Hagel Defends Kerry’s Engagement with Iran

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Defense One Summit, Nov. 14, 2013.

DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

AA Font size + Print

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Defense One Summit, Nov. 14, 2013.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says “engagement” with Iran isn’t “negotiation” and defends the Secretary of State for reaching out. By Stephanie Gaskell

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said “engagement doesn’t mean negotiation” when it comes to talking to Iran — and defended Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts.

Hagel, speaking at the Defense One Summit in Washington, said it’s wise to try to find common ground with adversaries. “That’s where you’ve always got to start with anyone. Try to define some kind of a relationship based on common interests. We can go to war if you want to. I’ve been to war — not a happy time for everybody. We’re not always going to agree with everybody and we’re going to have varying degrees and dynamics and dimensions of interests.”

(Read the rest of the coverage from Defense One Summit here)

“You’ve got to be clear-eyed in these things,” Hagel added, reminding the audience that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism.

Kerry held a classified briefing with the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday to brief them on the recent P-5+1 talks in Geneva — which did not yield a deal — to try to convince them not to levy new sanctions on Iran. But Republicans left the meeting saying they felt the Obama administration was leading the country towards nuclear war by talking to the Iranians.

Hagel said he supports Kerry’s efforts to open a dialogue with Iran. Engagement is not surrender, it’s not appeasement, engagement is not negotiation. ” he said. “Now I felt sorry for Secretary Kerry because so many people have jumped into this — ‘Well, he didn’t get anything, he didn’t get a deal.’ ”

“It’s going to take time,” Hagel said.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.