- Associated Press - Thursday, October 13, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain on Thursday called Iran “a threat” to the Persian Gulf, saying an assassination plot allegedly hatched in Tehran dramatizes how closely the government must be watched.

Addressing the purported plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, said he was surprised at “how ridiculously inept it was.”

On CBS’ “The Early Show,” Mr. McCain faulted President Obama for failing to publicly embrace Iranian street protests in Tehran in 2009. Mr. McCain called it “an opportunity that we lost.”

The senator also said that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, “this kind of reckless behavior they’ve displayed here could translate into a real serious problem.” He said there can be little doubt that Iran is “trying to exert a Persian hegemony in the region.”