During her discussion with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday, Rice refrained from outright condemnation of Trump’s strike. But her analysis of the situation was no less terrifying:
And there's no question in my mind they will retaliate in a very serious way in a time and a place of their choosing and maybe multiple times in multiple places. And the question then is what will President Trump do? Will he respond as well, in which case this escalatory cycle increases and the risk of war gets greater and greater? Or does he back down and if he backs down, the Iranians will then, in all likelihood, interpret that as an opportunity to push further. So either way, we're likely down a path of conflict, I'm afraid,
The possibilities for Iranian retaliation are horrifying and numerous:
Afghanistan is another place where the United States could be targeted by Iran. There's a whole shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf region, which are now potentially active war zones with real risks to the global economy. And then, of course, Wolf, as you and I know, Iran has cells, proxy cells and direct cells, that it can control, that it can light up in Europe, in Latin America, in Africa, and even perhaps in the United States. So the risk to American civilians as well as diplomats and military personnel, now throughout many regions of the world, is much heightened.
[Soleimani] was an orchestrator but he wasn't a one-man band. And that's the problem. There is no way that I can envision that Iran takes this hit and decides, oh, never mind, we'll just stand down. I think the survival of the regime and its leadership prominence in the region, in its own mind, depends on a strong and forceful reaction. And so that's how you get this escalatory dynamic. And somebody's gonna have to back down or this is going to go to a place that's going to be quite dangerous and concerning.
On top of all that, we can’t trust Trump or his minions to tell the truth, Rice pointed out.
Heck, we can’t even trust Trump to know the difference between Iran’s Quds Force and the Kurds.