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. D Umpster Diver

    Vote for Ronald McDonald.
    At Least he can deliver a toy in every Get Fat and Happy meal.

    March 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    How can we even contemplate the idea of McCain's thouhgt process. Yes, Iran is very dangerous but consider this McCain is very proud to say that he was a "foot soldier" in the Reagan revelution – Did anyone forget that Reagan sold Stinger Missles to the Iranians who then used them on our friends in the area. We fast forward to today and McCain wants to go to war againist them (Iran) Call me stupid but this sounds to me like the rantings of a looney.

    March 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. alex

    I think it is essential to include Iran in the reconstruction of Iraq, because its just a matter of time before they are given and take control.

    March 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Zee4God

    Here we again!!!! I have always said that McCain will be worse than Bush!

    The Drum Beats of War has started even before the election. God save us from McCainBushChenney Nightmare!

    March 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. JM

    Another bloody day in Persia

    March 18, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Christian, Tampa FL

    This is why we need high-level negotiations with Iran right now. We can work out our differences with them, but angry rhetoric and military action are not the answer.

    March 18, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. David

    It is astounding how distorted the blog postings are! McCain talks of economic sanctions, left-wing Democrats think 'war' is spelled 'economic'. Then the left-winger uses words like 'slaughter.' Who is the war-monger here? Who is out of touch with reality here? Who is lying here? If Kareem thought he could muster a truthful response which would carry the argument he wouldn't find it necessary to blatantly distort what MCain has said, then attack Kareem's own distortion as though it had anything to do with reality.
    How about some intelligent discussion.

    March 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Bubba

    Until we destabilized the region, Iran had zero influence. Nice try, McGeezer. No WMDs, and still no Osama bin Laden?

    March 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. working poor

    I don't like McCain at all. I support Ron Paul and will probably write him in at election time.

    I don't like the fear mongering. I think McCain just wants to be at war. I would rather vote for Obabma

    March 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. JB

    McCain is an old butt smear... he should be waterboarded.

    March 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Scott, Wichita


    If I was John McCain right now, and I was reading some of the comments on this article, I'd be laughing my head off.

    All that is being posted is the same two posts from the same people who think that any political story on CNN is an excuse to post in all CAPS ranting about how much better Hillary or Obama is.

    The point of this is to comment on the article above, not the whole shindig. You want to do that, go write in a diary. It's much easier on the eyes for those of us who can't stand the idiots who endorse ANY candidate (mccain, obama, clinton) on a post not involving them.

    Now, I understand that there is this whole concept of free speech, but who do you think you're getting across to? If I see a comment that has the footer "Obama/Hillary/McCain '08", or is in all caps, or is from someone named "McBush/Obama turned me Republican/Monster Hillary" I skip over it and look for something that is RELEVANT to the article.

    Let's try to stay on topic, please.

    March 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. norb

    John McCain would have a problem driving one of his wives beer trucks.

    March 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. frank

    Like it or not, the corporate machines that run this country have already picked who will be president. It does not matter who you and I vote for,the deal is done. Democracy has been long gone way before the generations of today and tomorrow. This country is in bad shape and If we were to do as Andrew Jackson suggested, we would be killed by our own military.Sadly enough if we really want our country back it take the act of a revolution/civil war.There is no other way to reinstate the true democracy this nation was founded on. I love my country,but the truth can sometimes hurt.Good luck to all of my fellow country men and woman who work hard and struggle everyday to give their families a better life .

    March 18, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Paul

    McCain photos from Iraq looks like grandpa in desert

    March 18, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Jamie Rodriquez Lexington, Oklahoma

    Yes, McCain is a war hero. Bush was definitely not, though his opponents both fought in Viet Nam and one of them was a decorated hero. The Republicans slimed both of them. Swiftboater Fox rewarded with a nice government job while Congress was in recess. Not to mention the treatment both democratic opponents got on the so-called Fox News Network.
    The Republicans gave us the Bush administration, supported still by Republicans who do not care at all about the future or even the present ramifications of what they are doing. In fact their current philosophy seems to be rule by fear and endless war as a way to control the people and keep themselves in power. Fear this: McCain is a Bush clone.

    March 18, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Mistered9

    McCain (McBush) is just trying to get us envolved in something that is again none of our business. Let Franc and Germany take over, after all it's there area not ours.
    Were in for more Hell with McCain.

    March 18, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Independent

    Was a windbag
    Is a windbag
    Hate from the pulpit is way different than statements of fact from a lay person

    March 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Fiyah_Startah

    As we all ponder on how to distort the speech Senator Obama gave this morning, I thought to pull a copy of the transcript that is very important to this race. It is the reason why I have without any doubt agree with him and will now support Senator Obama for the highest office of this land...

    "I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy and, in some cases, pain. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in the church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely — just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

    But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's efforts to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

    ...People we owe it to the history of this country, to heal at whatever cost. When healthcare, economics, and Iraq find its place in our history, hatered, bigotry, racism, and division will live on until we deal with it at its institution...HEAL WE CAN!

    March 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Ramos

    Its quite amusing to observe the nitwit commonality of the Obamite crowd. I suppose once the empty suit is in, all he has to do is throw speeches at the Iranians and they will promptly go away !! The only thing more enjoyable than gaging the predictability of this semi-informed group on every issue will be twitnessing the resounding THUD !! of their candidate biting the dust in November. Go McCain, here is one Floridian who will not forgive the Democrats for disregarding our opinion in the primaries. Neither will the other 3 voters in my house who voted Hillary !!

    March 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Kris

    Does anyone out there really beleive USA can afford another war? We are in so much debt now from the 2 wars we are fighting right now. Even the Pentagon's last report was conclusive: No connections were found between Iraq and Al Queda. We did the right thing by bring Sadam to justice for other crimes against humanity, but the way we did it was totally wrong and we're paying an extremly high price for it now.

    Do I agree with Iran? Hell no! BUt war is not the answer in this case.

    If Obama wins the nomination I will vote for McCain, but I'd rather be voting for Hillary instead.

    March 18, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. CHIP

    I think we are witnessing the begining of the end for America. Reading these peoples responses just reaffirms that for me. Very sad .

    March 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Mark

    Where will McCain get the troops? The draft, of course. Isn't that what won the war in Vietnam?

    March 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    Casual observer,,

    boooooo, al-qaida is coming, booooooo
    are you scared yet?

    "WAR ON TERROR" is a slogan, you cannot fight a tactic, but you can scare people into giving up their rights, well you can scare the Republicans. BOOOOO

    Us Democrats have had enough of this crap, you know no health care, taxes for the rich, wars, extra right wing supreme court who put corporations before people, morgage crisis, bailing out of corupt companies while people keep losing their homes.

    Should I keep going. OK I will, Hurricane Katrina victims who still haven't gotten the aid promised to them, spying on peole without warrants, detention of people without charging them with a crime....


    No to McCain, not to Bushes 3rd term, and no to these CORUPT REPUBLICANS

    March 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Pablo

    Did anyone notice that he's accusing Iran of training Al Queida when the shia Iranians are the sworn enemies of the Sunni Al Queida?
    And this is a guy running on foreign policy experience?

    March 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. scott

    Iran has weapons in Iraq? So what? If a huge foreign power illegally invaded the US wouldn't you expect Canada to help us?
    Cheney' and McCains statement that things are succesful in Iraq is breathtaking in its audacity. Such BS is on the scale of propaganda dispensed by the liars in the Third Reich

    March 18, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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