(National Review) 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.

In a 2008 interview given to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Chuck Hagel expressed admiration for Iran’s culture of treating woman well.

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