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In September 2007, Mr. Hagel joined just 15 other senators in opposing a bill to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to the State Department’s list of international terrorist organizations because of its involvement in murdering U.S. troops in Iraq.

Mr. Hagel’s supporters write, “In an interview on Nov. 9, 2007, Hagel told the Lincoln Journal Star that he feared the Bush administration might use the Senate resolution on Iran as cover for a military attack.” Yet as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Mr. Hagel knew full well that the soon-to-be released National Intelligence Estimate on Iran would impose an insurmountable roadblock on any such plans, if they did indeed exist.

Congress has been instrumental in helping steer the Obama administration toward policies to increase pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, while expanding on work done by the two previous administrations to build an international coalition to slow down the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iranian power.

Chuck Hagel actively opposed these policies of confronting the Islamic Republic when he was in the U.S. Senate, and has continued to do so since then.

As Tehran’s best friend in Washington, he is exactly the wrong person to be Mr. Obama’s man at the Pentagon.

Kenneth Timmerman is the founder and president of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (iran.org), and the author of “Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran” (Crown Forum, 2005).