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By Talia Kaplan | Fox News

Fox News senior strategic analyst Gen. Jack Keane reacted Tuesday on “Outnumbered Overtime” to Iran issuing a series of threats against the U.S. after the death of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, saying, “Most of this rhetoric is bombastic” and “I wouldn’t take it very seriously.”

“Iranian rhetoric for 41 years has been off the top, robust, vile, [and] exaggerated to a fault,” Keane, a retired general who served as U.S. Army vice chief of staff, told host Harris Faulkner, adding that Soleimani’s killing led to “more rhetoric.”

He added, “Is there going to be some retaliation [from Iran]? Yes. I do believe it will be measured. We’re not going to war with Iran. There’s not going to be a World War III, as people are claiming.”


Esmail Qaani, the Iranian general taking over for Soleimani, told state television Monday that “actions will be taken” to revenge the death of his predecessor.

Also, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, speaking on CNN, described the airstrike as “state terrorism” and vowed that Iran would respond “proportionally.”

“You’ve got to keep things in perspective here and not lose sight of what’s really taking place,” Keane said on Tuesday. “We were justified in our actions against Soleimani. The Iranian regime is very much aware of the complicated and comprehensive attacks that they were planning against American troops. Multiple targets, multiple locations and we killed the guy that was in charge of planning and coordinating and directing those attacks. The Iranian regime is very much aware of all that.”


“President Trump has told them privately through emissaries that we do not have any intention of going to war with this regime and we don’t have any intention of advocating a regime change,” he continued. “What we want them to do is come back to the negotiating table and I actually think these incidents may help in pushing them in that direction.”

Keane also responded to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who told “America’s Newsroom” earlier Tuesday that he thinks Soleimani’s killing “is the death of diplomacy and I see no way to get it back started again until–sort of–the revenge of the Iranian people is somehow sated.”

“I give the president enormous credit for the restraint that he exercised over this last year,” Keane said in response. “An American drone was shot down, tankers [were] blown up and seized, oil production capabilities to include one of the largest oil fields in the world [were] attacked. Then ten rocket attacks on bases where U.S. troops were at, and we still did nothing. It wasn’t until the 11th one when an American citizen [was] killed and four servicemen [were] wounded.”

He added, “The president finally responded, but he responded very strongly and I believe this regime knows full well this president will follow through on what he says. If you kill Americans, we’re going to come after you.”

“They were planning a major attack to kill Americans,” Keane continued. “What does Rand Paul suggest the president do in executing his number one responsibility to protect the American citizen? Let’s assume that the [planned] attack that I was told [of] by a government official — multiple locations, multiple targets — went down and we had scores of Americans killed as a result of that and yet the president knew the attack was in the planning stages and did nothing. That’s a failure of his responsibility to protect the American people. Can you imagine a discussion we could be having as a result of that?”

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report. Talia Kaplan is a reporter for

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