Speaking at AIPAC yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) mocked the idea of direct talks with Iranian leadership, specifically rejecting “sitting down unconditionally with the Iranian president or supreme leader in the hope that we can talk sense into them.”
This morning, top McCain adviser Steve Schmidt also ridiculed the notion of talking to Iranian leaders, disingenuously claiming that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is “arrogant” and would be trying to “charm” Iran to change its ways:
Iran is supplying deadly munitions used to kill Americans in Iraq. … Is Senator Obama so arrogant that he believes that he will charm his way into getting the Iranians to change their policies, supporting terrorist organizations?
Today, however, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that next week, he will be making his “second trip in a year’s time” to Iran. Maliki will meet with Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad to discuss “the security pact between Iraq and the U.S.”
Maliki will also address one of McCain’s major complaints — “growing concerns among Iraqis and Americans that Iranian agents are training and arming Shiite militants in Iraq.” Just last week, Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq’s Shi’ite vice president, also sat down with Ahmadinejad and discussed “bilateral relations and security issues.”
“[I]t’s hard to see what such a summit with President Ahmadinejad would actually gain,” McCain remarked yesterday. “Such a spectacle would harm Iranian moderates and dissidents,” he added. Will McCain publicly ridicule Maliki and senior Iraqi leaders as “arrogant” and claim they are trying to “charm” Iran?