Iran condemns McCain's 'genocidal joke'

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate had said cigarette exports to Iran could be "a way of killing them."

Hosseini 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Hosseini 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran harshly condemned remarks by Senator John McCain on Sunday, after he jokingly commented last week that cigarette exports to Iran could be "a way of killing them." The presumptive Republican presidential candidate made the statements after he was asked about reports that US exports to Iran - a big part of which were cigarettes - had risen tenfold during US President George W. Bush's presidency. He immediately added: "I meant that as a joke." But Iranian officials were apparently unamused. "McCain's crude remark on the indiscriminate killing of the Iranian nation not only testifies to his disturbed state of mind, but also to his warmongering approach to foreign policy," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in a statement Saturday. "We condemn such jokes and believe them to be inappropriate for a US presidential candidate. It is most evident that jokes about genocide will not be tolerated by Iranians or Americans," he added.