Written by Michael Volpe
Iran’s English language propaganda arm said last week that the choice of Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense indicates that the United States would allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb rather than confront the Islamic Republic.
The Iranians used a former Democratic Senator, Mike Gravel, as the centerpiece of this report.
Press TV, the Iranian regime’s English language mouthpiece, spoke “exclusively” with former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska for a report on what Hagel’s nomination means to any future confrontation between the two nations. The report stated:
“I think if [Chuck] Hagel gets appointed or confirmed by the Senate for the Defense Department, I think that will be a plus from Iran’s point of view because I do not think he would get involved in any plan to go to war with Iran,” said former US Senator in San Francisco Mike Gravel in an exclusive interview with Press TV.
Gravel also told Press TV that he didn’t believe Hagel’s nomination would have major consequences for the US’s relationship with Israel. However, he also said that “Hagel would not be a friend of Israel. He would not be an enemy but he would certainly be a lot more circumspect with our relationship with Israel.”
Press TV was created in 2007 by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). IRIB is the broadcasting arm of the Iranian government. Press TV routinely runs reports claiming that the US military commits war crimes and that Israel commits crimes against humanity.
On occasion, Americans are used as analysts to bolster stories run by Press TV. Gordon Duff, a senior editor at the far-left Veteran’s Today website, is a policy analyst with Press TV and appears on that network on occasion.
Other high profile Iranian leaders have echoed the sentiments of former Senator Gravel. In an interview last week Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, made similar comments to that of Gravel.
“We hope there will be practical changes in American foreign policy and that Washington becomes respectful of the rights of nations,” Mehmanparast said of Hagel’s nomination.
Hagel is a Republican from Nebraska but has taken stances to the left of President Obama on the issue of Iran. He voted against sanctions, refused to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group, and has favored direct negotiation with hostile nations like Iran.
Mike Gravel, famous for his role in leaking the Pentagon Papers, served as a US Senator from Alaska from 1969-1981. He ran for president as a libertarian in 2008. This isn’t the first time that Gravel has courted controversy. Gravel has been tied to the 9/11 truther movement, a group of people that believe that the US federal government secretly ordered the attack on the World Trade Center in September 11, 2001. In 2003, Gravel participated at an event sponsored by the Barnes Review, a group that believes the Holocaust didn’t occur.
While no one can be sure exactly when, it seem certain that things will come to a head over Iran’s nuclear program some time in President Obama’s 2nd term. If the pick of Chuck Hagel is any indication, the world should prepare for a nuclear-armed Iran.
After spending more than a decade in finance, Michael Volpe has worked as a freelance journalist since 2009. He's based in Chicago. Volpe published his first book in October 2012, titled "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall."