Senator Jim Inhofe asked Chuck Hagel why the Iranians had endorsed his nomination for secretary of defense:
"Given that Iran, the people — I’m quoting right now from Iran — people of the Middle East, the Muslim region and North Africa, people of these regions hate America from the bottom of their heart," said Inhofe. "It further said Israel is a cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world. They further said Iran’s warriors are ready and willing to wipe Israel off the map. The question I’d like to ask you, and you can answer for the record if you’d like, why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be the Secretary of Defense?"
Hagel responded, "I have a difficult enough time with American politics, Senator. I have no idea, but thank you. And I’ll be glad to respond further for the record."