Chris Matthews: Soleimani death comparable in Iran to Elvis Presley, Princess Diana

Chris Matthews: Soleimani death comparable in Iran to Elvis Presley, Princess Diana
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MSNBC's Chris Matthews said the death of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was comparable to that of Princess Diana and Elvis Presley during the Wednesday night edition of "Hardball."

"There's a hell of a lot of emotion" in Iran over the killing of Soleimani, said Matthews.

Soleimani led Iran's Quds Force and was close to the country's supreme leader. His funeral was attended by more than 1 million mourners in Tehran on Monday. 

"When some people die, you don't know what the impact is going to be. When Princess Diana died, for example, there was a huge emotional outpouring," Matthews said on his show Wednesday night.

"Elvis Presley in our culture. ... It turns out that this general we killed was a beloved hero of the Iranian people to the point where, look at the people, we got pictures up now, these enormous crowds coming out. There's no American emotion in this case, but there's a hell of a lot of emotion on the other side."

Matthews is a former speechwriter for President Carter, whose administration dealt with the Iranian hostage crisis. He has hosted "Hardball" since 1999. 
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE said in an address to the nation from the White House on Wednesday that Iran "appears to be standing down" while announcing that his administration is set to impose new “punishing” sanctions on Tehran until the country changes its posture toward the United States.

"They killed one of our most revered commanders and most senior commanders, and they took responsibility for it,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with CNN International on Wednesday.

"President Trump, after watching the crowds yesterday, must stop threatening these people who will be further enraged by his threats — his threats will not frighten us," Zarif said.