McCain: Iran has "cheated and lied" for 20 years

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a vocal critic of the U.S. agreement with Iran last month, called for more sanctions against Iran if a deal is not reached. He said the country has "cheated and lied" for the last 20 years on the nuclear issue.

He said, "If you believe that the deal that's been made is valid and allowing the centrifuges to continue to spin with a tacit agreement that Iran has the quote, 'right to enrich,' which is in violation of four U.N. Security Council agreements, then you may want to pursue this. And we will -- when I say 'we,' -- we, the critics, will say that after six months is elapsed, if there's no deal, then we think increas(ing) sanctions are the most effective way to bring Iran around, but the right to enrich -- a country that has cheated and lied throughout this whole process and not say that they are prohibited from the right to enrich is a serious mistake and idea."

McCain added that the U.S. is ignoring the regional conflict in the area.

"Iran's client, 5,000 Hezbollah, are killing Syrians as we speak," he said. "Iranian arms are flowing into Syria, Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in Syria killing Syrians. We do nothing about that. Nothing."

Asked about news that Iran is allowing inspectors into a nuclear plant, McCain said the country has done that before.

"They have led inspectors in plants in the past, while other plants are being built and tunnels are being dug into mountains," he said. "Don't trust, but verify and the agreement is there."

McCain suggested there aren't good guys and bad guys in Iran -- just "one guy": "His name is the ayatollah," McCain said. "He calls the shots. So it's sort of like the Medvedev thing. We can work with Medvedev when we know he's the puppet and Putin is the guy. And all over the world, the United States' credibility is at stake."

Turning to Afghanistan, "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell pointed out Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was in the country, but unable to meet with President Hamid Karzai because he's in Iran.

McCain called the situation "remarkable" and a "not-enough-noticed event." Asked what he would do, McCain said, "I would do what they are doing now, and that's saying, 'Look, if you don't give a deal, we're going to have to leave,' but that's a huge setback for the United States of America. Not only does it hurt Afghanistan, but we still haven't told the Congress and the Afghans how many troops we want to leave behind and doing what. That's a replay when we got out of Iraq by not giving them a number of troops. In fact, it got down to so a little number, it was ridiculous."

For more with McCain, watch his full interview above.

  • Amanda Cochran

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