Senate

Schumer Supports Hagel for Defense Secretary

Had withheld support until learning more about stances on Iran and Israel

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Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader, said he intends to support Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense, after withholding his backing until he learned more about Hagel's positions on policy toward Israel and Iran.

Schumer said today in an e-mailed statement that he made his decision after meeting with Hagel yesterday for almost 90 minutes. The senator said he received assurances that Hagel "would do 'whatever it takes' to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including the use of military force," that he supports sanctions against Iran and that he regrets comments about the influence of what he called the "Jewish lobby."