Speaking with Arizona radio station KTAR Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized President Obama for taking what he called the wrong approach to dealings with Iran.

"[Iran] is obviously the elephant in the room right now," he said. "It is inexorably on the path to nuclear weapons ... and this is a government that is committed to the extinction of the state of Israel."

"The president's goal seems to be bringing Iran back to the negotiating table, when it should be to stop their progress."

Israeli officials recently issued statements suggesting that they would pre-emptively strike Iran's nuclear facilities in the next year. The U.S. responded by assuring Israel that Iran's weapons would take a least a year to develop. 

Meanwhile the U.S. and Europe have hit the Iran with economic sanctions aiming to force them into negotiations about their nuclear program. 

Obama told a group of journalists at the White House last week that Iran may continue its nuclear efforts in spite of the economic damage they'll incur.

“It may be that their ideological commitment to nuclear weapons is such that they’re not making a simple cost-benefit analysis on this issue,” he said.

On Friday, McCain said he was unconvinced about the sanctions. 

"It doesn't mean you don't talk to them. It doesn't mean you don't negotiate, but to think that the Iranians are going to 'unclench the fist,' as the term goes ... I'd love to think it's going to happen but I don't think it will."