McCain in New Hampshire Tuesday comments on Iran.
KEENE, New Hampshire (CNN) – One day after the release of a
four-year-old U.S. intelligence report that said Tehran halted its nuclear program in 2003, Arizona Sen. John McCain warned reporters Tuesday that the Iranians were "still sponsoring terrorist organizations," and "sending dangerous and lethal explosive devices into Iraq."
McCain told the crowd at a Granite State campaign stop that he did not have "inside details" on Iran's nuclear development, but that the intelligence community needed to pay careful attention to the original information that had led to their earlier assessment that Tehran was seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.
"We've had a history of not having the greatest intelligence capability," said the senator, offering mistaken Cold War-era assessments that misled Pentagon planners during the Korean War and the arms race with the Soviet Union as examples. The Iraq war supporter did not mention the intelligence community's most recent failure, its pre-war assessment of Saddam Hussein's weapons program.
The Republican presidential candidate cited a lack of human intelligence on the ground, and remarked on the inability of intelligence agents to "swim into a society" and collect information. He vowed to overhaul the human intelligence system if elected.
–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla