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Menendez: ‘Our Red Lines to the Iranians Seem to be Green Lights’

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) argued “our red lines to the Iranians seem to be green lights” on Wednesday’s “Wolf” on CNN.

Menendez, after hearing a portion of Thomas Friedman’s op-ed where Friedman argues “It keeps feeling as if it’s always our side looking to accommodate Iran’s needs. I wish we had walked out just once. When you signal to the guy on the other side of the table that you’re not willing to either blow him up or blow him off – to get up and walk away – you reduce yourself to just an equal and get the best deal nonviolence can buy,” said, “Well, when I read Tom Friedman’s column about a week ago, I said, ‘Wow, this is exactly what I’ve been saying.’ And Tom Friedman’s been generally pretty good to the administration on a whole host of foreign policy issues. Look, I think it’s right spot on, and the title of that column, ‘A Good Bad Deal?’ Is the essence, I think, of where we’re headed here, if a deal can be had at all. And what’s the problem with that? The problem with that is what the administration said at the beginning, that I totally embrace, is that no deal is better than a bad deal. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a good bad deal. It’s either a good deal or it’s a bad deal and it’s a bad deal if –.”

He added, “Well, look, I’m afraid that our red lines to the Iranians seem to be green lights. The reality is that — how did we start these negotiations? We started these negotiations saying Iran cannot have the capacity for nuclear weapons. We started talking about that we needed to dismantle some of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructures. We started saying that there is no right to enrich, and what do we have so far from what I can see? We have where — the Iranians having an implicit ability to go ahead and enrich. We have a nuclear infrastructure that, despite the world powers sitting on the other side of the table, the Iranians have been able to keep most of their infrastructure in place. And at 10 to 15 years, they will have a clear pathway towards, if they choose to, towards pursuing a nuclear bomb. That is not where the national interest of the United States is nor of our ally, the state of Israel.”

Menendez concluded, “I’ll even reserve judgment even though I’m concerned about where we’re headed on what the final deal looks like. But, if it’s a bad deal, I think there would votes in the Senate to say it’s a bad deal.”

(h/t Washington Free Beacon)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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