Iranian state press, Press TV, is praising President Barack Obama's likely defense nominee as "anti-Israel," according to a piece published on the propaganda outlet's website. The piece is titled, "Obama expected to nominate anti-Israel Hagel as secretary of defense."
The piece begins, "US President Barack Obama is expected to nominate former Senator Chuck Hagel, an outspoken critic of Israel, as the next Pentagon chief."
Hagel has not yet been officially nominated for the defense secretary position, but all indicators suggest he's at the top of President Obama's list.
And, with apparent glee, the piece points out, "Some in the Israeli lobby have reportedly reacted with alarm to reports of Hagel’s nomination as he is known as an outspoken critic of the Zionist lobby in Washington."
The piece from the Iranian state press later adds:
Josh Block, a former AIPAC spokesman has lashed out at Hagel for “consistently voting against sanctions on Iran” over the country’s nuclear energy program and refusing to call on the European Union to name Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
The top nominee for the post of Defense Secretary was the first Republican senator to publicly criticize the war in Iraq, calling it the worst foreign policy blunder since the Vietnam War, and he has consistently opposed any plan to launch military strike against Iran.
While Hagel was considering a presidential bid in 2007, he was criticized by the National Jewish Democratic Council which said the senator “has a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel.”
In 2009, Hagel signed a statement calling on Obama to encourage a unity government between the two major Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.
Pundits believe that appointment of Hagel could spark tensions between Washington and Tel Aviv, but they predict no considerable trouble in his confirmation process in the Congress as he enjoys a bipartisan support.