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Tweeting McCain compares Ahmadinejad to monkey

Published on Feb 5, 2013 6:06 AM
US Senator John McCain is pictured during a podium discussion on the third day of the 49th Munich Security Conference on February 3, 2013 in Munich, southern Germany as world leaders, ministers and top military gather for talks with the spotlight on Syria, Mali and Iran. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Outspoken US Senator John McCain raised eyebrows online on 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 Teheran for its nuclear programme, followed Mr Ahmadinejad's claim earlier Monday that he is ready "to be the first man in space" under Iran's ambitious programme which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020.

The slur by Mr 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.

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