McCain on Iran: ‘Time is Running Out’

Dec 21, 2009 3:27pm

I spoke to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this morning on Iran and whether attacking the country is an option for the United States.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared defiant in an interview with my colleague Diane Sawyer, telling her if the United States wants to impose sanctions, “Then go and do it.”

“We don’t welcome confrontation, but we don’t surrender to bullying either,” Ahmadinejad said.

Sen. McCain told me he thinks time is running out and that the Obama administration needs to stand up for the Iranian people on the streets who are opposed to Ahmadinejad’s government.

“We’ve been through nearly a year delay while the Iranians have steadily progressed, and we have announced deadline after deadline that we would act,” Sen. McCain told me. “But  if we stand up for the Iranian people who are chanting in the streets, ‘Obama Obama are you with us or are you with him,’ if we stand up for their human rights and stand up for their rights to freedom, I think you’ll see continued big divisions within the Iranian ruling click and I think over time that they will be overthrown by the Iranian people.”

Sen. McCain has often said a nuclear Iran is worse than a war, so is a military option inevitable?

“I don’t know,” Sen. McCain said. “Time is running out. We’ve wasted just about a year but I really believe that sanctions have to be tried before we explore the last option, and the worst option is a military action. But the question is what is the extent of the Israelis’ patience.”

I also spoke to Sen. McCain about the Senate’s late-night vote on health care bill to avoid a Republican filibuster.

Watch the full GMA interview:
 

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