March 18th, 2008
01:01 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain warns of increasing Iranian influence

CNN 

Listen to Sen. McCain’s remarks from Jordan

(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.

Full Story

–CNN's Emily Sherman


Filed under: Iran • Iraq • John McCain
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Alice in Fort Myers

    If it's Obama in November, McCain has my vote. There is no way that I can vote for a liar. We've had enough lies with Bush. At least McCain wouldn't say, "Well, I wasn't there and never heard what Wright said," and then change it in a phoney speech, "Well, um, actually, I was there."

    And this is just the latest in a long line of Obama's lies. He's cooked.

    March 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. rob

    Any Democrat would be better than any republican as president.

    March 18, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. TJS

    All of you still supporting Obama, hope you know a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain. You should be praying that he is up against Hillary then he "might" lose. But Obama blew it lying before he got elected now he isn't trusted. He should have been upfront all along and people might have voted for him, other than those who are blinded by his smooth talking have moved on.

    March 18, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Jeff

    McCain doesn't even know that al Qaeda is not friendly with Iran – they hate each other. He doesn't even have a grasp of what's supposed to be his main issue.

    March 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. PhunkyD

    This is just more of the same lies from the same lying liars. Anyone with any sense knows that attacking Iran was always in the plan. This land is being run into the ground by the super-rich to line their coffers.

    Ignorant people everywhere need to do some of their own research and their own thinking so they can discern truth from lies and fact from fiction. We must end this great right wing conspiracy to make more money from the war brokers and oil men. The richer are getting richer while the poor are being thrown into a recession. Our troops and our money will run out soon enough and we'll become owned by our creditors (CHINA) while the oil barons and the war profiteers get off scot-free don't pay a dime. The threat is not Iran or radical Muslim groups, but our own lying leaders who are being controlled by special interests and greed.

    Regardless of who comes out on top in the Democratic debacle, please don't vote in another Bush clone who is a puppet in the plan and will just continue down this treacherous path blazed by greed, ignorance, and hate. Personally, I'm seriously thinking of moving to Canada.

    March 18, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Chris, PENN

    This is a great summary of this race.......thanks to whoever posted it.

    A woman condemed for a gender she can not shed while swinging wildly at the punches aiming at her head.
    A man wearing a mask of grace while holding hands with a preacher of hate.
    And then there is Mccain, silent and muted while working towards change.

    March 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Dale

    hey Casual Observer- your name fits. I am GOP but I know enough to educate myself that Al-Qeada was started and financed by the CIA. the truth can hurt. it's a sinister game being played.

    March 18, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Nancy

    IS CNN AFRAID OF THE TRUTH??? WHY DID YOU DELETE MY PREVIOUS POST EXPLAINING THE TRUTH TO YOUR READERS ABOUT THIS MCBUSH STATEMENT GIVEN WHILE HE WAS IN JORDAN??? OK, I WILL TRY FOR THE TRUTH AGAIN...MCBUSH SAID THAT IRAN WAS ARMING AND TRAINING AL QAEDA. NOW, FOR ANYONE WHO HAS HALF A BRAIN AND HAS BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO HISTORY, THIS COULD NOT BE TRUE. FOR YOU SEE, IRAN IS SHIITE AND AL QAEDA IS SUNNI. MCBUSH DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THE DIFFERENCE AND WHEN PRESSED BY REPORTERS, KEPT REPEATING THE MISTAKE UNTIL JOE TRAITORMAN LEANED OVER AND WHISPERED IN HIS EAR THAT IRAN WAS TRAINING AND ARMING SHIITE EXTREMISTS, NOT AL QAEDA. THE MAN WHO WANTS TO HAVE HIS FINGER ON THE BUTTON, DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHO OUR ENEMIES ARE. ANOTHER 8 YEARS OF BUSH WE DO NOT NEED...LET'S SEE IF CNN WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO PRINT THIS POST AND NOT DELETE IT...OR DOES THE TRUTH HURT THAT BAD???

    March 18, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Lou

    Is this guy senile,or just a warmonger???

    March 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. JarryHames

    Insane McCain = Bush 2.0
    Can we survive 4 more years of the 8 that we've been living? I hope that Obama and Hillary get themselves together and stop destroying the Democratic Party. We need something new in the White House! 'Cause this turkey already thinks that he's going to be president.

    March 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. pmac

    Fool me once shame on you
    Fool me twice shame on me

    Some of you got fooled twice are trying for a third?
    A vote for McShame and you are a fool
    The WMD's are back, I'm sure it's the Iranians! Be very afraid !
    I never voted for Shrub and I will not vote McShame
    I WILL Vote Democrat

    March 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Trollmaster, CA

    Most of the suicide bombers are coming out of Saudi Arabia. Like Bush he's totally ignoring that, and trying to pick a fight with Iran.

    As usual, ignore a real threat and do everything you can to make up a fake threat.

    March 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. E. Bertin

    Who remember about McNamara at time of war in Vietnam .. Donald Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq .... now the is McCain with Iran ! Is America that poor minded ? Where are the proofs ? Innocents are being killed all the time ... and USA economy is running to bankrupt !!! NO WAR ANYMORE PLEASE !!!

    March 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Derrick Martin

    I am an extremly liberal "black" that never use racial terms such as "wetback" and "poor white trash" to refer to others different than me. I am extremly upset about the way Barack Obama is being treated by the media and some of the comments in these blogs. America needs to do right by their blacks. The real racial problems were never addressed and still linger. Just because Reverend Wright made a few controversial remarks does not make him all bad. I wonder how white people would feel if the situation was reversed and Black people enslaved white people and treated them the way blacks have been treated in this county. I bet some of them would have some lingering hate. Some have hate toward blacks and they have been the oppressor.
    Does anyone remember Emmitt Till? I bet Reverend Wright does.

    March 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Uncle Sam

    Imagine that you were taken as a prisoner of war. And imagine that your broken body was forced to endure what seemed like endless torture. Now imagine that you were granted the opportunity to be released from this hell. Who among us would not grasp at this reprieve from agony and count our blessings? Who could possibly place a greater value on the welfare of comrades left behind than his own self-preservation? The mind can scarcely comprehend the depth of moral courage required to perform such a heroic act. In our current election cycle, there are those who maintain that such nobility of character alone should not qualify John McCain for the presidency. That may be true. However, if asked what single attribute I would want in our next president, I can think of none greater.

    March 18, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Barry Thompson

    OK, I'm a pretty solid liberal democrat and I wouldn't cast a vote for a republican with a gun to my head, but I don't think McCain is saber rattling here....in fact, both Obama and Clinton have made very similar statements to the one McCain made here. Let's all take a deep breath here, eh?

    March 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    Hey John Boy!

    The "Greeter" job is still available @ Walmart!

    March 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Independent in IA

    Ah, yes...the Bush-Clone follows in his mentor's footsteps....he knows full well Iran will laugh at sanctions and thus open the door for another "Shock And Awe" scenario to be played out with more precious American blood.

    March 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. billd

    Alice.... Obama is a liar and crooked but your ok with a guy who divorced his wife of 15 years, was militarily tried for adultury and re-married a 25 year old less than a month after his divorce? Interesting standards...

    March 18, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Ordinary folks

    Please. Don't pick another country to fight. We are still sinking at Iraq. We can't fight with everyone at middle east. It is just too expensive. Let them fight within themselves. We did not have any terriorist issues like we have today with Iraq or Iran when they fought each other back in 80's. Shift the focus back to themselves instead on us at United States. Maybe we can pay Israelis to pick a fight with Iran.
    We already throw 12 billion dollars a month at Iraq. It can't get any more expansive than that. Who knows? it may be cheaper.

    March 18, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. johnE

    HOW COME LIBERALS ONLY BLAME AMERICA BUT NEVER PROTEST OUR IRAN, CHAVEZ AND NKOREA?

    March 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. J. Dray

    The politics of fear. What most people do not know or refuse to believe is that the United states is the most powerful country in the world. Iran has no nuclear weapons yet, the US has about 4800 ready right now and about 5200 in reserve. What do you think would happen if Iran used one of them! Get real, the only thing we have to fear itself. Stop the scare tactics and deal with these problems in a smart but strong way!

    March 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. PA voter

    Iraq was a mistake and any future "offensive" war is a mistake. McCain is an idiot to to think that Iran is a threat since if we never went into Iraq, Iran wound not be a problem. I wish the scared people of this country stopped voting for the "tough guy" that can take on the world. GIVE IT UP REPUBLICANS! You already let the terrorists win. We spent half a trillion dollars on us being scared and it ruined our economy. Pres. Bush and people like John McCain have already let the terrorists win and are destroying our country just like the "terrorists" wanted because they terrorized our country. I hope the country gets some balls and quits being scared of everything.
    OBAMA '08

    March 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Rob - Houston, Texas

    McCain/Clinton '08

    Don't be supprised if you see this ticket and its a landslide victory for them. Bye bye Obama.....

    March 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. pbuf

    If McCain was really serious about this trip he is taking to Iraq, etc, he would have taken a biparisan group from the Armed Services Committee. He took his close supporters!! Call it for what it is; a blatant misuse of government funds for political purposes. We need a President that doesn't mix politics and government. This is Bush & Chaney all over again!! How long does this have to continue!!

    March 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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