Menendez Slams ‘Silence’ on
Iran Missile Test
By Jordain Carney
December 8, 2015
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on
Tuesday slammed the Obama administration and the international community,
suggesting they hadn't taken a firm enough response to recent ballistic missile
tests by Iran.
"What has happened as a
result of Iran violating the U.N. Security Council resolutions as it relates to
missile testing? Absolutely nothing," he said. "Something is wrong
because the silence is so deafening."
The New Jersey senator's comments
come after reports that Iran tested a ballistic missile last month. It would
mark the second since diplomats reached a deal on the country's nuclear program.
Menendez added that without
concrete steps from the administration or the United Nations, "Iran can
support terror, Iran can develop its nuclear program, Iran can foment secretariat
conflict across the Middle East … and yet, it will be rewarded with a
multibillion dollar sanctions relief this coming year."
State Department spokesman John
reporters earlier Tuesday that the administration is investigating
claims of the missile test, though it couldn't confirm the reports.
The United Nations Security
Council is still debating how to respond to a previous test in October. Menendez
wrote to the administration over the initial test, but noted Tuesday that he
hasn't received a response.
While the missile test wouldn't violate the nuclear agreement, critics argue that not forcefully responding to the tests sends a signal that Iran will be able to get away with violating the deal.
Menendez has been one of the
leading Democratic critics of the Obama administration's handling of Iran. He
was also one of four Senate Democrats who opposed the nuclear deal earlier this
He previously introduced
legislation with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) that would extend the Iran Sanctions
Act for 10 years. The law is currently set to expire in 2016.
While the administration has
suggested that it is opposed to an extension, Menendez asked "what are we
snapping back to" without the law if Iran violates the nuclear deal.