OXFORD, Miss., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. presidential rivals John McCain and Barack Obama sparred in their debate Friday over former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's view on talks with Iran.
Obama, the Democrat, said Kissinger favored talking with Iran without preconditions. McCain, the Republican, challenged the assertion.
Kissinger -- who is an adviser to McCain -- said at a CNN seminar in Washington this month that he favored high-level talks, likely at the secretary of state level, but was less specific about the pre-conditions that McCain and Obama were at odds over Friday night.
Kissinger's quote, CNN said, was that the United States needed to engage Tehran at a high level.
"One utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it," Kissinger said. "And, therefore, I actually have preferred doing it at the secretary of state level."