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."

 

Iraq investigates Mosul civilian deaths

Iran to symbolically sanction 15 US companies

US-backed fighters battle IS near north Syria town

Yemeni rebel supporters flood streets on conflict’s anniversary

Dubai's Emaar Malls offers $800m to buy Souq.com

Iraq launches fresh Mosul Old City advance

Serious challenges for Arab leaders in Amman

Hamas partially reopens Beit Hanoun crossing

In Algeria, everyone wants to be MP, few likely to vote

Syria fighting damages IS-held dam posing rising water risk

Iran to appeal seizure of 9/11 compensation money

Hamas shuts Gaza crossing after assassination of official

Deep concern as Israeli laws entrench the occupation

Turkey’s Kurds could sway tight referendum vote

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

US and allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Israel’s air strike on Syria spooks Middle East

Gunmen kill Hamas official in Gaza

Separate Syria air strikes kill at least 32

UN says Israel has ignored resolution on illegal settlements

Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a 'test' for Kurds

More Algerian women in work, but husbands control wages

Beirut university settles US lawsuit over Hezbollah

1.1 million weekend travellers from Dubai hit by laptop ban

Shiite Lebanese women endure painful custody battles

Russia, China seek Iraq chemical weapons probe

Besieged Syrians struggle with dwindling dialysis supplies

Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

Syria says peace talks must first focus on 'terrorism'

12 Syrian refugees dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Mosul displaced head into unknown

As war keeps them away, Yemen children dream of school

Ousted Egyptian president Mubarak freed from detention

Iraq's Sadr threatens boycott if election law unchanged

Israel, US fail to reach settlement agreement

Yemen rebel missile kills Saudi soldier

Turkish FM in Switzerland amid rising tensions with Europe

Two more 'significant arrests' over London attack

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgium’s Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote