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

McCain warns of increasing Iranian influence


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. Jed in Texas

    His brain was fried in a Vietcong chicken coop.It doent make him a hero.Did he spill his guts to the enemy?Does water boarding work?

    March 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Mike

    Look it's simple Mc Cain is a war monger. when he is out of the race, the problem will go away. The Iranians want peace , there afraid of Bush Mc Cain. The Iraq's want peace , I seen the interview none of them wanted a Republican in Office. Wow that sums it up. Know its your job...Yeah do your job and deliver non bias media coverage.

    March 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. McBush

    Bush=Dumb, McCain=Dumber. Republicans are stupid.

    March 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. D.Ward

    Geo. Bush the 3rd ready to go to war somewhere in the world,This guy is a vetran as I am,But he is trigger happy just like his brother Bush,Vote Obamo Keep the republicans out of the White House.Same old rheotric when I was growing up the communist are coming Wake Up you Idiot's.John McCain isn't going to protect you any more than Bush.If you are that scared of the terrorist sign up for a tour over there in Iraq soon to be Iran then you can look for the draft to start up.

    March 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    People are problems with Iran are rooted in our meddling which goes back to the mid-50s when we, along with Great Britain, over-threw their democratically elected, yes, democratically elected president (after he nationionlized the oil companies in Iran) and re-placed him with the Shah.

    The Shah then proceeded to rule with an iron fist. Remember SAVAC his secret police? That is the reason we have trouble with Iran, it is nothing they did to us, it is what we, our country, have done to them.

    McCain's continued pandering to the right-wing christianists as well as his total lack of understanding of economics are enough to see that he is not the next president.

    March 18, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Emeka Bushchit

    How many Caucasion Americans are looking for other reasons not to vote for Obama! Many of them because they don't want to make it look like they are not voting for Obama because if his skin tone! Thanks to all the media outlets ignorant Americans can now say "hey I'm not voting for Obama because of what his Pastor said!" Pat Robertson, Billy Falwell and so many other Right wing Ministers have said much worse thatn Pastor Wright? Where's the video? I agee 100% with what Pastor Wright said, and maybe if most of you listened to what is being said you might have a better chance at understanding African Americans a little better!

    March 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Ticket of HOPE:Obama Al-Gore

    What a non-sense crap – the same non-sense we heard from Bush for 8 years. McCain still seem not to understand that we Americans are tired of the politic of fear. When was the last time McCain or Bush talked about any possibilities of reconciliation with our enemies? Only war war war.....

    March 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. soberone

    How come you don't limit the comments to 1 or 2
    This is wrecking the purpose of these blogs and gives too much space for some idiots to spew thier venom and cut down oppertunity for others to make comments

    March 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Jerry

    Iran training soldiers and sending arms into Iraq....given that we started a war along their border, why wouldn't they? We would train Canadians and send arms into Canada if Saddam had invaded them. Iran has more vested in the region than we do. Geez we are self-righteous and hypocritical.

    March 18, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Concerned Citizen

    "Never been involved in a scandal?" What about the lobbyist and the Keating 5 ! Read the facts, get informed. Vote the Party. We cannot continue to die to make the rich – richer. What's wrong with you people?

    March 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Marc L.I. N.Y.

    Iran is anti American and calls for the Death of Isreal. We need to deal with this Now ! So our grandchildren will not have to. Senator McCain is a true leader for all Americans. I remember president Carter did nothing and thirty years later here we are.

    March 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Dr. Truth, Boston


    March 18, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Sean, Santa Barbara

    Oh look Lieberman was there, I wonder if he had anything to do with this idea?

    March 18, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Proud white woman of 63 for obamaman

    Talk about Pork Barrel spending and pointing fingers on your
    way out of the USA, as you spend our taxpayer money to charge
    $1,000 a plate in London to raise money for your campaign. I
    believe that was one big reason for the trip and , of course, treating your cronie friends to fun and games.AND this is the only news
    you can come up with. Didn't we already know that. CNN has their reporters their everyday reporting the real happenings.
    Iraq and Afghanistan were only added to this trip at the last minute.

    OBAMA 2008. OR NO ONE

    March 18, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Gobo

    What astounds me is not the politician who votes for the unjust war but the people who keep on electing or re-electing the politician who does so.

    It is a vicious circle. A lot of people seem to vote for a pro war politician arguing that he/she is strong in national defense. The politician then uses the "we are at war and I have the experience" card and people buy into that and re-elect him/her. People who have this voting pattern do not bother to ask if the politician is taking them to unjust war. And they seem to fail to recognize that war is generally a dehumanizing force.

    Richard, can you hear me! You said, "McCain is the right person to lead this nation at this time." How so? Both Clinton and McCain voted for the unjust war. Unjust because no WMD and no link to Al-Qaeda, the prime reasons for going to war, are found. So why do you believe his is the right person at this time?

    March 18, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. WhosehadEnough

    Wow, give the Senator the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE! I hope he, VP Cheney, and Sen. Leiberman asked Iraqii leaders why they invited Iranian President Ajmajinidad to Baghdad. For that action alone we should bring our men and women in uniform home.

    Iraqii's are not stepping up to the plate to take responsiblity for their own security just as Sen. McCain is not stepping up to the plate to denounce President Bush for vetoing the bill that would ban waterboarding. He has stated emphatically in Republican Primary Debates that "Americans don't torture". So much for the "straight-talk" express.

    March 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Eric


    Hey McCain, shut up. I don't need you screwing up my country anymore then it as already gotten during your buddy's time at the wheel.

    March 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Nancy

    OOH I cannot wait for McCain to be our next president. We can bomb Iran and reinstate the draft to boost the number of troops in the Middle East...we'll then be in a position to steal all the oil we want and need, thus preventing the rest of the world from having it....we will again be the #1 dominating economy and military in the world...the $ will rise to pre-911 levels. We won't have to worry about man-made global warming and rising CO2 leval els since it is a figment of the liberal imagination and the creepy Al Gore. We will not have any new taxes and we will enjoy the benefits of permanent tax cuts. Then we will balance the budget by 2012. All this has been envisioned by the neocons of the present administration and is the prophetic future of or country. So what if we owe trillions to China et al. They won't call in their loans. We will have as strong an ecomony as we do now. HUH? I can tell as many lies as I want and they will be considered the truth because if I say them often I will be believed eventually. I also have for sale a Caribbean island for practically nothing...I am for REAL! NOT! Gotcha!

    March 18, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Susan in San Francisco

    1. McCain will not help America – he will destroy it.
    2. If elected, McCain will invade Iran – next, he will have to bring back the draft. There is simply not enough troops to be in 3 wars.
    3. McCain will overturn Roe v. Wade
    4. Hillary does NOT have the experience to be President – whatever "experience" means. If being first lady quaifies, Laura Bush may as well run on the same ticket as McCain.
    5. Hillary voted for this war – gave Bush benefit of the doubt.
    6. Enough is enough – OBAMA '08.


    March 18, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Kris In Atlanta

    McCain is not the knight in shining armor many of you-undoubtedly Bush supporters-portray him to be. Don't you realize the egregious ironies in his foreign policy platform? He wants to stay in Iraq but no one has bothered to ask him why. With U.S. deaths now in the thousands, no rational mind can think this Iraq situation is not quickly becoming a Vietnam. McCain is lying to you. He wants to possibly attack an Iran that is already mortally fearful of their country being laid to waste by American hands like Iraq has been. And McCain, in his haste to sell Americans out to Mexican special interests, has no plan to control the border-which is the ACTUAL first line of defense in national security. This man is a fraud, a crude copy of George Bush, and he wants to outsource our border security to Mexico., giving illegals carte blanche to run amuck with impugnity. Don't be stupid people-this man is not what America needs in the White House.

    March 18, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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