Former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel received nearly $30,000 in speaking fees from two international companies with previous ties to Iran in the months before his nomination for secretary of defense.
According to his recently filed personal financial disclosure, Hagel, who has previously called for direct engagement with Iran, received $12,000 for a speech to a German electronics company, Rohde & Schwarz, in September 2012. The Washington Times previously reported on a December 2009 cable that detailed Iranian efforts to procure equipment from Rohde & Schwarz for use in liquid-fueled ballistic missiles. The cable, which was sent from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s office, requested that German officials be made aware of Iran’s procurement efforts. Rohde & Schwarz’s Czech Republic website also still includes an operating manual that lists a Rohde & Schwarz liaison office that was headquartered in Tehran.
Hagel also received $16,000 for a speech to Rabobank, an international financial services firm, days before his speech to Rohde & Schwarz. The Wall Street Journal reported in April 2012 that Rabobank, along with several other international banking institutions, had stepped back from business transactions with Iran.
It remains unclear whether Hagel’s previous support for Iran engagement was a factor when the companies booked Hagel’s speeches.