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Ex-Bush adviser: Israel could 'choke down' Iran deal

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former national security adviser Stephen Hadley praised the Obama administration’s diplomacy on Iran and Iraq, but said he was "pessimistic" about Egypt, and that President Obama should leave troops in Afghanistan or else it would “confirm everybody’s worst fears about us getting out of the Middle East.”

Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to President George W. Bush, said he's optimistic that the United States and Iran can conclude a comprehensive nuclear deal and that Israel, which he recently visited, could grudgingly “choke down” an agreement that includes limited uranium enrichment and pushes back the possibility of an Iranian breakout to at least one year. In a wide-ranging interview with Al-Monitor on Monday, Feb. 10, Hadley said both the administration he served and the Obama team have made mistakes in Iraq but “the game is not lost … We need to get back in that game and I’m glad that the administration seems to be doing so.” Hadley also called for more training and weapons for “democratic” rebels in Syria, which he said would give Secretary of State John Kerry better leverage to negotiate a political solution to the Syrian civil war.

Excerpts from the interview follow:

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