U.S. credibility is at stake "all over the world" after last month's agreement with Iran
to curb the country's nuclear programs, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain says, noting the Iranian government has "cheated and lied" for 20 years on the issue.
McCain, appearing on CBS This Morning
on Monday, called for increased sanctions as the best way to force Iran into complying with nuclear proliferation treaties.
Story continues below video.
The agreement reached last month eases some sanctions against Iran. In return, Iran has promised to stop progress on its nuclear program, including the construction of the Arak research reactor, which could potentially yield bomb material. President Barack Obama has warned Iran that the sanctions will resume if the nuclear activities continue.
But McCain warned that the United States needs to be more careful and that Iran cannot be trusted.
Further, he said that there is no such thing as "good guys" or "bad guys" when it comes to Iraq's leadership, because there is only one leader running the country.
"His name is the ayatollah," McCain said. "He calls the shots. So it's sort of like the [Russian Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev thing. We can work with Medvedev when we know he's the puppet and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is the guy."
And as a result of the agreement that was reached, with the ayatollah, McCain said, "all over the world, the United States' credibility is at stake," warning that the Iranian government has not told the truth in years when it comes to its nuclear capabilities.
"If you believe that the deal that's been made is valid and allowing the centrifuges to continue to spin with a tacit agreement that Iran has the quote, 'right to enrich,' which is in violation of four U.N. Security Council agreements, then you may want to pursue this," said McCain.
"And we will — when I say 'we,' — we, the critics, will say that after six months is elapsed, if there's no deal, then we think increas(ing) sanctions are the most effective way to bring Iran around."
However, giving Iran "a country that has cheated and lied throughout this whole process" [leeway] and to not say it is a country that is prohibited to enrich uranium "is a serious mistake and idea," said McCain.
Further, McCain said, the United States is ignoring the regional conflict in Iran and the Middle East.
"Iran's client, 5,000 Hezbollah, are killing Syrians as we speak," he said. "Iranian arms are flowing into Syria, Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in Syria killing Syrians. We do nothing about that. Nothing."
McCain also acknowledged that Iran is allowing inspectors into a nuclear plant, but it's done that before.
"They have led inspectors in plants in the past, while other plants are being built and tunnels are being dug into mountains," he said. "Don't trust, but verify and the agreement is there."
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