Menendez says U.S. remains committed to keeping nuclear weapons from Iran

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said on Monday that the U.S. desire to keep Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability remains unchanged.

Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the statement after the committee met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Menendez said the senators were hopeful for a diplomatic outcome with Iran that would stop the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

"During the meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, senators spoke with a unity of purpose, hopeful for a diplomatic outcome with Iran that leads to a verifiable termination of its pursuit of nuclear weapons program, but resolute that U.S. national security objectives can never be compromised," Menendez said. "Our resolve to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability remains unchanged and we will not hesitate from proceeding with further sanctions and other options to protect U.S. interests and ensure regional security."

Menendez said Iran's recent efforts at diplomacy with the U.S. cannot be used to buy time. He noted that compliance with its international obligations will be the true test of Iran's intentions.

"While we welcome Iran's diplomatic engagement, it cannot be used to buy time, avoid sanctions, and continue the march toward nuclear weapons capability," Menendez said. "Compliance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions will be the ultimate test of Iran's intentions. We proceed with an open hand, and an open mind, but remain clear-eyed that Iran must align its actions with its rhetoric."