In a move consistent with his past positions on international issues, Sen. Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee,has accused the White House of using "over the top" rhetoric and "fear mongering tactics" to discourage new sanctions on Iran.

These new sanctions were to take effect after the United States brokered an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

The deal with Iran agreed by the U.S. and its P5-plus- 1 partners (the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany) has been sharply criticized by some Democrats and many Republicans who are strong supporters of Israel. A bill aimed at imposing further sanctions on Iran is stalled in the Senate after the Obama administration asked for a delay to seek a diplomatic solution to the impasse with that country.