June 15th, 2009
01:01 PM ET
1 year ago

McCain calls Iran vote result 'corrupt'

Sen. John McCain told CNN that the results of Iran's recent elections are 'very disappointing…but not astonishing.'
Sen. John McCain told CNN that the results of Iran's recent elections are 'very disappointing…but not astonishing.'

(CNN) – Arizona Sen. John McCain responded sharply Monday to the disputed election result in Iran showing victory for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling the whole process "corrupt" and questioning the legitimacy of the current investigation into the matter.

"It's very disappointing ,of course, but not astonishing," McCain told CNN Monday. "The Muslim cleric extremists control the political mechanisms of Iran and it's not encouraging in a year that the ones who perpetrated this fraud are now going to be in charge of the investigation."

"I hope that we can succeed in our relations with Iran, but this is not a good sign and we should speak out strongly in opposition to what was clearly a corrupt election," said McCain.

The comments come after three days of unrest that prompted Iranian authorities to launch a probe into Friday's election result showing an overwhelming victory for Ahmadinejad over reformist Mir Hossein Moussavi.

The incumbent claimed 62 percent of the vote, prompting suspicion at home and abroad, particularly among Western countries already at loggerheads with Ahmadinejad over an Iranian nuclear program they fear is non-peaceful.

McCain's comments go significantly further than those of the Obama administration, which has not directly called the vote result a fraud but has expressed "concern."

"I think there are a number of factors that give us some concern about what we've seen," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Million Iran March

    How dare Sen. McCain question the democratic election results of The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran?

    June 15, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Randy

    The Iranian vote was corrupt? And in an unrelated story, water is wet...

    June 15, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Denise

    I agree 100% with MCain. Ahmadinehad did not win the election. it was rigged, which tells us about iran. A re-vote should take place

    June 15, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Cali J

    Hey Starnes, take a xanax and stop with the non-sense.

    June 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. @BigMisterC

    Sen. McCain should be careful not to overstep his bounds. A too strident response to the outcome of these elections may further incite or embolden extreme elements within Iran. The tone should be set by the President and the State Department.

    June 15, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. worriedmom

    We better stop sticking our nose in other country's business and take care of our own for a change. I find it amazing that I heard on the television (MSNBC) this morning that the young Iranians were shouting "Change"! Hmmm wonder where that came from. Obama was hoping to have them worship him also!

    I would think that McCain would be stating that corruption has happen there like it did in this past election. Like I said, I guess Obama moved his ACORN people to Iran but was not successful. Oh well. Let's start worrying Mr. President about being our President and not the World's.

    June 15, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Scott the Independent

    He hasn't retired yet.

    June 15, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Charles (Plantation, FL)

    I don't think we have any moral authority to judge other countries on the way they carry out their own elections. We had a rigged election in 2000. No other countries intervene, not Canada, not France, not the UK, not Russia, not China. They all knew that the outcome of that election was just a fraud. So now why should we protest the results of the elections in Iran. Why this double standard? Why are we so hypocrites?

    Even though there were numerous protests against the 2000 election which was finally resolved in court, no other countries had the right to tell us that they would not recognize our election.

    We should not judge others if we don't want to be judged by others.

    June 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. KING

    Cheney wants us to be attacked. If the CIA director said "Pelosi wants us to be attacked," you'd think that was fine newsworthy story, wouldn't you? Bet you would, now shut up. I think the CIA director knows what he's talking about.

    June 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Lulu'

    I wonder what McCain thinks about Saudi Arabia...........and Lybia, and Jordan..............etc............

    Oh, I forgot, they are our friends.............sorry, what was i thinking??

    This is just spin!!

    June 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Gary

    LOL so what else is new. The corrupt Iranian regime has oppressed it's own people, tried to foster civil war in Iraq, supported hamas and hezbelloh terrorists and threatened to anihilate isreal. They are corrupt. If we don't stop them from getting nuclear weapons we will have a nuclear war in the middle east.

    We should get a coalition together and bomb the nuclear sites in Iran. This will send a signal to North Korea and other countries that the US (and president Obama) is strong and will not tolerate further nuclear proliferation.

    June 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Lolbama

    McCain was busy chumming it up with military contractors...err...constituents from arizona those years ago. Poor John from FLA. I think you have dipped into the Koolaid well one or two times too many. Why would Bill Clinton ban UN election observers from the US in 2000? He could have been so completely embarrassed that Al Gore couldn't beat George Bush. This 'historical mess' did not begin to take form until oh...2006. Funnily enough, that appears to be the time when the dims took over Congress...what a coinkidink! lol

    June 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Independent Voter

    mcinsane is mad because america's corrupt system did not work in his favor..ha ha!!

    God Bless President Obama, VP Biden, the First Families and "Bo"

    June 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. ch

    McCain lost ALL credibility when he picked not-so-smart Sarah as his running mate.

    June 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    Thanks for the tid-bit of information John. All we can do is try to put some pressure on to resolve the issue. Past that, we have to deal with whomever is in power, whether we like them or not. When the Palestinians had their election, Hamas was voted in. Not the choice we wanted but it's not our business to dictate to other countries, unless of course you are GW Bush who thinks the US is the daddy of the entire world and we can lecture them about human rights, commerce, etc

    June 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. turgic39

    McCain grandstanding again. Where was he when his crowds were calling for Obama's head? Our two presidential elections preceding this last one in 2008 were very questionable. But I guess since republicans didn't think so it doesn't matter.

    June 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. mike

    The Iranian's should have studied our elections a little. If your going to rig an election you got to make it look a little closer. ie 2000

    June 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. sene

    It's really funny to me that these republicans are quick to call an iran election corroupt. What if iran started being vocal about americas 2000 election and calling it "corrupt". How would the US gov't have wanted Iran to be involved??? Answer that question and then apply it to Iran.

    June 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Gerry M. Eugene, OR

    In one speech President Obama calls for a Palestinian state and within days the right wing Israeli Prime Minister says his government supports such a state. President Obama calls for realistic relations between Iran and the US and within days the opposition candidate for President shows such support at the polls that the current government of Iran has to rush to judgment to name the current president as the winner of a disputed election. So, words don’t mater, is that it? When then come from President Obama they appear to matter a great deal. The President’s words have already effected the position of the PM of Israel and the outcome of an election in Iran. God bless President Obama and his ability to effect change in this world.

    June 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. TCM

    @ Mike T –

    McCain also said that Obama's spending will further damage this country...you'll be agreeing with that one too, shortly.

    @ JOHN STARNES - you're kidding right? You want to throw mud about 2000-2004, and overlook ACORN, Center for American Progress..and all the other ballot stuffing and corruption that led OBama to the white house? Heck, you can't prove squat about the two republican wins, however, there are serveral indictments against ACORNERS already....go back to sippin' your kool-aid, I'm sure the mailman's just around the corner with your welfare check....

    To top it off, look at what a LOON Gore is....had he won, we'd be in worse shape...now with OBama in office, he's just picked up Gore's baton....you libs are something else...

    June 15, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. fred

    To John Starnes from Tampa Florida: If you have no clue what you're talking about, then don't post comments. No one disputed the 2004 elections. And in 2000, the vote was extremely close. Bush ended up winning Florida, and he probably did. The elections in Iran were nothing like this. When a dictator shuts down internet sites and controls what the outcome of the election is, that is flat out wrong.

    June 15, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. florida indep

    So Amadenajab's (sorry 'bout the spelling) buddies that he installed in their jobs are going to fairly and objectively evaluate the results. Somehow I think this thing was rigged from the gitgo and the clerics will support whatever interpertation is given as long as it retains their chosen one in power. The clerics in Iran are ever bit as bad as the Shah and the government serves their aims as the secret police did for the Shah. If they don't change, the clerics will be in for a revolution just as the Shah was.

    June 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Dennis, Fairfax, VA

    Honestly, it's almost better that the election turned out this way – not that anyone is really surprised about the results. If Moussavi had one, he'd still be under the thumb of the (true) Islamic leadership. Since he's considered a 'moderate', there would be world resistance to increasing sanctions, for a time, while we wait to see if anything changed – effectively buying Iran more time to weaponize their plutonium.

    Moussavi's loss has encouraged the reformists elements in Iran to take to the streets. This is good news, since it's the only way we're going to see a real sea change in Iranian politics. As long as the mullahs are in charge, it doesn't matter who's the star of the PM puppet show. Also, there's a sense of justification when considering tougher sanctions, which will hopefully fan the flames of discontent and the will of the Iranian people to claim their own liberty.

    June 15, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Fla.

    I am thankful daily that these neocons are no longer in power. They have no business getting involved in other countries' elections. It only adds fodder to the situation, McCain, and America must work with the ultimate outcome.

    And to think, this GOP had the audacity to project naivete onto someone else. Give me a break. Neoconservative nonsense has caused enough damage. No more cowboy diplomacy.

    June 15, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6