Here’s what you mainly need to know. Iran likes this nomination.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry appears to be backing President Barack Obama’s pick of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as secretary of defense.
Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in an interview Tuesday that he hopes the Hagel nomination will improve relations between the United States and Tehran.
“We hope there will be practical changes in American foreign policy and that Washington becomes respectful of the rights of nations,” Mehmanparast said, according to Reuters.
Want additional reasons? Joel C. Rosenberg gives eight reasons. He points out an editorial by The Washington Post that came out against the appointment.
The editors of the Washington Post have come out strongly against the Senate confirming Hagel. “Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him,” notes a Post editorial headlined, “Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary.” Noted the Post: “Hagel…repeatedly voted against sanctions, opposing even those aimed at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which at the time was orchestrating devastating bomb attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. Mr. Hagel argued that direct negotiations, rather than sanctions, were the best means to alter Iran’s behavior. The Obama administration offered diplomacy but has turned to tough sanctions as the only way to compel Iran to negotiate seriously.” Also: “Mr. Obama has said that his policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that containment is not an option. Mr. Hagel has taken a different view, writing in a 2008 book that ‘the genie of nuclear weapons is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does.’ The former senator from Nebraska signed on to an op-ed in The Post this September that endorsed ‘keeping all options on the table’ for stopping Iran’s nuclear program. But Mr. Hagel has elsewhere expressed strong skepticism about the use of force.”
Today former Presidential candidate and chair of Patriot Voices, Rick Santorum, started a campaign against Chuck Hagel’s confirmation by the Senate.
I strongly oppose President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense because his confirmation would send a dangerous signal to Iran and other radical Islamic elements which would make our country and our allies less secure. President Obama inadvertently whispered his “flexibility” to Russian dictators, and then nominates someone for Secretary of Defense who tipped off the Iranians that he would not use strength to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. I also have concerns over Hagel’s disrespect for our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel. Time after time, Sen. Hagel has sought to distance the United States from Israel and refused to stop efforts to end terrorist attacks on Israel.
While I respect Sen. Hagel’s service to America, I cannot stand by and support his nomination. His anti-Israel, pro-Iran mindset makes him uniquely unqualified to serve as our Defense Secretary.
I opposed the nomination of Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, in 2006, because his position on Iran and radical Islam was weaker than the president that nominated him. Likewise, President Obama has nominated someone who is weaker on these vital national security issues. This country cannot afford someone in a key position of advising the president to be even more lenient and passive on the Iranian nuclear threat than President Obama has been to date.
I understand defeating Hagel’s nomination will not be easy, but as we learned with our efforts to defeat the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty, it is a battle worth taking on. Just last month, we won our fight to stop CRPD, and for the safety and security of our nation, I intend to win the fight to stop the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary.
They have a petition that can be signed here.