Former Trump national security official Michael Anton said Wednesday on "FOX & Friends" that if Iran does not launch any further retaliation for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, "the United States came away from that exchange the clear winner."
MICHAEL ANTON: Well, when I look at the ledger, what I see is a dead enemy of the United States who is responsible for the deaths of at least 600 American soldiers, who is responsible for an attack that killed an American a few days ago, and who ginned up an attack to try to besiege a U.S. embassy -- any country whose embassy comes under attack has to defend it. We have this dead enemy of the United States on the one side of the ledger, and on the other side of the ledger 12 missiles or so didn't hit a single target. When I look at that I think the United States came away from that exchange the clear winner. I don't see that we need to necessarily do anything in response.
STEVE DOOCY: So you are saying that the president's strategy, the president won this round?
MICHAEL ANTON: It absolutely looks that way to me. To me, the tweet that you just showed from the foreign minister of Iran (you don't necessarily want to trust the foreign minister of Iran) however, the keyword was "concluded." "Took and concluded." Now he, knows the whole world is watching what they are going to do next, is going to watch everything they say. It seems unlikely he would use a word like "concluded," signaling to the whole world that they are done if they had something else immediately planned.
I believe this for a long time, Iran is fundamentally a cautious power. They take risks when they think there is not going to be pushback. If they go for a time, weeks, months, or years without getting much pushback, they get riskier. As soon as they get hit, they tend to shrink back. And they don't get hit very often. But it does happen and they have a track record of pulling back. And that may be what's going on now I hope it's what's going on now. The strike against Soleimani was justified and Iranians take very seriously when the president says look, if you mess with us too much there will be a severe response and they're worried about that potentially severe response.