WASHINGTON - Republican presumptive presidential candidate John McCain told an influential Jewish group Monday that the security of Israel and the United States depends on a tough-minded approach to a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, mocking Democratic rival Barack Obama's pledge to meet with Iranian leaders. "We hear talk of a meeting with the Iranian leadership offered up as if it were some sudden inspiration, a bold new idea that somehow nobody has ever thought of before," McCain said in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israeli body that has the capacity to make or break a candidate. "Yet it's hard to see what such a summit with President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad would actually gain, except an earful of anti-Semitic rants and a worldwide audience for a man who denies one Holocaust and talks before frenzied crowds about starting another." But in a conference call organised by the Obama campaign, Congressman Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, said McCain "continues to cling to a foreign policy that has not made the United States or Israel safer." He said engagement with Iran, such as Obama's call for unconditional meetings with Iranian leaders, would be a "productive change in policy." The Obama campaign also said McCain "stubbornly insists on continuing a dangerous and failed foreign policy that has clearly made the United States and Israel less secure," and added that during the Bush administration Iran made gains with its nuclear programme and expanded its influence in the region through groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Hari Sevugan, an Obama campaign spokesman, said, "The war in Iraq that John McCain supported and promises to continue indefinitely has done more to dramatically strengthen and embolden Iran than anything in a generation."