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Sen. McCain accuses Iran of 'reckless behavior'

October 13, 2011

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WASHINGTON—Sen. John McCain is calling Iran "a threat" to the Persian Gulf, saying an assassination plot allegedly hatched in Tehran dramatizes how closely the government must be watched.

Addressing the purported plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, McCain says he was surprised at "how ridiculously inept it was."

On CBS's "The Early Show," the Arizona Republican faults President Barack Obama for failing to publicly embrace Iranian street protests in Tehran in 2009. McCain calls it "an opportunity that we lost."

McCain also says that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, in his words, "This kind of reckless behavior they've displayed here could translate into a real serious problem." He says there can be little doubt that Iran is "trying to exert a Persian hegemony in the region."