ISIS Iran Report

Shift in McCain Stance on Iran’s Enrichment Program?

October 24, 2008

Senator McCain’s stance on the issue of uranium enrichment in Iran may have changed, as shrewdly noted by the Cato Institute’s Justin Logan.  In April 2008, ISIS submitted a short questionnaire to the Obama, McCain, (and Clinton) campaigns asking if they believed Iran should suspend permanently or temporarily its uranium enrichment at Natanz.  In response, the McCain campaign said, “There is no circumstance under which the international community could be confident that uranium enrichment or plutonium production activities undertaken by the current government of Iran are purely for peaceful purposes.”  ISIS also asked whether each candidate thought the fuel cycle should be controlled in the case of Iran.  Senator McCain’s campaign responded, “...there can be no such thing as an adequately controlled nuclear fuel cycle in Iran.”  As the Cato Institute points out, a potential reversal of this stance may have occurred.  According to a recent David E. Sanger article in the New York Times:  “The director of foreign policy for the McCain campaign, Randy Scheunemann, said that if Iran was in compliance with United Nations resolutions, ‘it would be appropriate to consider’ letting it produce uranium under inspection….” 

This change in policy could be significant if Senator McCain is elected, and he should clarify any proposed modifications to the U.S. stance on Iranian enrichment to the public.   

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