A pro-Tehran advocacy group presented controversial secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel with a $355 designer “Movada” clock in 2002, according to the former Republican Nebraska senator’s financial disclosures.
The American Iranian Council (AIC), an advocacy group that pushes for “no war” and “no sanctions” on Iran, awarded Hagel with what disclosures refer to as a “Movada clock.”
The forms are likely referring to the clock company Movado, a high-end watch and clock manufacturer revered by the affluent.
The gift could have been presented to Hagel in return for one of several speeches he delivered before the AIC.
“On June 27, 2001, however, Mr. Hagel, addressing another AIC [American Iranian Council] gathering in Washington, denounced U.S. sanctions against Iran and Libya, asserting that they ‘isolate us’,” the Washington Times wrote in a 2002 editorial.
Hagel was one of two senators who voted against renewing the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act in 2001. The act was tailored to prevent these countries from receiving money that could be spent on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Hagel has faced criticism from lawmakers and foreign policy leaders for his stance against Iran sanctions.
He is reportedly “solely responsible” for blocking a 2008 measure aimed at tightening Iran sanctions.
“Bullies do not respond to weakness, and Hagel’s stance on Iran—the most serious national security challenge America currently faces—makes conflict more likely, not less likely,” newly installed Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Tex.) told the Washington Free Beacon earlier this month.