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Former Defense Secretary James Mattis wanted to “downplay” the threat posed by Iran, former National Security Advisor John Bolton claims in his upcoming book.

Mattis was nicknamed “Mad Dog” and “Chaos,” but Bolton portrays the retired four-star Marine general as a voice of moderation in President Donald Trump’s early cabinet—especially as Bolton pushed for a self-described policy of “regime change” towards Iran.

“[T]he ghost of Mattis’s protestations about taking Iran seriously would dog us right until the end of 2018, when he departed, and beyond,” Bolton wrote.

Mattis, through a spokesperson, declined to comment on the book.

The conflict between Bolton and Mattis over Iran began on April 7, 2018, when Bashar al-Assad was accused of launching a deadly chemical weapons attack on

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