The Straits Times
Published on Feb 05, 2013

Tweeting McCain compares Ahmadinejad to monkey


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.