On January 31, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee had an opportunity to interview former Sen. Chuck Hagel about his qualifications to serve as Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration.
Senator James Inofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, asked Hagel, "Given that Iran, the people — I’m quoting right now from Iran — people of the Middle East, the Muslim region and North Africa, people of these regions hate America from the bottom of their heart," said Inhofe. "It further said Israel is a cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world. They further said Iran’s warriors are ready and willing to wipe Israel off the map. The question I’d like to ask you, and you can answer for the record if you’d like, why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be the Secretary of Defense?"
Hagel responded, "I have a difficult enough time with American politics, Senator. I have no idea, but thank you. And I’ll be glad to respond further for the record." Hagel served as a Republican in the Senate, representing Nebraska. An outspoken critic and analyst of American foreign policy, his views about the state of Israel have sometimes been controversial and have been called into question as part of the nomination process.