PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez voiced his displeasure with the deal signed in Vienna that freezes Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting heavy sanctions.

Menendez told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT he feels this deal goes too far in recognizing Iranian nuclear capabilities.
“We are basically legitimizing Iran as a threshold nuclear state. We are not eliminating Iran’s infrastructure. We are basically keeping it in a moth ball condition but it’s still going to exist. I have serious concerns about what I thought one of our red lines was that seems to have been erased about anytime, anywhere inspections in Iran by the International Atomic Energy [Agency]. Those are needed because Iran has a history of deception and pursuing covert nuclear activities.”

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He is also strongly opposed to removing the arms embargo that is currently imposed on Iran.

“The lifting of the arms embargo in a few years is a serious concern when you have a country that is already under tough economic sanctions [and the] largest state sponsor of terrorism and will get anywhere between $100 and $150 Billion of economic relief, if you’re going to give them access to conventional arms and more missile technology, I don’t know that that’s in the national interest of the United States.”

Menendez believes those two things together, tacit approval of Iran’s nuclear program and sunsetting the arms embargo, could have very negative consequences somewhere down the line.

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“If Iran, in 12 years from now, as President Obama, himself, said in an NPR interview, could potentially break out and decides to do so, our ability to attack their nuclear infrastructure if, in fact, that’s our only option, will be far more difficult with an Iran that has purchased sophisticated missile defense systems than it is right now. So you have to question, why are you lifting the arms embargo?”