Chuck Hagel: Iranian government is “legitimate”

You know; the same one that rigged the 2009 presidential election and then shot protesters who dared to point it out.

Former senator Chuck Hagel defended his vote against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, claiming it would have been unprecedented and potentially harmful to give that designation to a representative of a “legitimate” government.

The Islamist regime in Iran, Hagel said, was “an elected, legitimate government, whether we agree or not.”

The Iranian government is currently gearing up for elections by arresting “anti-revolutionary” journalists, and deciding whether or not to allow pro-reform candidates to participate, many of whom have been living under house arrest for years.

I haven’t been watching, but people who have say the hearing’s been a disaster for Hagel so far. He’s weak, floundering through answers, and misstating administration policy.

Update: Good Lord. Watch Hagel change his position three times in less than a minute.