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Robert Menendez Says He’ll Vote Against Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON — Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, said on Tuesday that he would vote against the nuclear accord with Iran.

“At the end of the day, what we appear to have is a rollback of sanctions and Iran only limiting its capability, but not dismantling it or rolling it back,” Mr. Menendez said, according to prepared remarks of a speech he delivered at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

“If Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,” he added. “I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto.”

A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Menendez has been sharply critical of the Obama administration’s efforts to negotiate an agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.

Though not unexpected, Mr. Menendez’s opposition follows announcements by Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, and Senator Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican, that they would also vote against the accord.

In his speech, Mr. Menendez urged the administration to renegotiate the terms of the accord so that the main limitations on Iran’s nuclear program lasted at least 20 years, instead of the 10 to 15 years that are provided for in the agreement.

He also called for a ban on the research and development of new types of centrifuges during the life of the agreement, among other steps to tighten the deal.

The Obama administration says that it negotiated the best deal possible. It insists that a congressional rejection of the accord would lead to a collapse of the international sanctions system and would lead Iran to step up its nuclear efforts.

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(via NY Times)