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Senate Foreign Relations Chair (D) Attacks Obama ‘Fear Mongering’

Senator Menendez said he felt insulted by Jay Carney’s comment on his “march to war.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shaking hands with Senate Foreign Relations Chair Robert "Bob" Menendez (D-NJ) during their meeting in Jerusalem, May 29, 2013.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shaking hands with Senate Foreign Relations Chair Robert "Bob" Menendez (D-NJ) during their meeting in Jerusalem, May 29, 2013.
Photo Credit: Moshe Milner/ GPO/Flash 90

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on Wednesday sharply criticized the Obama administration for urging Congress not to pass new sanctions on Iran, Politico reported. The Senator said the White House rhetoric on the subject was “over the top” and a case of “fear-mongering.”

While appreciating President Barack Obama’s stated goal of seeking diplomatic solutions to Iran’s nuclear plans, Menendez said he intends to keep pressing for new sanctions that will take effect as soon as it becomes clear Iran has stopped cooperating with the West. This approach, the Senator believes, to getting Iran to reach a permanent nuclear deal through the permanent threat of increased economic pressure, has a better chance to succeed.

Menendez said in no uncertain terms that he felt insulted by White House press secretary Jay Carney’s recent description of his continued push for congressional sanctions as a “march to war.”

Last week, Carney said: “The American people do not want a march to war, and it is important to understand that if pursuing a resolution diplomatically is disallowed or ruled out, what options then do we and our allies have to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?”

“What I don’t appreciate is when I hear remarks out of the White House spokesman that say … if we’re pursuing sanctions we’re marching the country off to war,” Menendez told NPR. “I think that’s way over the top, I think that’s fear-mongering.”

A group of senior Democrats in the Senate, including Menendez and Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) have been outspoken in their criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry’s deal with the Iranians, which may or may not require them to stop enriching uranium (they say it doesn’t). They are fully committed to cooperating with Republican senators on a new heap of sanctions on Dec. 9, when the Senate reconvenes, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will “take a look” at those sanctions.

Menendez doesn’t deny the allegation that his dispute with the White House could be perceived as a good cop-bad cop strategy by the Iranians. “We consistently hear about how we have to worry about the hard-liners in Iran. And it seems that the Iranians get to play good cop-bad cop, [Iranian President] Rouhani as the good cop, the hard-liners as the bad cop,” Menendez said.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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6 Responses to “Senate Foreign Relations Chair (D) Attacks Obama ‘Fear Mongering’”

  1. FROM RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    NOW IS THE TIME TO START A CAMPAIGN AGAINST OBAMA AND HILLARY. I AM WILLING TO TAKE THE PAIN IF YOU WILL WRITE A STORY TO SUPPORT ME AGAIN. THIS TIME WE MUST START EARLY AND NOW. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE WILL BE UNLESS HE OR SHE IS AN ANTI-SEMITE AND EXTREMIST MUSLIM LOVER SOCIALIST AS OBAMA.

    I WAS THE HEAD OF RABBIS FOR ROMNEY. THE AMERICAN RABBIS WOULD NOT LISTEN. WHAT A SHANDA. ISRAEL IS IN TROUBLE.Trying to lull us into complacency is what the Judenrat in the Ghettos did for their masters RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  2. Apparently he didn’t read the agreement! He should walk in an Israel’s shoes before he puts his foot in his mouth!

  3. The "agreement" is agreeing to enrich U 235 isotope non stop, the agreement agrees to the continuation of heavy water production that makes possible to produce weapon grade Plutonium. The only "positive" thing came out of it is that Iran gains time to do for what they are doing anyway. Western companies feverishly, rushing to get Iranian business.

  4. Larry H. Gentry says:

    I would apologize for America, but then I would sound like Obama. The Iran "deal" is stupid and not what most thoughtful Americans would want. Iran with nuclear weapons is a horrible thing to contemplate. They must be stopped verifiably and completely…no ifs, ands or butt-heads. Hopefully the American people who voted Obama into office will finally see the error of their ways. Impeachment would be nice.

  5. Fire has started coming back and soon it will burn whoever did something bad to Israel.

  6. Paul Ferbank says:

    It is about time that Democrats start to stand up to their party’s leader.

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