McCain slams Obama over Iran policy
President Obama lost an opportunity to spur a major change to U.S. relations with Iran when he chose not to side with the protestors in the streets two years ago, his 2008 opponent for the White House said Thursday.
Sen. John McCain said Mr. Obama's decision not to jeopardize his negotiations with the Iranian government by not publicly supporting street protestors in Tehran in 2009 was a mistake.
"I think if we had supported the demonstrators at the time it could have meant a significant change in the government of Iran," McCain said on CBS' "The Early Show," adding it was "opportunity that we lost."
"We should have supported them and they could have overthrown the government then," the Arizona Republican said.
The former White House hopeful separately said he was surprised at how ineptly an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States was hatched.
"There is no doubt they are a threat to the region, and so there is no reason to think this is an isolated incident, but it is surprising to me how inept it was," McCain said of the plot to kill Adel al-Jubeir.
Two men, including a member of Iran's Quds Force special foreign actions unit, were charged in New York federal court Tuesday with conspiring to kill the ambassador. The men allegedly tried to hire a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the assassination with a bomb attack while al-Jubeir dined at his favorite restaurant.
McCain also warned against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, saying the country is "a threat in the region."
"They have done a lot of very bad things, and the acquisition of nuclear weapons means that this kind of reckless behavior they have displayed here could translate itself into a really serious problem," he added.
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