06/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Gaffe Alert: Iran

It is looking increasingly like John McCain really knows nothing about Iran, despite wanting to bomb them.

Yesterday, in his big non-proliferation speech, McCain took his gaffes to a new level. He actually invented 20 years of negotiations between the United States and Tehran. In his speech, McCain said:

"Today, some people seem to think they've discovered a brand new cause, something no one before them ever thought of. Many believe all we need to do to end the nuclear programs of hostile governments is have our president talk with leaders in Pyongyang and Tehran, as if we haven't tried talking to these governments repeatedly over the past two decades."

McCain has clearly forgotten what Max Bergmann points out: The stated policy of the United States since April 7, 1980 has been that we don't talk to the Iranians. Never has the United States had communications, or tried to have communications, with the Iranian government on their nuclear program. Iran's nuclear communications have been limited to working through the European Union (led by France and Germany, countries John McCain has referred to as "vacuous" and "posturing").

Taken with his other many gaffes on Iran (repeated Sunni/Shia screw up, the use of Khamenei and Ahmajinedad interchangeably) there should be real questions about whether McCain has any knowledge of US-Iranian relations. Given that this one was in his prepared text, it also makes you wonder what his foreign policy team actually knows about Iran. For a man running for President on his foreign policy aptitude such confusion should sound alarm bells.

So to review John McCain's policy toward Iran:
1) He thinks that there is no difference between Sunni and Shia.
2) He thinks that Khamenei and Amajenadad are the same.
3) He thinks we've been talking to them for 20 years.
4) He thinks we should "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

Three of his stated beliefs are simply false. The fourth is simply reckless and is a clear display that John McCain is more extreme than Bush on the issue conservatives would like you to believe is the biggest threat facing America today.