John McCain, in a just completed call with bloggers, blasted Barack Obama's commitment to meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, chalking it up to "inexperience."
Asked to weigh in on the debate ignited by President Bush's anti-appeasement remarks in Israel today, and to comment on Obama's views on talks with Iran, McCain first cautioned that, "President Bush said he wasn't talking about Senator Obama, and I certainly take the president at his word."
But then McCain proceeded to rip into Obama's proposed approach to Iran.
"It's the highest degree of naivete and inexperience that would indicate that anyone would want to sit down in face to face talks with the Iranians, including their president, who just a few days ago pronounced Israel a 'stinking corpse,'" McCain said.
He asked rhetorically, "My question … to Senator Obama is, what do you want to talk about with him? President Ahmadinejad's statement that
McCain said he would only support talks with Iran if the Persian nation retracted its rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map, abandoned its nuclear weapons program, stopped exporting weapons, and stopped sponsoring terrorism.
It would be quite easy to signal to America that it intends to do these things. McCain noted that the U.S. ambasador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, has contact in Baghdad with the Iranian ambasador, and the Iranians, "haven't shown the slightest inclination" to change their ways.
"I feel in the strongest terms that if you sat down across the table from these state sponsors of terrorist organizations, you would give them prestige enhancement and a bigger influence in the region, which I think would directly counter to America's national security interests," McCain said.
In last year's CNN YouTube debate, Obama pledged to meet, without preconditions, within the first year of his administration, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea. Video here.
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