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."

 

Iran moderate conservative retains parliament speakership

Without clear roadmap, Libya unity government fails to bring change

Hundreds of civilians flee Fallujah area in Iraq

Khamenei urges Iran lawmakers to resist Western 'schemes'

In Iraq town, fans of Real Madrid gather in 'challenge to ISIS'

ISIS offensive triggers mass displacement in northern Syria

Iran delegation leaves Saudi Arabia without Hajj deal

ISIS-rebel clashes grip northeast Syria town

New US law could sanction Hezbollah officials

Thousands of protesters gather in central Bagdad

99 lashes for partying Iranian students

100,000 Syrians trapped after shock IS advance in Aleppo

Iran sticking to nuclear deal: UN watchdog

Turkey party seeks constitutional change to boost president's powers

Turkey accuses US of 'hypocrisy' on Kurdish militia in Syria

Israel environment minister resigns from 'extremist government'

US-led coalition pounds IS near Raqa

Tunisia mulls allowing women to serve in army

US-backed fighters battle IS near Syria stronghold

Tunisia tourism sees 'slight recovery'

UN envoy calls for economic rescue plan for Yemen

Bahrain jails 19 for attacks on police

Up to 30 dead in shipwreck off Libya

UN says Syrians will 'starve' unless aid improves

Christian homes set ablaze in Egyptian village 'love story'

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott

Twin offensives on IS edge forward in Syria, Iraq

Private firms to help in hunt for Egyptair black boxes

New Israeli defence minister's tough talk to be put to the test

Syria most dangerous place for health workers

Concern for civilians trapped in Iraq's Fallujah

Brent rises past $50 a barrel

Iraq PM urges protesters to stay home

Juncker warns Ankara against migrant deal threats

Israeli air force carries out strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza

Annual Jewish pilgrimage starts in Tunisia

Sudan accuses UN official of 'false' reports on displaced

Egypt quashes prison sentences for 47 protesters

At least 5 drown off Libya coast

Coalition airstrike kills six Yemen civilians 'by mistake'

Erdogan chairs first meeting of new Turkey cabinet

Pope prays to 'convert hearts' of ISIS extremists

Egypt expels French journalist amid crackdown on media

Israeli rights group gives up on army complaints system

Hamas-led council backs executions without Abbas approval