iran that is determined to achieve nuclear weapons, do you want to face them when they're at their weakest point, both economically and otherwise, and their defense mechanisms or do you want to face them when they're at their strongest point, when their economy has revived, when they are flush with money, when they bought the s-300 from Russia that is a defense missile system that will make it harder should they break out."