U.S. Senator Menendez at AIPAC: Only Intense Economic Pressure Influences Iran’s Leaders
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday told the 2014 AIPAC Policy that the Arab Spring has turned into “long winter of discontent” that creates instability for Israel, while Iran’s role in the region underlines the importance of dismantling its nuclear program which he believes the Islamic Republic intends to continue to pursue.
Menendez, speaking ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told AIPAC delegates that “Iran cannot be trusted to live up to its word without external pressure.”
He said that, in his view, Iran’s participation in negotiations with the world powers is aimed at dismantling the economic sanctions against the country, while it momentarily “mothballs” its nuclear weapon program, which it would quickly pick up again if given the chance.
“It is clear that only intense economic pressure influences Iran’s leaders,” he said, while those sanctions “are not a spigot that can be turned on and off as suggested.” Menendez, who said he has been working against the Iranian regime for 21 years, made clear that the U.S. “will not take the military option off the table.”
The biggest response from the audience was when Menendez said that Israel’s right to its territory goes “back to Abraham and Sarah,” the first family of the Jewish religion.