Kerry: 'Iran is a country with a government that was elected'

You might recall Chuck Hagel got reamed by the Senate committee for saying something similar. As well he should have.

But, according to Josh Rogin, we better start wondering about just who Kerry thinks he's representing?

"Iran is a country with a government that was elected and that sits in the United Nations," Kerry said in France standing alongside French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. "And it is important for us to deal with nation-states in a way that acts in the best interests of all of us in the world."

The comment is similar to what Hagel said on Jan. 31 when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee Iran was "an elected, legitimate government, whether we agree or not."

Some might beg to differ with that assessment.

The 2009 election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was widely suspected to be rigged. His challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi said so at the time and Iran saw days of unrest after Ahmadinejad was proclaimed to have secured 63 percent of the vote.

Vice President Joe Biden said on Meet the Press "there's some real doubt" whether Ahmadinejad won. "There's an awful lot of questions about how this election was run," he said. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at the time, "I think there are a number of factors that give us some concern about what we've seen."

The Washington Post published an editorial detailing statistical evidence of fraud and abuse in the election results. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said it was "clearly a corrupt election."

Actually, Mr. Secretary, you weren't appointed to " deal with nation-states in a way that acts in the best interests of all of us in the world." Let the world take care of itself. You were appointed to act in the best interests of the United States of America, and if you're not going to do that, I would suggest you step aside and allow someone else to do the job.

Even beyond the question of whether the 2009 Iranian election was rigged, what makes all Iranian elections illegitimate is that all candidates must be cleared to run by the Guardian Council. Insufficiently pious in their eyes? Forget about running for office. Believe in liberalizing the treatment of women? Go home and think about another career.

The fact is, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has a stranglehold on the country and that includes his puppets on the Guardian Council (he gets to name fully half the members) who make sure no one runs for office who would stand against him.

How "legitimate" are those Iranian elections? Only the willfully self-deluded believe that they are.