Secretary of State John Kerry repeated Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s mistake in referring to the Iranian regime as an “elected” government, but Kerry made his error during his first overseas trip.
“Iran is a country with a government that was elected and that sits in the United Nations,” Kerry said in France today. “And it is important for us to deal with nation-states in a way that acts in the best interests of all of us in the world. The world has made a decision that an Iran with a nuclear weapon poses a threat to global stability, to nonproliferation efforts, to the Gulf, to the region, and that if we are interested in a world with less nuclear weapons, not more, it is critical to try to find a peaceful way – as President Kennedy did in the Cuban missile crisis – to defuse those situations that are dangerous for everybody.”
Chuck Hagel made the same mistake during his Defense confirmation hearing. “Almost all of our allies have embassies in Iran,” he said. “So that’s why I note — an elected, legitimate government, whether we agree or not.”
The Cable’s Josh Rogin, in noting Kerry’s comment, recalls that the 2009 elections in Iran were criticized for corruption, even by the White House.
“There’s an awful lot of questions about how this election was run,” Vice President Joe Biden said at the time.