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Press Release - John McCain on Security in the Middle East

June 02, 2008

Today, John McCain Addressed The AIPAC Policy Conference Outlining His Vision For Israel's Security And The Middle East. The United States and Israel are the most natural of allies and that alliance will stand forever. John McCain will honor America's promise of "never again" against any enemy.

  • In A World Full Of Dangers, Israel And The United States Must Always Stand Together. As the threats to Israel's security increase, John McCain believes America's commitment must also grow. He strongly supports the increase in military aid to Israel scheduled to begin in October, and is committed to making certain Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.

Addressing The Iranian Threat:

The Foremost Threat To Israel Is The Iranian Regime. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called Israel a "stinking corpse" and for it to be "wiped off the map." Beyond the vile insults, the Iranian leadership acts in ways directly detrimental to the security of Israel and America.

  • Iran's Leadership Has Repeatedly Used Violence To Undermine Israel And The Middle East Peace Process. Iran sponsors both Hamas and Hezbollah. It has trained, financed, and equipped extremists in Iraq, and remains the world's chief sponsor of terrorism.
  • Iran's Continued Pursuit Of Nuclear Weapons Poses An Unacceptable Danger That We Cannot Allow. Emboldened by nuclear weapons, Iran would feel unconstrained to sponsor terrorist attacks. Its flouting of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would render that agreement obsolete and could induce others to join a nuclear arms race. There would be the possibility that Tehran might pass nuclear materials or weapons to terrorist networks. An Iranian nuclear bomb would pose an existential threat to Israel.

Rather Than Sitting Down Unconditionally With The Iranian President Or Supreme Leader, John McCain Will Work To Create Real-World Pressures To Peacefully But Decisively Change Iran's Behavior. John McCain has been a leader on these issues, having coauthored the 1992 Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act.

  • The United Nations Security Council Should Impose Progressively Tougher Political And Economic Sanctions. Should the Security Council continue to delay, the U.S. must lead like-minded countries in imposing multilateral sanctions outside the UN framework.
  • John McCain Has Proposed Applying Sanctions To Restrict Iran's Ability To Import Refined Petroleum Products. A severe limit on imports of gasoline would create immediate pressure on Iran's leadership to change course, and to cease in the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
  • We Will Encourage Those In The Region And Our European Partners To Impose Targeted Sanctions. These would include the denial of visas and freezing of assets.
  • We Will Impose Financial Sanctions On The Central Bank Of Iran, Which Aids In Iran's Terrorism And Weapons Proliferation.
  • We Will Apply The Full Force Of Law To Prevent Business Dealings With Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. John McCain was pleased to join Sens. Lieberman and Kyl in backing an amendment calling for the designation of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Over three quarters of the Senate supported this obvious step, but not Sen. Obama.
  • We Will Launch A Worldwide Divestment Campaign. As more people, businesses, pension funds, and financial institutions across the world divest from companies doing business with Iran, the radical elite who run that country will become even more unpopular than they are already.

Supporting The Peace Process:

The Palestinian People Are Badly Served With Hamas In Charge Of Gaza. This is a group that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, to denounce violence, and to acknowledge prior peace commitments. They deliberately target Israeli civilians, spread hatred, and set back their people's cause with every new bombing.

We Hope That The Talks Between Israel And Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Will Yield Progress Toward Peace. While encouraging this process, we must also ensure that Israelis can live in safety until there is a Palestinian leadership willing and able to deliver peace. A peace process that places faith in terrorists can never end in peace.

Strengthening Our Allies In Lebanon:

The International Community Must Support Our Allies In Lebanon. Israel's chance for enduring peace with Lebanon depends on a Lebanese government that has a monopoly on authority within its country's borders. We can fully empower our allies – not only with military aid but also with the resources to undermine Hezbollah's appeal: better schools, hospitals, roads and power generation.

John McCain Will Bring More Attention To The Kidnapping Of Three Young Israelis In 2006. In the summer of 2006, Hamas and Hezbollah kidnapped three young Israelis and have held them ever since. John McCain has met with the families and will bring attention to their situation, insist that the Geneva Conventions are observed, and call for the swift release of these men.

Succeeding In Iraq:

Succeeding In Iraq Is Critical To Israeli And American Security. Our troops in Iraq have made hard-won progress under General Petraeus' new strategy. Iraqi political leaders have moved ahead. Sectarian violence has declined. Sunnis are cooperating in the fight against al Qaeda. Shia extremist militias no longer control Basra. Al Qaeda terrorists are on the run.

  • Senator Obama's Plan To Withdraw Regardless Of The Consequences Will Surely Result In Catastrophe. If our troops are ordered to retreat, we risk all-out civil war, genocide, and a failed state in the heart of the Middle East. Allowing a potential terrorist sanctuary would profoundly affect the security of the United States, Israel, and our other friends.

John McCain, Press Release - John McCain on Security in the Middle East Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/294878

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