High-Ranking Dem Opposes Iran Deal: 'Hope Is Not a Nat'l Security Initiative'
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez explained on "America's Newsroom" this morning why he became the second Senate Democrat to oppose the Obama administration's deal with Iran.
Menendez, who laid out his opposition in a speech yesterday at Seton Hall University, told Bill Hemmer that he does not believe the agreement eliminates Iran's "pathway to nuclear weapons capability."
"I have looked into my own soul and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it," Menendez said in the speech Tuesday. "It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto."
Hemmer pointed out that Republicans and the Democrats who oppose the deal are unlikely to reach the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto of legislation to stop it.
Thirteen Democrats would need to join all Republican senators to reach the threshold.
Menendez, formerly the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said that doesn't matter to him, arguing the agreement does not put the United States in a better position to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
He said the Obama administration is relying on an "aspirational" view toward Iran and trusting that the country will abide by the deal. Menendez said he hopes Iran will change its ways, stop supporting terror and release American hostages.
"But hope is not a national security initiative. I have to look at the deal not as if everything is going to go well. But in fact, looking at a 20-year history of violations of Security Council resolutions and other items, what if it goes bad?" he asked.
Watch the interview above.