Thursday, April 13, 2006
“I think to further comment on it would be complete speculation, but I would say that a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option,” he added. …
“I believe a political settlement will be the answer. Not a military settlement. All these issues will require a political settlement,” Hagel said.
Stating that no good military options exist doesn’t mean the U.S. should take the military option off the table. What it means is that the U.S. needs to get off the sidelines and engage Iran directly, as Hagel has urged in the past:
Iran is a regional power; it has major influence in Iraq and throughout the Gulf region. Its support of terrorist organizations and the threat it poses to Israel is all the more reason that the U.S. must engage Iran. Any lasting solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program will also require the United States’ direct discussions with Iran. The United States is capable of engaging Iran in direct dialogue without sacrificing any of its interests or objectives.