According to the Daily Mail, Debra Cagan—Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defense Secretary Robert Gates—declared to a group of visiting British MPs: “I hate all Iranians.”
The six MPs were taken aback by the hardline approach of the Pentagon and in particular Ms Cagan, one of Mr Bush’s foreign policy advisers.
…”She seemed more keen on saying she didn’t like Iranians than that the US had no plans to attack Iran,” said one MP. “She did say there were no plans for an attack but the tone did not fit the words.”
Another MP said: “I formed the impression that some in America are looking for an excuse to attack Iran. It was very alarming.”
Tory Stuart Graham, who was on the ten-day trip, would not discuss Ms Cagan but said: “It was very sobering to hear from the horse’s mouth how the US sees the situation.”
Although the statement was confirmed by four of the six MPs, the Pentagon denies Cagan made the statement.
UPDATE: NIAC calls on the office of Secretary of Defense to fire Cagan for her hateful remarks.
Cagan’s comments have the potential to be devastating to America’s soft power in Iran. The Bush Administration must make clear that under no circumstances is such inappropriate behavior tolerated, nor are Ms. Cagan’s sentiments shared by the US government.
Americans of Iranian descent have been particularly alarmed by Cagan’s remark.
“To hear a government official say ‘I hate all Iranians’ gives Iranian Americans the impression that they are under attack by their government,” said NIAC Board Member Prof. Mohamad Navab. “No minority group in the United States should be subjected to this type of treatment by a US government official. It goes against everything this country stands for.”
NIAC has contacted the office of the Secretary of Defense to discuss the matter and convey the concerns of the Iranian-American community.
“If she is allowed to stay in her post, the US Defense Department and the Bush Administration will have condoned hate toward minorities in this country,” said NIAC Board Member Dokhi Fassihian. “Her behavior has brought disgrace to the US government. She must be immediately relieved of her duties.”
Irancove @ October 1, 2007