First Published: 2013-02-05

 

McCain likens Ahmadinejad to monkey

 

Tweeting US Senator compares Iran's President to monkey that Islamic republic recently launched into space.

 

Middle East Online

Just a joke?

WASHINGTON - Outspoken US Senator John McCain raised eyebrows online Monday when he compared Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a monkey that the Islamic republic recently launched into space.

"So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week?" said a message on McCain's official Twitter feed, followed by the headline and link to a recent story: "Iran launches monkey into space."

The comments by the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, a strong advocate for tougher sanctions on Tehran for its nuclear program, followed Ahmadinejad's claim earlier Monday that he is ready "to be the first man in space" under Iran's ambitious program which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020.

The slur by McCain, the senator with by far the most Twitter followers, with nearly 1.8 million, elicited swift condemnation on Twitter.

"Wow, way to elevate political discourse," tweeted @heyitsurban to McCain.

Another user, @manolo_loop, wrote: "@SenJohnMcCain is racism funny?"

About 50 minutes after his original "monkey" tweet, McCain posted a follow-up.

"Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?"

The episode was the second off-color attempt at humor by the veteran US senator in as many weeks.

On January 22, he joked at a press conference about the prospect of a Senate colleague being held hostage in Afghanistan, just days after a hostage drama in Algeria left dozens of hostages dead including three Americans.

Minutes later he quipped he was looking forward to interrogating Senator John Kerry in his confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of state, saying US authorities would use "waterboarding to get the truth out of him."

 

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks