President Donald Trump's threat to hit 52 Iranian sites if there is retaliation for the airstrike that killed Gen. Qassam Soleimani is "probably good statement," but it likely won't work to deter the Iranian regime from taking action, says former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark.
"I think the administration understands that there's a serious risk of consequences here," Clark told CNN's "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered" Saturday. "I think they understand that it's unlikely the Iranian regime will now come hat-in-hand to the negotiating table (saying) 'okay, you killed our number-two guy. Let's talk, we're ready to surrender.' They're not going to do that."
Further, he said, "the odds are that given Iran's politics domestically and how the regime in Iran has handled itself, it's probably going to, for its own credibility, to intimidate those in Iran who don't believe in it," said Clark. "They have to hold its followers together. They're going to have to strike."
In addition, Iran's regime understands U.S. politics "pretty well," said Clark, as does Trump himself, as he accused former President Barack Obama in 2011 of wanting to start a war "so he could be reelected."
"The Iranians have to understand that they're playing to the domestic politics of the United States in a way that strengthens the president of the U.S. when they strike us," Clark added. "There would be a lot of criticism of (Trump) that's partisan, (but) the fact is, Americans rally around when Americans are in danger. This could deter Iran. The odds are against it, but that's a factor that has to be considered."
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