Hagel 'Misstates' Administration's Position on Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

Hagel 'Misstates' Administration's Position on Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

On February 18th, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel misrepresented the Obama administration’s position on Iran by telling “a Jewish congregation at a Maryland synagogue” that Obama has the same position Bush had on Iran and nuclear weapons.

He said the Obama administration believes Iran “should not be allowed the ‘capacity’ to develop a nuclear weapon.”

But Fox News reports the administration’s actual policy is, “Iran should be prevented from obtaining a nuclear weapon” rather than being the denied the “capacity” to make one.

In January, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a report showing that Iran already has the “capacity” to “produce nuclear weapons.” But the transcript of Hagel’s February 18th remarks shows he used the word “passively” instead of “capacity” when speaking at the synagogue. 

Hagel’s words were transcribed on the DOD website as: “Iran will not be able to develop passively for a nuclear weapon.”

Hagel also misstated Obama’s position on Iran last year when he said he supported “the president’s position on containment” regarding the administration’s approach to keeping “Iran from building a nuke.” 

After an aide slipped him a note he said: “I misspoke and said I supported the president’s position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say we don’t have a position on containment.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.


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