June 15th, 2009
01:01 PM ET
5 years 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. Ms. Johnson, Pearland,Texas

    McCain should know, he has at least two points of reference.

    June 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. bert andres

    Voting irregularities and votes not being counted problems at polling stations outcome disputed sound familiar? What's the difference between the supreme ayatollah deciding the election and the supreme court ? the people's will was denied

    June 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. David

    Who awakened Sen McCain? Now that he got that off his shoulders, he can go back into hibernation.

    June 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Susan in PA

    I can't believe it – I finally agree with McCain on something!

    June 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Tim

    I wonder when Obama will follow? Obama is good at following.

    June 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Tim

    Obama is carefully reviewing the situation. He needs to see how everyone else will react before he can form his own opinion. Unlike the rest of us, who can form an opinion on a matter like this pretty quickly.

    June 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Frank

    Maybe yes, maybe no. But how would McCain know either way?

    The reformers' relative strength may have been overestimated because they have more support in urban areas, where the international media hang out, than in the countryside.

    Iranian voters (especially those in the hinterlands) may prefer their own lunatic to one that they think the West is trying to impose on them.

    But the question still is, how would McCain know either way?

    June 15, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Ken

    I would agree with McCain, in that there are such huge groups of protesters. I cannot imagine that the present President would have won by 2/3 of the voters.

    Plus the fact that not using electronic voting machines and the record turn out of voters to have the results so quickly.

    I am sure that there is a lot of corruption going on!

    June 15, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Grungecat

    McCain sounds jealous. Another corrupt extremist is better at cheating than him.

    June 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. JT

    I'm surprised that he's not blaming Obama for that.

    June 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. John Black Hills/SD

    How couldn't this election be flawed from any perspective an observer inside, or outside of Iran has. Iran's failing economy, rising unemployment, and UN sanctions over their nuclear program are just a few of Iran's problems. Ahmadinejad's time in office has been a failure, why would the people of Iran re-elect such a dunce (equaled only by his buddy, Hugo Chavez). They didn't, the Council of Guardians hold Ahmadinejad's gonads, why would the Guardian's want anyone else. I don't think we need McCain to "understand" what has happened.

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

    Apparently Ahmadinejad took a page out of the Dems playbook. Wonder what the Iranian version of ACORN is called?

    And to John Starnes Tampa Florida – Bravo on spewing the MSNBC, baseless drivel. The Dems in Congress as of 2007 brought on this economic tanking. THEY were the ones who felt it was every Americans right to have a house, even if they couldn't pay for it. OOOH, big diss banning the UN from our elections. The UN is is one of the most corrupt, inept organizations on the planet, right after the Democratic party.

    June 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Kelby In Houston, TX

    The recent election in Iran are reminiscent of Bush's first election. Only in this case, There is a state run news channel releasing fraudulent results and not a privately owned news channel, FOX News.
    The reaction of the Iranian people to this farce as on point. Their outrage is what is due and proper and I hope justice will be done

    June 15, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    As I see it, McCain can make comments in a much stronger fashion than Obama. As President, Obama needs not go TOO far. We do not want war with Iran. McCain on the other hand risks nothing to make this statement! Therefore, this may be a ploy to get the message out by both parties! I hope so. It would be wonderful to think that there could be bipartisanship in at least some area!

    I hope that the Iranian people will continue to make their views known. That is the only way that things can change in Iran or any of the Far Eastern countries who are being suppressed by their governments! We had our Revolutionary War, and these countries may have to be willing to have their's. Instead of supporting their terrorists, they need to support themselves... that is the way for change! THEN the whole world will be able ready to back them up!

    Be strong... Iranians! Fight for YOUR freedom!

    June 15, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |

    John McCain is right about this Election, it's corrupt;? So what do we do as a nation. I think we are going to have to deal with man for the next serval yeas

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

    That's really nice to know McCain. We all agree something really bad happened here...but i suggest We Pray for Our World because a nuclear war could be right in front of us...Iran and now N. Korea!?! Pray people, God will do something if we ask him.

    June 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Rush Von Brunn

    Sounds the same as the GOP.Thanks John.

    June 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Texas Teacher

    Gary in VA.. indeed it IS our affair... peace in the middle eastern countries means the end of wars that we are no longer willing to fight! Freedom comes at a cost... And we must support it in any way that we can... SHORT of war!

    June 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Sick -n- Tired

    And John McCain knows a lot about "corrupt" he's as "corrupt" as they come! NEXT.........

    June 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. David Newport, OR

    Of course...but the real question is so what?

    June 15, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. southerncousin

    I guess Iran has the equivalent of ACORN and the unions there? John Starnes, put down the bong, turn on something besides CNN, it didn't happen, Jerry Springer will tell you more truth than CNN.

    June 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Jon from: S.Carolina

    This is a sad day for freedom. Know Iran knows how we felt back in 2000.

    June 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. HJA

    OK John so what do we do. Pass a resolution condeming the election? How about worrying about whats going on here?

    June 15, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    I think it will work out for the best. The right-wing conservatives in Iran have lost the battle, whether or not they realize it. Look at who is protesting ... mostly younger people. In 20 to 40 years these guys will be the face of the society. The conservatives are not smart enough to realize, that you can't win the fight in the long run, from a basis of religious extremism. The best thing for implosion, is to give them as much power as possible.

    June 15, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Rob in NC

    How does McCain know what is going on over there anymore than we do?

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