January 10, 2013
The Associated Press is reporting that “Chuck Hagel, is meeting with senior Pentagon staff to try to set the record straight about his stand on Iran, saying he backs strong international sanctions against Tehran and believes all options, including military action, should be on the table.”
As was eagerly pointed out in the pre-nomination debate over Hagel, his views on Iran have been pro-diplomacy and anti-war, throwing in a heavy skepticism about unilateral sanctions.
“Isolating nations is risky,” Hagel wrote in his 2008 book. “It turns them inward, and makes their citizens susceptible to the most demagogic fear mongering.”
Diplomacy, he wrote, is necessary to avoid war: “Distasteful as we may find that country’s rulers, the absence of any formal governmental relations with Iran ensures that we will continue to conduct this delicate international relationship through the press and speeches, as well as through surrogates and third parties, on issues of vital strategic importance to our national interests. Such a course can only result in diplomatic blind spots that will lead to misunderstandings, miscalculation, and, ultimately, conflict.”