McCain says U.S. pullout from Iraq would boost Iran

U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Tuesday that a U.S. troop build up in Iraq was succeeding and a premature withdrawal would dramatically enhance Iranian influence in the region. ( Reuters )

McCain was speaking in Jordan, where he held talks with King Abdullah, after a visit to Iraq where he met Iraqi leaders and U.S military officials as part of a Senate Armed Services Committee fact-finding mission.

"If we pull out of Iraq then obviously the Iranian influence is dramatically increased, al Qaeda has greater influence and endangers the region dramatically, and the United States's image and security challenges are dramatically increased," said McCain.

McCain hopes his Middle East tour will remind Americans of his national security credentials and counter demands by Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for troops to be withdrawn from Iraq as soon as possible.

The Iraq war is a major issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. As it enters it sixth year, the war has cost the U.S. economy $500 billion and seen nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis killed.

McCain, a former Navy pilot and Vietnam War veteran, supported going to war but was a vocal critic of how the war was conducted until an extra 30,000 troops were deployed last year as part of a new counter-insurgency strategy.

"We were very encouraged by our visit to Iraq that the surge is succeeding and in the reduction in U.S. casualties but it is complicated by the Iranian involvement in Iraq (and) Syrians continue to expedite the flow of foreign fighters in Iraq," McCain added.

Attacks across Iraq have fallen by 60 percent since last June, when the troop build-up was completed. There has been a spike in violence since January, with an upsurge in suicide bombings linked to al Qaeda.

The U.S. military says most of the suicide bombers tend to be foreign fighters.

However McCain, whose political standing has risen and fallen to some degree depending on whether the war has been going well or badly, warned "there was still a long way to go" before defeating al Qaeda.

"The situation has dramatically improved but I also want to emphasize time and again al Qaeda is on the run but they are not defeated," he added.

McCain repeatedly lashed at Iran, accusing it of training terrorists, including al Qaeda, to attack U.S. troops and supporting Lebanon's powerful Shi'ite group Hezbollah .

"I am deeply concerned about Iranian influence not only in Iraq but on nuclear weapons, on sponsorship of Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations," he told reporters.

He said America could not accept a nuclear-armed Iran and backed much tougher financial and trade sanctions against Tehran in coordination with Washington's European allies.

The West accuses Iran of trying to acquire nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program. Iran denies the charge and says it needs nuclear technology to meet electricity demand.

Washington has led international efforts to penalize Iran for failing to allay suspicions over its nuclear work.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
ADB funding bridge construction in Georgia
ADB funding bridge construction in Georgia
Azerbaijan to develop single mobile app for various types of insurance – Central Bank
Azerbaijan to develop single mobile app for various types of insurance – Central Bank
German companies sign contracts with Azerbaijan in railway construction
German companies sign contracts with Azerbaijan in railway construction
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on Dec. 1
Survivors of military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan talk about incident (VIDEO)
Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Iran gas swap deal to open more possibilities of co-op – Rystad Energy
Azercosmos discloses its revenues from services export for 10M2021
German state reports four fully vaccinated people infected with Omicron
Azerbaijan's ASAN Visa model - best solution for Nepal's tourism sector, AIDIA CEO says
Azerbaijan holding farewell ceremony for servicemen who died in military helicopter crash - LIVE
Georgia to launch new agriculture insurance program in 2022
Turkmenistan's Turkmenbashi refinery to purchase chemicals through tender
Bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen from military helicopter crash, taken to farewell ceremony (PHOTO)
President of European Council hints at Georgia being among most reliable partners for EU
Rasht-Astara railway of great importance to Iran - Iranian official
First President of Kazakhstan expresses condolences to President Ilham Aliyev over deaths of Azerbaijani servicemen as result of helicopter crash
President Ilham Aliyev calls First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
Volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in ports of Iran’s Abadan County soars
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for December 1
UK ambassador views de-mining work in Azerbaijan’s Tartar (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan's revenues from passenger transport via internal waters skyrocket
Azerbaijani oil prices decrease
Interest in dev’t strategy of inland transportation via 'One Belt One Road' growing - analyst
Covishield 63% effective against Covid, 81% against moderate-severe infection: Study
Bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen from fatal helicopter crash, handed over to their relatives (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russian Embassy expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to military helicopter crash of State Border Service (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani currency rates for December 1
Uzbekistan reveals its top polyethylene export destinations in 10M2021
Iranian currency rates for Dec. 1
US Ambassador to Azerbaijan expresses condolences for lives lost in crash of military helicopter
Azerbaijan reveals ongoing construction of Shukurbeyli-Jabrayil-Hadrut highway (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani FM to take part in meeting of OSCE FMs
Tesla dominates as EV sales take off in Israel
ADB funding bridge construction in Georgia
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for November 30
SOCAR Turkey intends to boost its activities - CEO
SOCAR Turkey's head talks Petkim goals
Oil rises 1% ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud
Baku Stock Exchange to hold auction for short-term notes of Central Bank
Azerbaijan provides water supply to liberated Lachin district
Azerbaijan’s export of non-oil products increases
Azerbaijan increases gas export since early 2021
Russian Gazprombank forecasts Azerbaijan's economic growth to recover
Price indexes of financial, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange rise
Turkey’s aviation fuel export to Georgia increases
Helicopter crash in Azerbaijan broke our hearts - Selcuk Bayraktar
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Government of Uzbekistan approves feasibility study for construction of elevated subway
Russia again surpasses Azerbaijan as top importer of Georgia's potatoes
Kazakhstan adds over 700 new COVID-19 cases in 24h
Russia, Azerbaijan progressively developing co-op in agriculture – Russian ministry
President Erdogan calls for foreign long-term investments in Turkey
Year passes since liberation of Azerbaijani Lachin district from Armenian occupation
Air travelers to U.S. set to face tougher COVID-19 testing
British armed forces to allow people with HIV to enlist
Brazil reports first cases of Omicron variant
U.S. FDA experts narrowly recommend Merck's COVID-19 new drug molnupiravir
WHO warns against blanket travel bans over Omicron coronavirus variant
Turkey confirms 25,216 daily COVID-19 cases
9 injured in refinery fire in north Algeria
UK to offer booster vaccines to all adults by end of January
At least three students dead in Michigan school shooting, suspect in custody
Canada to ban travelers from Nigeria, Malawi, Egypt over Omicron concerns
Uzbekistan reveals leading regions in amount of loans issued in 9M2021
Head of EU delegation expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over military helicopter crash
Italian Embassy expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over military helicopter crash
Georgian economy grows 6.9% in October 2021
Turkish President to pay visit to Qatar in December
Capacity of crashed military helicopter of Azerbaijan's State Security Service was 24 people
Manual counting of 29% of protocols show that 7 parties may enter Kyrgyz Parliament
AZAL plane makes emergency landing in Baku
Pakistan seeking to increase trade routes on border with Iran
UN Resident Coordinator expresses condolences over military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan
Any outside influence as cause of helicopter crash out of question - head of Azerbaijani State Border Service
Coordination Headquarters holds another meeting in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's First Deputy Prosecutor General talks investigation, following helicopter crash
Former Turkish PM expresses condolences over helicopter crash in Azerbaijan
French ambassador expresses condolences over crash of military helicopter in Azerbaijan
UK's Ambassador expresses condolences over crash of military helicopter in Azerbaijan
Organization of Turkic States expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to helicopter crash
Israeli ambassador expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over helicopter crash
Iranian Foreign Ministry expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over helicopter crash
Helicopter crashed while landing at Garaheybat training center – Azerbaijani State Border Service
Status of martyr to be assigned to those killed in plane crash in Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Turkish President Erdogan holds phone talks with President Ilham Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva give instructions on burial of those killed in helicopter crash
Witnesses of helicopter crash being questioned in Azerbaijan – First Deputy Prosecutor General
Turkish Minister of National Defense expresses condolences to Azerbaijani Defense Minister
Flight recorder of crashed military helicopter found in Azerbaijan
Pakistani companies may partake in restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated territories (PHOTO)
Iran looks to boost its energy trade through Economic Cooperation Organization
Iran's ties with Economic Cooperation Organization to boost country's cargo transit
Azerbaijan excludes any outside interference following deadly helicopter crash
IRENEX shares data on sales of Iranol Oil Company
Gas swap agreement is mutually beneficial for Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan - experts
ICIEC Signs MOU with Japan's Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)
Israel's Bezeq Q3 profit up, raises full year outlook
Iran seeks to boost trade ties with Turkmenistan
Pakistan expects $3 billion reserves deposit from Saudi in days
Iran eyes to commission 12 new metro stations in Tehran
Oxford University says no evidence yet that vaccines won't protect against severe disease from Omicron
SOCAR’s STAR Refinery reduces crude oil imports
Iran remains optimistic about Vienna nuclear talks
All news