By COLlive reporter
U.S. Senator Bob Menendezhas became the second senior Democratic official to openly break with President Barack Obama, as he announced that he will vote against the Iran deal.
In an hour-long speech given at Seton Hall University in South Orange, the Senator from New Jersey spoke passionately on his research of this deal and his belief that there is a better deal to be made for America.
“Let me be very clear, I do not believe the alternative to this deal is war, the alternative is a much better deal for America and the world,” said Menendez, who served as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Menendez, known for his deep friendship towards the Jewish community and Israel, has been an ally of President Obama’s on domestic issues but a fierce critic on the administration’s foreign policy agenda.
He made it clear he will be voting against the deal on Iran’s nuclear program. “If Iran is to get a nuclear weapon it will not have my name on it,” he said in a nationally televised speech in front of a crowd of 400 people.
Menendez referred to “countless hours” he has spent in hearings, classified briefings and serious discussions on the deal. “It is not an issue of supporting or opposing the President. This issue is much greater and graver than that,” he said.
Menendez will be only the second Senate Democrat to come out against the deal, after powerful New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced his opposition earlier in the month, CNN reported.
Among the over 400 guests at Seton Hall were a group of 15 Chabad Shluchim from around New Jersey who were personally invited by the Senator’s staff. Menendez met with a delegation of them after the speech.
The Senator has in the past visited the Rabbinical College of America, the campus of Chabad’s New Jersey Headquarters in Morristown, and developed a close relationship with Rabbi Moshe Herson, Head Shliach of NJ.