News agency linked to Iranian regime: Hagel already approved as US ‘defense minister’

David Martosko Executive Editor
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Raja News, an Iranian news agency run by the wife of a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spokesman, reported on Feb. 13 that former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel was already in place as the U.S. “defense minister,” according to a translation obtained by The Daily Caller.

The agency later removed the article from its website, but Google retained a copy in its search engine cache.

According to the Iran Media project at the Annenberg School for Communications, Raja News is said to receive financial support from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. (RELATED: Documents show Hagel staffers met with “front group” for Iranian regime)

The mistake was likely a result of misinterpreting the Senate Armed Services Committee’s approval of Hagel as a final confirmation, rather than as a first step on the way to a full Senate vote.

The story, headlined “New defense minister approved,” reported that the Senate committee “approved Barack Obama’s selection of Chuck Hagel, agreeing in a vote of 14 to 11.”

“Hagel is a former senator and veteran,” Raja News concluded, “who was wounded twice in the U.S. Vietnam war. The new minister faced opposition from Senate Republicans because of his opposition to the Iran-Iraq War.”

The reference to the Iran-Iraq war is another error: Iran’s Islamic regime fought a war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988. Hagel, who originally voted for the use of force against Iraq in 2003, criticized the handling of the U.S.-led war that followed, comparing it to the Vietnam war and ranking it among the five biggest policy mistakes in the history of the United States.

Hagel faces a full Senate vote next week.

Charles C. Johnson contributed reporting.

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