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Hagel Praises Obama on Syria; Chides GOP on Iran

The co-Chair of Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board and former Senator talks to Al Monitor Washington correspondent Barbara Slavin about scenarios that could prod Israel to act on Iran, the GOP candidates' obsession with threats to bomb Iran, Assad’s inevitable fall and Obama's plans on Mideast peace.
U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) and Vice President Joe Biden (L) meet with co-chairmen of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (R) and former Senator David Boren (D-OK) and senior leadership of the intelligence community in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington October 28, 2009.    REUTERS/Jim Young    (UNITED STATES POLITICS)

Chuck Hagel, who co-chairs the Obama administration’s Intelligence Advisory Board, says the United States should offer Iran “face-saving ways” out of the nuclear crisis and let Arab countries to take the lead in ousting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

In a wide-ranging interview March 9 with Al-Monitor Washington correspondent Barbara Slavin at Georgetown University, where Hagel teaches a weekly class, the former Republican senator from Nebraska hinted that private approaches to Iran were already occurring. He praised President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy and said Obama could do even better in the first two years of a second term.

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