Menendez slams 'silence' on Iran missile test

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." 
 
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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 Kirby told 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 year.
 
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.