Sen. Reed: Hagel Has “Ability To Speak Truth To Power”

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Reed, are you confident we can avoid an armed conflict with Iran this year over their nuclear program, and what's it going to take to prevent that?

REED (D-RI): It's going to take increased pressure, economically, and that's why the issue of multilateral sanctions is so critical. Up until we — basically enlisted under President Obama, the entire world or significant parts of it in putting pressure on the Iranians, they were not at all responsive. We have to continue that pressure. We also have to begin to look very closely at what is developing inside Iran. They have elections scheduled for June. That is going to perhaps shape their direction, we hope we it will shape it in a positive way, that they will back down from their aspirations for nuclear technology and nuclear weapons.

But the first issue is keep the pressure on. As the president has said and as Chuck Hagel will say, we need every option on the table. We have to assess all those options. And one of the things interesting about this issue of temperament there, I know there's a close relationship between the president and Chuck Hagel. I've traveled with them. I understand it, but I also understand that Chuck has the wherewithal and the ability to speak truth to power. He's demonstrated that throughout his entire career. That is a value that is extraordinarily important to the president, and I think he recognizes that, and I think that will be one of his virtues of secretary of defense.

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