Menendez on Iran: Failure Theater, or not?

Bob Menendez (D-NJ), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“let’s remind ourselves of the stated purpose of our negotiations with Iran: Simply put, it was to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time. Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”


“This deal grants Iran permanent sanctions relief in exchange for only temporary – temporary — limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations. At year ten, the UN Security Council Resolution will disappear along with the dispute resolution mechanism needed to snapback UN sanctions and the 24-day mandatory access provision for suspicious sites in Iran.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment.”

The above is from Menendez’s speech at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations yesterday, which I urge you to read in full (the speech is also available on YouTube). Get past the obligatory putdown of Republicans and praise of Obama, and you have, as Ace calls it, a speech that is all but unanswerable.

Today Menendez has an op-ed on the NYPost reiterating his proposal for a better Iran deal. He lists six points, and asserts that talks should continue to “allow the re-consideration of just a few, but a critical few issues”, and he lists six essential points, while

At the same time we should: Extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act, which expires in 2016, to ensure that we have an effective snapback option; consider licensing the strategic export of American oil to allied countries struggling with supply because Iranian oil remains off the market; immediately implement the security measures offered to our partners in the Gulf Summit at Camp David, while preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge.

Menendez is keenly aware that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani flew to Russia to consult with Vladimir Putin last week while two Russian warships docked in northern Iran for naval training exercises.

Rouhani, you may recall, is still under an Interpol Red Notice for his alleged role in the decision to bomb the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina or Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. More recently, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman was killed by a single shot to his head in his apartment the day before he was to testify to congress about Iran’s deal(s) with president Cristina Fernandez for suppressing evidence, deals in which Nisman alleged Rouhani was involved (you can go to my blog and scroll down).

And yet, “Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran” when he’s not attending Death to America events.

As Ted Cruz says, “If there’s one principle that history has taught us, it is that if somebody tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who last Friday stood like patience on a statue while Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla brazenly lied about Cuba and insulted the U.S. during their joint press conference, demonstrated his contempt for Congress during his Iran testimony

by making cause with self-proclaimed enemies of his nation against a branch of his own government.

Not only with his words, but also in

the way the administration is seeking to bypass the Congressional role in approving treaties through the combination of an executive agreement and a UN Security Council resolution.

Does it all amount to Failure Theater, or will Menendez and the Senate Democrats who oppose the deal achieve their goal?

I don’t know.

But I’m calling my Senator to oppose the Iran deal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.