Reports indicate former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is quickly rising to the top of Obama’s list of potential nominees for Secretary of Defense.
One big problem — “Hagel sits on the board of a bank that is under investigation for allegedly violating United States sanctions on Iran.”
The bank, Germany’s Deutsche Bank, is being investigated for alleged violations “of a trade embargo on Iran’s oil and energy sector.” This is an important part of the U.S. embargo, as oil and gas exports provide Iran with much of the money it uses for its nuclear ambitions.
Hagel has been on the bank’s advisory board since 2009, and people are now asking why he’s maintaining close ties with an institution under investigation in late 2012.
This draws unwanted attention to foreign policy positions which Hagel holds but which many of his own former colleagues in the Senate find questionable. One of those positions is his long held support for sitting down with Iran “for direct, unconditional talks.”
Currently, the U.S. is not sitting down with Iran, although the Obama administration has offered to do so.
Photo credit: U.S. Army/Pfc. Alicia Torbush