WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) said Tuesday he will vote against the pending nuclear deal with Iran, and will vote to override a presidential veto if needed to help kill the deal, striking a firm -- though unsurprising -- stand against one of President Obama's top priorities.

Menendez, speaking at Seton Hall University in South Orange, said, "if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it."

The former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez said the final deal with Iran fell far short of the goals set out at the beginning of negotiations, and will leave the country close to developing a nuclear weapon while lifting punishing sanctions.

"This deal grants Iran permanent sanctions relief in exchange for only temporary – temporary -- limitations on its nuclear program," Menendez said while reading from a more than 6,000 word speech deep on details about Iranian centrifuges, sanctions and Iranian missiles. "We want a deal, but we want the right deal."

Menendez became just the second Senate Democrat to take a stand against a deal that could be a major piece of Obama's foreign policy legacy. The other is Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), the Senate's incoming Democratic leader.

With Republicans lined up against the pact, just a handful of Democratic votes in the Senate could help them get the 60 needed to pass a resolution to scuttle the agreement. But with Obama promising to veto that measure, it will take 67 votes to override him and kill the deal. (A resolution of disapproval is almost certain to pass the House, where opponents only need a majority, though a veto override there is less certain).

Menendez's opposition was widely expected. He is a staunch Israel supporter and longtime critic of Obama's Iran policy. He has persistently called for tougher sanctions on Iran.

Locally, Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) has also announced his opposition to the deal, while Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.) has said he is leaning toward supporting it.

Other local Democrats remain undecided and could play a key role in deciding if Congress can pass a resolution opposing the pact, and if so, whether Obama's veto will stand.

Sens. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) are among the many Democrats who have not yet said how they will vote. The debate in September is expected to be one of the most crucial of the fall.

Roughly 30 senators -- all Democrats -- have said they support the deal, or indicated that they are leaning toward supporting it.

"We are encouraged by the growing number of lawmakers who have announced support for the deal in the past week - echoing the same arguments the President has been making for several months," said White House spokesman Keith Maley. "We remain confident that ultimately a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate will support the deal, and if necessary, sustain the President's veto."

Supporters say the deal is the best way to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon for the next 15 years. Without the pact, they argue, Iran will remain on the brink of developing a nuclear bomb.

President Obama has argued that the only alternative to the deal will be another war in the Middle East -- a stand critics, including Israeli leaders, strongly reject, saying he should negotiate a tougher bargain.

But killing the agreement after long negotiations involving Iran, the U.S., Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, would fracture the international coalition that has brought sanctions on Tehran, and sink U.S. credibility, Obama supporters argue.

Menendez rejected that idea.

"It is difficult to believe that the world's greatest powers -- the U.S., Great Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union -- sitting on one side of the table, and Iran sitting alone on the other side, staggering from sanctions and rocked by plummeting oil prices, could not have achieved some level of critical dismantlement," Menendez said. He urged the administration to go back to the table with tougher demands.

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