McCain on Danger of Nuclear Weapons

(CBS)

From CBS News' John Bentley:

The threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists or rogue nations is the greatest challenge facing the world, John McCain said today, and a president meeting with the leaders of Iran and North Korea would do little to alleviate that threat. "Many believe all we need to do to end the nuclear programs of hostile governments is have our president talk with leaders in Pyongyang and Tehran, as if we haven't tried talking to these governments repeatedly over the past two decades," McCain said, a reference to Barack Obama's willingness to sit down with those leaders. "The truth is we will only address the terrible prospect of the worldwide spread of nuclear arms if we transcend our partisan differences, combine our energies, learn from our past mistakes, and seek practical and effective solutions."

McCain's speech came on the day the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report saying that Iran's nuclear program was "a matter of serious concern," because they haven't adequately addressed questions as to whether their program has military applications in addition to civilian ones. "Some nations use the pretense of civilian nuclear programs as cover for nuclear weapons programs," McCain said. "We need to build an international consensus that exposes this deception, and holds nations accountable for it."

A more robust civilian nuclear program in the U.S., however, is a cornerstone of McCain's domestic energy plan. "I am convinced civilian nuclear energy can be a critical part of our fight against global warming," he said. "Civilian nuclear power provides a way for the United States and other responsible nations to achieve energy independence and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gas."

While McCain's environmental agenda and ideas about global warming differ from the current Republican administration's policy, he will be attending a fundraiser with President Bush later on this evening.