Former Top Pentagon Official Weighs In on U.S. & Iran Tensions

9&10 News talked to a former top Pentagon official Wednesday, to get their perspective on the situation in the Middle East.

Doctor Steven Bucci spent three decades in the Army and at the Pentagon, but now calls northern Michigan home.

Dr. Steven Bucci says he expects this isn’t the end of conflict between the U.S. and Iran.

“I’d love to say that we’re done, we’ve now done tit for tat and it’s over. I would be surprised if it was. Iran tends to go longer and deeper than that. I think we need to stay on our guard for a while longer and keep track of them,” said Bucci.

The impact of new sanctions announced by the president Wednesday could have a major impact on what’s next.

“We’re using every bit of leverage to cause them to behave normally, we’re not looking for subservience, we’re not looking for a client state, we just want them to stop causing trouble all over the Middle East and frankly all over the world,” explained Bucci.

Bucci says from his experience, Iran has historically been a difficult country to negotiate with, adding another challenge to an already complicated and tense situation.

“What has frustrated me is their seeming ability to bully and bamboozle our negotiators over the years and now they’ve run into an administration that doesn’t play that game, and they’re getting more and more frustrated by it, so hopefully they’ll get frustrated enough to make some change,” said Bucci.

Dr. Bucci says ultimately the U.S. wants peace in the region.

“Hopefully it ends by them backing off at least a little bit with their nefarious activity and saying okay, we’ll stop doing that, we’d like to have trade and maybe we’ll have a real negotiation with them. And ideally we return to a relationship, the kind of relationship we have with other countries in the region,” said Bucci.