March 18th, 2008
01:01 PM ET
9 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. Kareem from Hampton VA

    Oh I get it! They are gonna start a war with Iran to secure their win in November because they know the energized (so far) base of the democratic party will slaughter them! I guess if it worked before they'll try it again! Greed is a powerful thing....

    March 18, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Sam

    I think McCain and Chenney should stay in Irag until they can straighten that mess out.

    March 18, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. McBush Is Making Me McWeary

    OMG, here we go again.

    McBush, please stop campaigning for war.

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. RealityKing

    Iran is sending arms into Iraq to kill Americans?

    No...., that would be all over the news..., wouldn't it??

    March 18, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Richard

    Obama can not win the general election! A person would have to be blind and numb to reality not to see the obvious contrasts between the two candidates. One man talks well but sat iddle by for 20 years and allow hatred, division and condemnation of country speeches to be spread far and wide. vs One man that talk not so well but stepped up silently to sacrafice his body and life for the love of his nation, country men and the democratic principles.

    Not even a close call and it should not be. Mccain is the right person to lead this nation at this time. Mccain is the only person to lead this nation at this time. I foresee an incredible transformation with this man.....we are witnessing great history in the making. Take note of each day going forward for the next 8 years. It will be talked about in history books. This nation is riped for the great Mccain era where America will go through the biggest transformation she has ever known. The shinning city on the hill will shine brighter then ever before. Mr. Mccain for President!

    March 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. California Independent

    McCain is focusing on the issues this country is facing. I appreciate CNN's attention to what McCain is doing.

    If it isn't Clinton, McCain '08

    March 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. west palm beach, Hawk

    John McCain will lead America into a 3 World War. Vote no for McCain and Yes for Obama.

    March 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. CB

    You beat me to it man. This definitely sounds like a setup.

    Bush: "I got a plan.. Let's start a war with Iran, then you'll definitely win in November."

    McCain: "Brilliant man..."

    March 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. SPQR753

    After reading Esquire's article on Admiral Fallon and his views on how best to keep Iran under control, Sen. McCain ignorant comments about Iran helping Sunni's (if anything, Iran would help Shiites!!!!!!) makes me cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    After 8 years of "NUKULEAR" is it really necessary for another "IGNORAMUS" to reside in the white House?


    March 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. McShame On You

    Okay, he stressed that the trip was not political. But how much would you be willing to bet he won't use the pictures taken over there for his political presidential campaign.

    I'm sick of the lies, and will cast my vote in another direction.

    Give it up McBush, I don't buy it.

    March 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Uncle Sam

    Having studied the presidential candidates, especially the leading contenders, Barack Obama and John McCain, I have come to the following conclusion. Senator Obama is young, attractive, charismatic, and offers a message of hope and change. Many of us are drawn to him and the prospect of what he may deliver. And then there's John McCain. He is old, battered and scarred. He is not much to look at, his gestures are choppy, and and his rallies are smaller and more subdued. And yet when I examine the lives and records of the two men, I come away with a different impression. Mr. Obama reminds one of fool's gold – at first shiny and glittering, but then disappointment sets in when one scratches the surface. Whereas with Mr. McCain, one is prone to initially underestimate his worth and cast him aside, only later realizing that he is the real gold.

    March 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. kelly WI

    Go John. Don't pay any attention to these sound bite repeater nit wits.
    Protect the Country or we have NOthing else.

    March 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. History Trumps Hillary

    March 18th, 2008

    Obama made history with his speech today.

    History trumps Hillary.

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Darren - Colo Spgs, CO

    McCain is an American Hero........ who's decisions are in the BEST interest America and it's people. He is not swayed by any particular group, lobbyist, or special interest ( earmarks?), even his own Party. He could've left the beatings in Vietnam, but he has courage, morals & integity, so he stayed with the other prisoners there. America had better wake up, Islamic Extreamists want you DEAD! They don't want to negotiate. Vote for anyone else is a "Risk " the American people better weigh very carefully.

    March 18, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. OBAMA 08


    March 18, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Kurtis

    Israeli-Palestinian peace process
    Iran and nuclear weapons
    Sanctions and punishments

    Republicans are gearing up again using some of their most famous catch phrases. We need Hillary to stop this madness. For the love of God, please don't put Obama up against McCain or we will have another war for sure.

    March 18, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    Does this guy have anything positive to say?

    Has he ever said anything positive?

    Or is everything fear this, bad that?

    Give it a rest McCain, stop trying to start another war, we cant afford the occupation we have right now.

    March 18, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. carlo

    Richard this ticker is about MCCAIN, not Obama. He must really scare the GOP. Anyhoo, we can't afford the two wars we are fighting right now! How in the heck can we fight three wars at once?

    Do we really want this trigger happy sack of Depends controlling our national security?

    March 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Danny in Pittsburgh

    To Richard:

    Nation is "riped?"

    I know it's a typo...but if you're talking about the same John McCain the rest of the world is seeing...I believe the word you meant to type is "raped."

    Consider this: John McCain, hero that he is, sacrificed HIS body and mind in another war that should have never been waged.

    Had better judgment been in place in the White House...perhaps he could comb his own hair in the morning...and perhaps, just perhaps...he would see that the SOUND of a saber rattling can be just as effective as the saber itself.

    I don't blame John McCain for his narrow and militaristic point of view. But it's a view (as we've seen) that can destroy a country without so much as a single battle on our own shores.

    March 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Never McCain

    Here we go with the "warnings". I smell a Bush.

    March 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. prakash chand for HILLARY


    March 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. George from Mineapolis

    Blah Blah Blah... War mongrel. You dont have any credibility about war. You sided with Bush in going to war in Iraq. You are not credible. PERIOD

    March 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. rb

    "There'd be a broad range of sanctions and punishments to the Iranians "??????? Punishments???????
    Is he making plans for another war?

    March 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. CC

    Time to make sure everyone stays afraid of the "radical Islamic extremists". Especially from Iran. What was that song again?

    Make sure we have everyone scared enough they won't think about the last 7 failed years, bad war, and bad economy. Maybe the color terror scale will be implemented again soon.

    I might have voted for the McCain of 2000. I will not vote for Bush/Cheny McCain JR. Who is this man?

    March 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. M.

    Oh, he's been there, what, 2 days, and he's an expert on Iran...Just like Bush was an expert on Iraq...Here we go again...Let's scare the people into getting our way one more time...Fear = votes...Smart people, DON'T GO FOR THIS CRAP A THIRD TIME...Don't you see that this is the only card they have to play that actually works every single time...Prove them wrong for once...Show them you mean business when you say you want a REAL change.

    March 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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