(CNN)— Senator John McCain warned Tuesday Iran’s increasing influence in the Middle East is hindering progress in Iraq.
Closing a week-long congressional delegation to the region that included a time in Iraq, McCain expressed concern over a large cache of explosives found in Iraq and alluded that they may have been sent from Iran.
During a press conference in Amman, Jordan, the Arizona senator also said there is a continued concern that Iran may be training Iraqi extremists in Iran and then sending them back into Iraq.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also said he was concerned about Iran developing nuclear weapons and said he planned to work closely with European allies to set in place a strict set of sanctions “that would be harmful and compelling" to Iran's trade, diplomatic, and financial institutions if he was elected president.
"There'd be a broad range of sanctions and punishments to the Iranians to help try to convince them that their activities – particularly development of nuclear weapons – is not a beneficial goal to seek," he said.
McCain said he was encouraged by the progress he saw in Iraq as well as his meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
"We realize that there are enormous challenges in the form of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and also continued efforts to win the struggle in Iraq, which we are succeeding but we still have a long way to go," he said.
Despite having a fundraiser planned in London this Thursday, McCain stressed the trip, his eighth to Iraq was not political. McCain is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was joined on his trip by two fellow committee members, Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
–CNN's Emily Sherman
Some of you are absolutely INSANE! McCain is more of the same. I want my husband home from Iraq and parts unknown...and so do my children. At this rate not only will we never see him, I will be asked to come out of retirement. Maybe if we enforce the draft some of YOU will not be so eager to vote for war mongers.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting
OBAMA'S SPEECH TODAY WAS MORE OF THE SAME!!!!!!!
TAP DANCING AROUND THE REAL SUBJECT!
HE DID MORE OF A POLITICAL SPEECH THAN EXPLAINING HIS 20 YEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS HATE MONGER!!!!!!!
I DO NOT TRUST HIM AND I HOPE THAT HIS SUPPORTERS WAKE UP AND REALIZE HE IS DONE! IT IS HIS OWN FAULT!!!!!!!!
GO SENATOR CLINTON!!!!!!!!!!!
George from "mineapolis": Can't you even spell your own city? And you consider yourself worthy of comment? McCain 08!
Great McCain is talking about a war in Iran. Those of you who think he should be president. All I say to you is he will have to re-instate the draft to fight it.
Interesting blog. The question can no longer be why were are in Iraq, it must now be what is the new administration going to do since we are.
The anti-war rhetoric is cute, but we must get an HONEST discussion over what will happen in the generations to come. What is the BEST policy? Is Iran a threat? How about that Tibet issue?
Hey Democrats, if we all ignore Iran and the fact that Al Qeada wants to attack us, maybe they'll go away! According to liberals, Iran is a peace loving country and doesn't pose a threat to the region or the world, and war mongering Republicans are to blame, right?
John please stay there and come back when you have some proof.
BUSH and McCain , I don't see any different !! Is there any I wonder !
Now that Obamas career is over, who ya gonna vote for?
57 million newly freed people still need/want our help and all the dems can do is argue about which will desert them the fastest..
The beats of the Bush war drum continues....
How about those taxe RETURNS?????????
Fox news has it own website. I'm sure you will find people that agree with you there.
Ignorance is bliss....
MCinsane. Business as usual.
"Anger, Fear, Aggression...the Dark Side are they." – Yoda
Whoever wrote somthing negativly about Mccain is afraid of their own democrating nominee.Here you have 2 democrates fighting among themselves and try to blame on Mccain.If you did read it probably Mccain never mentioned that he going to plan to attack Iran.He just said the truth that out there about Iranians in Iraq and their plans to build WMD.He did mention that he's going to keep in closely with the European counterparts about strict sactions with Iran.And that what future presendential should do.Please bear in mind,he has a son over in Iraq too,do you think he will take the lives of American easily.He was a POW and without his strict and determination on the surge,more Americans would died by now.Please read and understand more closely before you write something stupid.It can really makes you more ingonarance
It is amazing that America cannot face the truth. stick your head in the sand and the Obama messiah will come and rescue us......please wake up,John Mccain is the only candidate that tells the truth without the b.s nonsense.
Yes the war is wrong but the other alternative is worse. I bet the terrorists are popping the goats milk and falafel if Obama gets in.
ever hear the saying 'I tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear" Obama says the reverse cause it sounds good.
Two reasons that Iran has growing influence, the invasion of Iraq and the absolute failure of this administrations foreign policies.
HILLARY R. CLINTON WILL WIN ALL OF THE SUPERDELEGATES TO WIN THE NOMINATION…….
SOME MAJOR FACTS IN FLORIDA
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON'S NAME ON BALLOT.
BARACK H. OBAMA'S NAME ON BALLOT.
CITIZENS CAME TO VOTE AND HILLARY R. CLINTON WON THE PRIMARY BY SUBSTANTIAL MARGINS..
THAT WAS A LEGAL VOTE BY THE CITIZENS OF FLORIDA.
DNC , HOWARD DEAN AND THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
DROPPED THE BALL, NOT THE CITIZENS SO THEY BETTER LET THE VOTES STAND AT THEY ARE WRITTEN.
MICHIGAN BECAUSE OBAMA'S NAME WAS NOT ON THE BALLOT SHOUD HAVE A REDO TO GIVE OBAMA A CHANCE TO CAMPAIGN HIS POLITICS OF CHANGE.
SHE WILL WIN BIG IN MICIGAN ALSO
OF COURSE THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN DOES NOT WANT A REDO NOR DO THEY WANT THE FLORIDA VOTES TO COUNT BECAUSE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON WILL WIN WITH A MAJORITY.
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS HILLARY R. CLINTON
How come you don't mention McCain's ridiculous gaffe? He originally said Iranian operatives were "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back." which is ridiculous considering the shii vs. sunni makeup of the two groups. Lieberman corrected him and he changed his statement to 'Iraqi extremists', none of which you all felt it necessary to mention?
Yeah!!! Let's invade Iran!!! Eight more years of war, Republicans rule, and trillions of dollars more for war contractors, oil companies and corrupt officials!!! What's not to like!!!
Is America a moderator or a police in middle east ?
Neither party gets the picture right. One talks about war as is another says lets pull out- ok, where is the solution in any of these ? We have a major crisis in forign policy in amreica. Does the media or the political candidates realize ? Here is what I see. (1) Middle east including Israel need a lasting solution that is self sustainable. Lets not under-estimate the conitnued threat from terrorism. This is ingrained in the metal model in the gulf countries and the religious extremists in the region. We must permanently clean up terroristic beaviour without any tolerance. This does NOT mean that we use our military as a police force – that is not the purspose of the american military. We must take diplomatic actions with clear carrot & stick appraoch and use incisive/decisisve force where necessary with military. Meaning lets pull out military from Iraq and maintain capability at a distance to excersise force where there is a clear and concize action defined by the political action team. One possible political action may be to re-look at the total situation. The partitions of the countries made by British have left a mess that Americans and the world is dealing with to no vail. We need to get the parties to the table and re-partition the states from Palestine to Iran and perhaps pakistan. In israel we need to get rid of swiss-cheese and remove Gaza from Palestine control. Compensate Palestine for land from neighbours. Get a deal with Iran on no intrusion-dominance if they want peace and progress. Clean up the pakistan -afghanistan borders for security and get committed actions from countries .. or else take action. (2) Here is another evolving threat to american and global interests of peace. China!! We are watching a genocide repeat itself from 1955 to today of Tibetians. We must insist on clear accountable human values with China ... pandering to the chinese communists is morally and economically a major mistake. Let me say this ... IS Media OR the Candidates in "Frog in the well" syndrome or they can waking up? I hope for the sake of America they do and fast.
God bless america.
kelly WI March 18th, 2008 1:30 pm ET
Go John. Don't pay any attention to these sound bite repeater nit wits.
Protect the Country or we have NOthing else.
Kelly please move out of WI and to the south where your backward thinking will be appreciated.
More fearmongering to help the intellectually disabled find an excuse to vote for McBush so he can continue the abject failures of the Bush administration.
How about we hold accountable those harboring bin Laden? How about we actually find and punish bin Laden? How about we do the things we SHOULD have done after 9/11!
Instead we follow a set of policies put in place by a bunch of [R] neo-cowards. But instead of correcting itself, and getting on with America's business, the [R] party uses 9/11 as electoral scheme to divide this country and scrape the bottom half of the IQ barrel to get elected. SHAME! Those who sold out to the neo-cowards can count themselves as part of that species.
Go McCain. Go war with Iran. :)
Go Army. :)