Asked by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to clarify comments made earlier in his confirmation hearing that Iran’s government is “elected, legitimate” — comments that drew derision from the right — defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel said Thursday that he was only referring to how the country is treated by the United Nations and other members of the international community.
“What I meant to say, should have said, it’s recognizable,” Hagel said. “It’s been recognized, is recognized at the United Nations. Most of our allies have embassies there. That is what I should have said.”