McCain: Obama slow to embrace Iran protestors

Iranians who've protested the results of their country's presidential election are on the "right side of history" as first established by the Declaration of Independence, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Saturday.

McCain took aim at President Obama's deliberately measured reaction to the contested election there in the weekly Republican radio address, citing a "moral obligation" to forcefully support protesters who claim incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole the election from reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

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"Today, we stand with the millions of Iranians who brave batons, imprisonment and gunfire to have their voices heard and their votes counted," McCain said in the holiday address. "We have a moral obligation to do so."

The Obama administration has maintained that the election dispute is an Iranian issue, and not one in which the U.S. should become deeply involved.

"I have made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not at all interfering in Iran's affairs," the president said at a news conference last month. "But we must also bear witness to the courage and dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society."

Those words, however, have not stopped President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from publicly accusing Obama of becoming too involved in Iranian affairs.

McCain derided the Obama administration's stated concerns over the U.S. appearing to meddle in the election as naive.

"The regime will make that claim no matter what we say or do," said McCain, who has been a vocal supporter of Iranians who've taken to the streets on June 12th.

"Iranians know the truth," the 2008 Republican presidential nominee asserted. "They are not fools, these brave and determined Iranians. They are on the right side of history, and the cynics among us, who think them fools, are on the wrong side."