Transcript for Sen. Bob Menendez on 'This Week'
very much. George, thank you. Now, let's turn to another new jerseyan, bob menendez. I want to get to iran. But first, we just heard from governor christie on his record. Was it as a commanding a win and as much a validation of his record as he said? Clearly, the governor had a big win. When you win by 20 points, that's a big win in any state. So, you know, the governor had a good win and I think that's a testament to his own person within the state as well as the effort that he, you know, put together in terms of different elements of the electorate. How about your reaction to the breakdown of iran nuclear talks in geneva? Secretary kerry still optimistic that a deal can be reached, are you? George, it depends on what the deal is. My concern is that, we seem to want the deal almost more than the iranians. You can't want the deal more than iranians, especially when the iranians are on the ropes. It seems to me that we're moving more and more away from the global position, the position adopted by the u.N. Security council that basically says two things -- cease all enrichment and accept more protocols and more inspections, including places that we haven't had access to in the iranian enrichment cycle. So, I am glad to see, from what I read from press accounts, that the french took a hard position against the iraq, you know, facility, because that is a heavy water nuclear reactor whose only purpose from my perspective, in a country that already has huge oil reserves, it's ultimately to create the type of nuclear fuel for nuclear weapons. All enrichment has to stop? Iranians, as you know, another tweet from the president saying that's a redline for them. He said that there are, for us, there are red lines that can't be crossed. Our national interests are our red lines. Including enrichment and other rights under international law. That's where we have a fundamental disagreement. There is a right to a peaceful, civilian nuclear program undoubtedly. But our neighbors here in the united states, canada and mexico, they have nuclear programs, but they don't enrich domestically, so suggesting this right to enrichment domestically is problematic as well as iran in the past has taught us their past. Rouhani said in his book, when he was the nuclear negotiator, he was able to approve -- he was able to convince the west not to approve sanctions. So, if past is prologue, we have to be very wide-eyed about these negotiations are and what we accept. Secretary kerry has asked congress to hold off on any new sanctions until these negotiations are completed, are you willing to do that? Well, you know, I said that i would wait until this week and in fact, this week has not produced a result, and to be very honest with you, I think that the possibility of moving ahead with new sanctions, including wording it in such a way that if there's a deal that's acceptable, that those sanctions could cease upon such a deal. It's an insurance for the united states to make sure that iran actually complies with an agreement, that we would want to see, which is, of course, desirable. You'll move forward this week? At the same time, it's an incentive to the iranians to know what's coming. If you don't strike a deal. So, I look toward to working with my colleagues in the senate to move forward on a package that ultimately would send a very clear message, where we intend to be if the iranians don't strike a deal. And stop their nuclear weapons program. Okay, senator menendez, thank you very much.
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