Hagel has been accused of having close ties to the Iran Lobby and moments like these certainly do not help.
Iran’s election was fraudulent, that has been widely concluded by nearly everyone. And the legitimacy of a totalitarian regime whose elections are widely restricted is itself questionable at best.
The Revolutionary Guard has also been involved in attacks on American troops in Iraq and supplied explosives to the Taliban. It helped set up Hezbollah and then there have been suggestions that the Guard might be prepared to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States.
The Hagel hearings have turned into a trainwreck for Obama Inc. Hagel has clearly been prepared and drilled on the questions he will face, and that over-preparedness translates into long rambling and repetitive speeches are either an attempt to eat up time or to remember his prepared talking points.
In between those speeches, his actual views slip out, such as when he says that he supports Obama’s policy of containment on Iran, which is Obama’s actual policy, no matter how often he claims that it isn’t.
Incompetence isn’t a sin in Obama Inc, but PR incompetence is. Unless you’re Biden, you’re not supposed to just say stupid things in public. And unless you’re Obama, you’re not supposed to accidentally say what you really mean. This is an even bigger mistake for Hagel because he lacks the media skills of either man. He’s just a longtime politician stumbling through the world’s worst job interview.