- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
TIMMERMAN: Valentines for Hagel were posted from Tehran
This is a love the Senate must leave unrequited
The Iranian rulers love Chuck Hagel.
Iran’s official English language propaganda outlet, Press TV, has suggested that President Obama picked the former U.S. senator from Nebraska to replace departing Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta to help craft a “grand bargain with Iran.” You know, the type of deal that would cement in place the clerical dictatorship, spell the end of any hope for U.S. support to the pro-freedom movement, and allow Iran to continue enriching uranium with no verifiable limits.
Another publication has called Mr. Hagel’s selection “a message of peace from the Obama administration to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and admiringly quoted Mr. Hagel as claiming sanctions on Iran “will only lead to U.S. isolation.”
Here in the United States, the pro-Tehran lobby was quick to champion Mr. Hagel’s cause. Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, argued that Mr. Hagel deserved support because he would oppose the “extremist pro-Likud circles who are seeking to establish a veto on U.S. national security policy.”
Such language, of course, is just a scantily veiled variation of Mr. Hagel’s own rant against “Jewish lobby” influence on U.S. politics.
Over the years, Mr. Hagel has developed an ongoing relationship with the American-Iranian Council, a precursor to the National Iranian American Council. Both groups oppose U.S. sanctions on Iran, support Iranian trade with U.S. businesses and promote unconditional U.S. negotiations with the Iranian regime over its nuclear program.
These are precisely the changes in U.S. policy that the Iranian regime is seeking. As a senator, Mr. Hagel was active in supporting all three.
In July 2001, Mr. Hagel was one of just two senators who opposed renewing the original Iran and Libya Sanctions Act. This was the initial effort by Congress to put pressure on the Iranian government by imposing sanctions on foreign energy companies investing in Iran’s oil and gas sector.
In June 2001 and again in March 2002, he addressed conferences sponsored by the American-Iranian Council in Washington to emphasize the need for the United States to abandon sanctions and open trade with Tehran.
From 2006 to 2008, he opposed numerous bills and resolutions that would have stepped up pressure on the Iranian regime, including an October 2006 measure calling on the European Union to join the United States in placing the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group on its terrorism list.
In October 2008, he used a Senate privilege to single-handedly kill the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act —broad bipartisan legislation to extend U.S. sanctions and harmonize them with measures then in place worldwide as a result of United Nations Security Council resolutions — about as multilateral as you can get.
Rather than sanctions, Mr. Hagel has favored a policy of outreach, negotiation and accommodation with the Iranian government, regardless of its actions against the United States, its allies or its own people.
In May 2007 — less than one year after Hezbollah provoked a war in Lebanon at the instigation of Tehran — Mr. Hagel joined then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Sen. Arlen Specter in addressing a formal invitation to the speaker of the Islamic Republic’s parliament to meet with U.S. officials.
Later that year, Mr. Hagel sent a private letter to President George W. Bush, urging him to engage in “direct talks” with Iran. The goal of such talks was to dispel the notion “that the United States’ actual objective is regime change in Iran, not a change of Iran’s behavior,” Mr. Hagel wrote.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
Get Breaking Alerts
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- 84 percent of the world population has faith; a third are Christian