What do Nebraska and Iran have in common? Not much – but enough to cause big trouble for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, whose possible nomination to be secretary of defense is being challenged by the powerful bomb-Iran-yesterday lobby. Iran, in its former incarnation as Persia, created the world's first empire, produced titanic figures like Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes, and is one of the great fonts of world culture. Nebraska was home to indigenous peoples for centuries. It became a state in 1867, and has produced an important literary figure, Willa Cather, as well as an investor said to be the world's second richest man, Warren Buffett.