Gen. Jack Keane on Hezbollah threatening to retaliate for airstrike: 'Nonsense' that America started new war

Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News senior strategic analyst, reacted Sunday to reports that a Hezbollah leader said America has started a new “war” after the U.S. airstrike Friday that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, saying, “that’s nonsense.”

“There’s [sic] other things that they have done, as we all know,” Jack Keane, a retired general who served as U.S. Army vice chief of staff, said on “Fox & Friends” on Sunday. “The Islamic Republic of Iran, when they took over in 1980, declared war against the United States, said they are Satan, they’re our strategic enemy.”

He continued, “They want to dominate and control the Middle East.”

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“There’s [sic] two objectives that they publicly stated, and they reinforce it every single year. To be able to gain control of the Middle East. One: Have to drive the Americans out of the Middle East by force and they are using their proxies to do it.”

He went on to explain the second objective, which he said was to “destroy the state of Israel.”

Keane elaborated that Iran’s leaders “have been dead serious for 40 years.”

Soleimani was killed early Friday in Baghdad, in a U.S. strike that President Trump directed. The U.S. described the killing of Soleimani as a defensive measure to prevent an “imminent attack” on U.S. interests after an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad days earlier.

But, regime officials in Tehran said they rejected those reasons and described it instead as an “extremely provocative move” aimed at escalating tensions. Iranian officials said they reserved all rights “under international law to take necessary measures in this regard, in particular in exercising its inherent right to self-defense.”

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

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On Sunday, Iranian officials said the rogue nation no longer would abide by any of the limits of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The United States pulled out of the deal in 2018, a decision that had been met with disappointment by allies at the U.N., where the deal was codified. The U.S. then reinstated waves of sanctions on the regime and has called for other countries to join the U.S as part of what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called a “coalition of responsible nations.”

“As we know, they are very desperate because of the huge civil unrest they have in their country, which also is being manifested in the two governments that they prop up in Iraq and in Lebanon, same kind of civil unrest,” Keane said on Sunday.

“This monolith they’ve created, authoritarian rule and no concern for the people in terms of their quality of life experience, are blowing up in their face, literally.”

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He also said Iranian officials were “trying to create a crisis to put pressure on the United States to back off the sanctions because no other tool against them in 40 years has been so successful.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Ben Evansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.