Republican congressman calls Senator McCain's joke about Iranian leader “racist”
“So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week?” McCain wrote in a tweet which had references to Monday’s news report citing Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who said he was ready to be the first Iranian in space and last week’s news about Iran having launched a monkey in space.
The joke encouraged criticism rather than laughter among the Senator’s followers.
“Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?” McCain wrote in less than an hour in a follow-up message.
But this did not save the situation.
“Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes,” responded Republican congressman Justin Amash, an Arab-American, later to McCain’s post.
McCain is an ardent advocate of hardline policy towards Iran over its nuclear program. Besides, the Senator is know for speaking his mind in Twitter, according to local media.
US Senator John McCain drew a cascade of criticism Monday over an incendiary Tweet in which he compared Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a monkey.
“So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?” McCain, a relentlessly vocal critic of the Iranian leader, wrote on his Twitter feed Monday morning.
In the Tweet, McCain provided a link to a Reuters article headlined “Iran Launches Monkey Into Space, Showing Missile Progress.”
A deluge of angry and critical responses in the Twittersphere ensued, with users accusing the Republican senator from Arizona of racism and behavior unbecoming of an elected official.
McCain has been a fervent supporter of hardline policies aimed at weakening Ahmadinejad’s power and targeting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Voice of Russia, RIA, The New York Times