Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel On Latest Developments After Soleimani Assassination: ‘Iran Is The Big Winner’

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He says if the Iraqi Parliament’s vote to expel U.S. troops from the country goes through, it would be a “huge defeat” with consequences that would reverberate across the Middle East.

“I think you have to always remember that actions have consequences and those consequences include unintended consequences,” he says. “So, you know, we’ll see how this plays out. But right now, it looks like Iran is the big winner.”

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On the Trump administration saying it wants to de-escalate the situation

“What I know what they’ve said about de-escalation, but I don’t see in their words or deeds any de-escalation. I see nothing but escalation. I mean, you’re sending more than 4,000 more troops over there. You’ve been sending thousands more last year. I mean, that’s not de-escalation. One of the things you could do to de-escalate is for the president to stop tweeting and talking about we’re going to hit 52 Iranian sites — some of them historical, cultural [sites], which, in fact, would be illegal — and stop baiting the Iranians like that. That’d be a good start.”

WBUR/NPR- HereAndNow

(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)