March 18th, 2008
01:01 PM ET
10 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. No Time For Hating

    "I've got no time for hating, no time...the river rolls, and so does time. Nothing is easy once it starts, hating just takes too much heart. The river rolls and... there's so little time, so little time..."
    –from "Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope"

    I can't wait to vote for Barack Obama.

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Johnny

    It seems that all McCain has to cling on to is his reputation as a "patriot". What about the economy McCain?! He's too busy stirring up fear to discuss it I guess. What a joke.

    March 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. MP

    Richard, McCain, the old guy with the very bad temper, will never be President. Can't offer a change from Bush, has no idea we are in an economic disaster, just to name two. Ask someone about the tapes your 'hero' participated in while he was a POW – the tapes he has managed to get legally suppressed. Get informed before you waste a vote.

    March 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Arnold

    Honestly though, the views of Reverand Wright are a huge revelation. This is the guy Obama let advise him for 20 years?! Haven't we learned from Bush that bad advisors lead to awful and permanent damage to everyone concerned?? That guy is racist, that guy hates America, and that guy has Obama's unwaivering trust and confidence! Obama says he wasn't at this speech or that speech, but it's not like the guy changed his core values or his central message for those days of Obama's absence. After 20 years and a close personal friendship, you know where a guy stands and apparently you stand there too.

    March 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Albo



    March 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Bob, Lyons Oregon

    McCain is an idiot used up old man, that does not have a clue, other then to continue Bush's Wars, and McCain will get us into another one with Iran unless Bush does it first, as he seems to be gearing up for it, in case he wins the presidency, but alas he won't win.


    OBAMA 08

    March 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Diane, Buffalo, Wy.

    Mothers and fathers kiss your children good-bye, John McCain and George Bush want to send them to Iran to die.

    March 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Still The One--Barack

    I liked to thank McCain for his service, but I'm still voting for Barack.

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. aliou salam

    4 more wars? 4 more years of bush/clinton/clintonbush?
    4 more years of men and women in uniform becoming target to islamists?
    4 more years of my tax dollar paid to bail out failled businesses?
    4 more years of Bush-Mccain tax cut to the rich?
    4 more years of Bush-McCain-Clinton billions to wars to countries that neither attacked us nor pose a threat to us?

    You need to be right when it counts.

    Barack Obama is the Man who is right when it counts, or will ask for advise.

    Bush-McCain-Clinton will be wrong when it counts, and refuse to accept mistake.

    Our country deserves better: OBAMA is the One that will carry our message and inspire our nation into great things and a great future.

    March 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Omar, Phoenix, AZ

    Setting us up for war. I hope America can see through this.

    March 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. M. S. Indiana

    Btw. our military is arming people who have fought us before, but are now on our side. Just like Sadam was on our side, when he was fighting Iran.. How can they even trust those people ??
    The only way Taliban and other terror groups can survive is by making more chaos.. They can't grove or survive in stable societies..
    Now if Iran is so bad.. what about China ???

    Richard, what planet are you on ?? and what drug are you taking ??

    March 18, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Matt in Cleveland

    richard you are an idiot

    March 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Rich Orl, FL

    McCain is another warmonger, just like Bush. No thank you.

    March 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. scbrown

    OBama argument is that he can win red states in the general eleciton. Well, not after his pastor anti-american racist comments.

    Not to mention his pastor comments on 9/11 and AIDS.

    Something red states democrats delegates have to think about.

    How many christian red states Democrats delegates representatives are going to vote for Obama after his pastor remarks?

    Their republican opponents will use these videos against them.

    At the congressional level anything goes. These tapes are worst than the "Swift Boat" ads.

    How is red states democrats going to explain this? Not to mention the AIDS comments.

    His comments may go over well in Chicago or San Franciso, but not in RED STATES.

    Therefore, it will be more likely Democrats will lose seat in the Red States.

    March 18, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. SAI

    This is disingenuous circumlocution at its finest!

    Iraq's elected officials and a majority of Iraqis are Shiites, as are the Iranians (recall the grand reception accorded to Ahmedinijad just a couple of weeks back). The recent spate of suicidal bombings are all targeting Shia, and at Shia areas and Shia shrines. If a cache of weapons is discovered, one would think it is brought in by the Sunni militants – Sunni who might be drawing on the surreptitious support of other Sunni-dominant nations (like Saudi Arabia, for example).

    How well does Senator McCain know this area and its people? Or, is he banking on the belief that the average American does not know this area too well?

    It is particularly sobering that these comments come around the time when US fatalities are reaching 4,000; the permanently injured/maimed may be several thousands more; collateral damage (that is, dead Iraqis) should be well in excess of 500,000 – but hey, who keeps counts as long as our oil keeps gushing (oops, isn't oil now over $108 a barrel?!)

    Do we need to contemplate four years of McCain after eight of Bush?!!! America, we need change, really, we do.

    March 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Anyone but a Republican!

    Be afraid – be very afraid.

    March 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. mimi de la cruz


    March 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. La Petite Sorciere

    Here we go again..........this guy will takes us to another 100 years of war.
    No to those who voted for the war: Hillary and McCain........they are one they are the same

    we need change

    the world needs change

    Go Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Alex

    Here we go again. The MCsame focusing on starting yet another war....what about us here at home?????!!!!!! What army is he planning to fight this new war with?? Our kids need to come home now!!!!!

    Hillary 08

    March 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Freida NYC

    Don't worry Mc. Cain you will have my vote, (and many other democrat/independent voters) in the general election if Hillary is not the democratic nominee.



    March 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Brian

    Blah blah blah... 100 years in Iraq... blah blah blah. Maybe if I'm lucky, my son who is due to be born in 3 weeks will get drafted for this war.

    There's no way I'm voting for an extension of Bush's failed policies! The republican party has lost my confidence in any matter related to foreign policy, national security or the military!


    March 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. richard

    John McCain you are a disgrace to be visiting the troops in Iraq. They are tired, exhausted, some have been away from their families for a long time. Yes they volunteered, but your failed plan for Iraq is slapping them in the face with many many more tours of duty.

    I will NOT be voting for you!

    March 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Leo

    More BS Iranian rhetoric to wratchet up reasons for war with Iran!!!!!
    Why doesnt McCain Bsuh and Cheney get lost over there in the middle of the chaos.
    Vote for Obama or Hillary.... MCBush is MORE of the same last 8 years of Bush!!!! trillions on war and MORE fear mongering while the economy tanks more every day!!!

    March 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Had we not interfered in Iraq five years ago, Iranian influence in the region would be ineffectual , Al Queda's presence in Iraq would be token and Bin Laden would be dead or in custody.

    March 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Julie

    Right on queue – start the fear mongering. Campaigning GOP style.

    March 18, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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