Senator Robert Menendez (D – N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pushed back today against the White House’s claims that Congressional action could derail negotiations with Iran over its illicit nuclear program. In his State of the Union speech last night, President Barack Obama claimed that such initiatives “will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails” with Iran.
In his opening statement to a committee hearing titled “Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Status of Talks and the Role of Congress “, Menendez said:
The more I hear from the administration in its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran. And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization when they are the ones with original sin: an illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of twenty years that they are unwilling to come clean on.
Josh Block, President and CEO of The Israel Project, also criticized the president’s claim that Congressional action could unravel the administration’s diplomacy with Iran. Block’s comments were quoted  by blogger “Elder of Ziyon.”
Those are ridiculous claims. First, the bill imposes no sanctions on Iran during talks whatsoever. If there is a deal by 6/30 — a deadline the president set and says will tell us if Iran is willing to make a deal or not — there are no sanctions.
Second, it is totally counter-intuitive to suggest that Iran will walk away nuclear talks it desperately needs to save its broken economy because of some sanctions that will never come into being if there is an agreement — which they claim they want.
Like past dire claims — like central bank sanctions will drive the world into recession or oil prices will soar to $250 a barrel (yes they really said these things) these latest inexplicable claims are worthless and false.
The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
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