Tags: mccain | kerry | human | wrecking | ball

McCain: Kerry's a 'Human Wrecking Ball' in Iran Negotiations

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 08:14 AM

By Michael Mullins

Senator John McCain called Secretary of State John Kerry "a human wrecking ball" in  his nuclear negotiations with Iran and on other Middle East policies.

In an interview at Aspen Institute’s fifth annual Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday, McCain blasted President Barack Obama's administration for its handling of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, targeting much of his criticism toward his "good friend," the former senator from Massachusetts.

"Look, this guy has been a human wrecking ball," McCain told the forum's moderator Jeffrey Goldberg, a columnist for the Atlantic.

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Appearing visibly startled by the comparison, Goldberg asked the veteran senator from Arizona how his comments fit in with Senate decorum, considering "you just described the secretary of state as a 'wrecking ball traveling around the world' and then described him as a 'good friend.' How do you possibly square these two notions"?

Before he could respond, McCain was interrupted by Goldberg offering a possible response to his own question. The former prisoner-of-war turned politician agreed, saying his criticism stemmed largely from Kerry's seemingly impromptu policy trips throughout the Middle East.

Goldberg suggested  the "maverick" senator was being partisan, asking him "but when Henry Kissinger [the former Secretary of State to Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford] did that he looked smart"?

"Kissinger on a specific crisis would engage in shuttle diplomacy," McCain responded. "Henry Kissinger didn't fly around the world with a fire hose. Henry Kissinger had and still to this day. . . has a plan, he has a grounding of certain policy principals that he applies to different situations."

Despite the recent breakdown in talks between the U.S., its European allies, and Iran over the Islamic nation's nuclear development and the possible easing of economic sanctions on Iran, the secretary of state said this week that he remains hopeful that the two sides will come to an agreement.

Human-rights activist Banafsheh Zand told Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg on Monday that "It was the French who scuttled the deal" with Iran, adding that "Mr. Kerry is trying to bamboozle the illiterate of this world in acting like he is being 'democratic minded' or patient with a rogue regime that we all know isn't going to deal."

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Earlier in the week, Kerry said he understood Israel's "deep concerns" over Iran's nuclear program and the approach the U.S. has taken thus far in negotiations, adding that the two allies shared the same goal in curbing the perceived threat, yet differed with regards to tactics.

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