John McCain just left the stage here at AIPAC to a rousing standing ovation, after speaking about the importance of strong ties between the U.S. and Israel, and delivering tough words toward Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The speech also included several blistering attacks on Barack Obama.
"The Iranians have spent years working toward a nuclear program, and the idea that they now seek nuclear weapons because we refuse to engage in presidential-level talks is a serious misreading of history," McCain said in an obvious reference to the Obama, in a line that drew applause.
McCain also assailed Obama for opposing the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
"Over three quarters of the Senate supported this obvious step, but not Senator Obama," McCain said. "He opposed this resolution because its support for countering Iranian influence in Iraq was, he said, a 'wrong message not only to the world, but also to the region.' But here, too, he is mistaken. Holding Iran's influence in check, and holding a terrorist organization accountable, sends exactly the right message - to Iran, to the region and to the world."
This prompted one of several standing ovations that McCain received during his remarks.
Instead of unconditional talks, McCain called for tougher political and economic sanctions, as well as a worldwide divestment campaign.
"If there are ties between America and Israel that critics of our alliance have never understood, perhaps that is because they do not fully understand the love of liberty and the pursuit of justice," McCain said in closing his speech. "But they should know those ties cannot be broken. We were brought together by shared ideals and by shared adversity. We have been comrades in struggle, and trusted partners in the quest for peace. We are the most natural of allies. And, like Israel itself, that alliance is forever."
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