UPI: U.S. Sen. John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, says Iran cannot be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, but rhetoric should be toned down. United Press International
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) — U.S. Sen. John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, says Iran cannot be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, but rhetoric should be toned down.
Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the Arizona senator said, “We cannot allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, but I do believe that to start talking about specifics — a bombardment or something like that — I think would be a terrible mistake.”
Citing President Ronald Reagan and the return of the U.S. hostages from Iran when he was inaugurated in 1981, McCain said, “Now, it’s not exactly comparable, but the Iranians would know, when I’m president, they’re facing somebody who’s not going to let them have it, but I’m not going to make a lot of empty threats that I can’t carry out.”
McCain said it would not be necessary to “take out” all of Iran’s nuclear process facilities.
“I’m not going to discuss tactics that could be used, but I would say from my knowledge of warfare and this situation, you don’t have to take out all the facilities … I don’t want to say anything more about it because I think one of the most effective things you can do is not telegraph your punches.”
McCain said as president he would also treat Russian President Vladimir Putin tougher.
“One of the things I would do is I wouldn’t invite him to the G8 (summit),” he said. “I would treat him — start treating him for what he is — a person who is trying to revert the old Russian Empire, a person who is basically depriving Russian people of any opportunity of democratic process … So what I would I start treating him is as what he is — a totalitarian dictator who is bent on consolidation of power and countering the United States’ best efforts in many areas of the world, including Iran.”