Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Calls Intensify for Tougher Sanctions Against Iran

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein and other Congressional intelligence leaders made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows calling for more sanctions against Iran.

McCain, who is also a member of the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, similarly warned of the "slippery slope" of engaging in central Africa, where President Barack Obama last week ordered the deployment of 100 combat advisers to assist the anti-insurgency movement against the Lord's Resistance Army.

"We've got to be very careful about how we engage. ... I worry about with the best of intentions we somehow get engaged in a commitment that we can't get out of," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." But he also called the rebel group "one of the most horrible groups ever to inhabit the earth" and said it is "appropriate for us to do what we can to prevent and eradicate" it.

McCain was also highly critical of Obama's Iran policy, saying that it "has clearly been a failure."

McCain's criticism extended to the administration's negotiations of a status of forces agreement with Iraq. The current agreement is set to expire at the end of the year, and it is unclear how many of the remaining 40,000-plus American troops in Iraq will stay into 2012 and whether a new agreement will be reached granting them legal immunity.

"This whole issue has been terribly mishandled," McCain said, arguing that about 13,000 U.S. troops need to remain in Iraq to avoid renewed violence and to counter Iranian influence.

Feinstein also argued for a continued presence beyond a few hundred troops.

"I think people are so anxious for our men and women to come home and I understand that," she said. "It is also important that the job is completed in a way that provides the greatest chances for stability for the country I think that is a key goal for Afghanistan as well as Iraq. So, I am hopeful they will be able to quickly negotiate a status of forces Agreement. Absent of that, yes, we'll have to bring our people home."

Emily Cadei and Tim Starks contributed to this report.

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