September 26th, 2008
10:12 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain, Obama tangle over Iran nuclear weapons program


(AP Photo)

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) - Iranian nuclear weapons would be an "existential threat to the state of Israel" and would encourage other countries in the Middle East to seek nuclear weapons as well, Sen. John McCain said Friday at his first presidential debate against Sen. Barack Obama.

"We cannot allow another Holocaust," he said.

Obama agreed that the United States "cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran," calling for tougher sanctions from a range of countries including Russia and China.

McCain called for a new "league of democracies" to stand firm against Iran.

He blasted Obama for being willing to meet "without preconditions" with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeated threatened Israel.

But Obama defended his stance, saying: "I reserve the right as president of the United States to meet with anyone at the time and place of my choosing if I think it's going to keep the American people safe."

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Saying that by simply agreeing to talk to a prominent individual from another country legitimizes them only enforces my belief that McCain
    would continue to lead us down the wrong road. We are dealing with rogue countries regardless. I would rather see the future president in talks with these countries as opposed to seeing continued chaos and bombings. Face to face meetings is the first step in understanding those that we do not either like, understand or agree with.
    I'm watching the debate right now trying to understand...

    September 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. Cee

    I am glad someone heard what Kissinger said

    September 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Sheila

    If McCain said something besides...I've been there...I've done that maybe he can get to the root of the answer. Leave his stories out!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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