McCain criticises Obama in front of Israeli committee over Iran

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Republican John McCain on Monday launched a fresh attack against Barack Obama’s willingness to hold unconditional talks with Iran and called for tough new international sanctions aimed at halting Tehran’s nuclear programme.

By Andrew Ward and Daniel Dombey in Washington

”Rather than sitting down unconditionally with the Iranian president or supreme leader in the hope that we can talk sense into them, we must create the real-world pressures that will peacefully but decisively change the path they are on,” he said, in a speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference in Washington on Monday.

The Arizona senator called for an international effort to impose sanctions against Iran that the United Nations is unwilling to approve – specifically targeting exports of refined oil to the Islamic Republic.

”Should the Security Council continue to delay in this responsibility, the United States must lead like-minded countries in imposing multilateral sanctions outside the UN framework,” he said.

So far three rounds of sanctions resolutions at the UN have focused primarily on entities directly related to Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes, while the US has lobbied for an informal international financial boycott of Iranian institutions. But Iran is speeding up its efforts to enrich uranium, which can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material.

”Our policy has failed,” said Dennis Ross, a former top US official on the Middle East, arguing that Iran is now a nuclear power state and in a year’s time could be on the verge of becoming a nuclear weapons state.

The Financial Times

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