Iran General NewsMcCain says would apply diplomacy squeeze on Iran

McCain says would apply diplomacy squeeze on Iran


ImageReuters: Republican John McCain on Tuesday promised to apply massive diplomatic and financial pressure on Iran to try to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon if elected president.

By Andy Sullivan

ImageWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican John McCain on Tuesday promised to apply massive diplomatic and financial pressure on Iran to try to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon if elected president.

Often accused of hawkish policies, McCain told MSNBC's "Hardball" it would be difficult to convince the American people to go to war against Iran.

"I believe we can act with nations with values and principles that we hold dear and exercise enormous pressure — diplomatic, trade, financial," he said.

If he decided he had to attack, McCain said he would have to make an "even more convincing argument that it was necessary to do so because of our failure to find weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq.

"There's a little credibility gap," he said, referring to President George W. Bush, who justified the 2003 invasion of Iraq by saying it possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Iran has been a hot topic in the presidential campaign with Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton arguing that the Iraq war allowed Iran to increase its influence in southern Iraq. They also say Iranian elements have been shipping explosives across the border to attack Americans and Iraqis.

Clinton on Tuesday called Bush's Iran policy "a loser" and recommended low-level talks with a country the United States has labeled a sponsor of terrorism.

Speaking at a meeting of newspaper publishers, Clinton sought to strike a balance between the hawkish approach taken by the Bush administration and her Democratic rival Barack Obama's call for face-to-face talks with the Iranian president, who denies the Holocaust and has threatened to destroy Israel.

"The approach that the Bush administration … has neither changed behaviors or produced results," said Clinton, a former first lady who would be the first woman president.

"I've advocated both that carrot and that stick," the New York senator said, She would "try to create the beginning of lower levels of diplomatic engagement, some ongoing process."

The West accuses Iran of trying to acquire nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program. Iran denies the charge and says it needs nuclear technology to meet electricity demand.

The United States has led international efforts to penalize Iran for failing to allay suspicions over its nuclear work.

McCain, an Arizona senator, cited published U.S. intelligence in saying that Iran appears to be close to a "tipping point" in developing the technology needed for a nuclear weapon.

He said Iran would have to be a "clear and present danger" to warrant military action and that to gain public support he would bring appropriate members of Congress to the White House for intensive consultations to show them the evidence.

The message to them would be, "I want you to be in on the takeoff as well as the landing," he said.

(Writing by Steve Holland, editing by Alan Elsner)

(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at http:/

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Iran: Two women’s rights activists sentenced to jail

AKI: A court in Tehran issued on Tuesday a...

Iran’s ticking bomb

Wall Street Journal Europe: Solana, Straw, Fischer, and de...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you