In an effort to justify continuing to approach Iran via talks instead of stepping up the pressure in other ways, Sec. of State John Kerry said: “Iran is a country with a government that was elected and that sits on the United Nations. And it is important for us to deal with nation-states in a way that acts in the best interests of all of us in the world.”
In late January, then Sec. of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel made similar statements when he said, Iran had “an elected legitimate government, whether we agree or not.”
Somehow, both Hagel and Kerry overlooked the protests following Iran’s 2009 presidential election: protests where Iranian citizens marched to dispute Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim to victory.
But Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) did not forgot. And when Hagel made his comments she responded: “I can understand if you mean it’s a legal entity that has international relations and diplomatic relations. [But] I do not see Iran or the Iranian government as a legitimate government.”
No word yet on whether Gillibrand might take time out to set the record straight for Kerry as well.