IRAN'S foreign ministry has condemned remarks by Republican presidential candidate John McCain that exporting cigarettes could be a way of killing Iranians.
State-owned English language Iran Daily newspaper quoted ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini as denouncing the remarks as "inappropriate" and describing Mr McCain's attitude as "regretful".
On 8 July, Mr McCain responded to reports that the US exported $158 million worth of cigarettes to Iran during George Bush's presidency by saying: "Maybe that's a way of killing them."
He immediately afterwards said he was joking.
Iran said it supports neither US presidential campaign but hopes the election will bring a change in US foreign policy.