by WorldTribune Staff, July 29, 2018
The United States aims to curtail what it sees as Iran’s threatening behavior in the Middle East, but is not pursuing regime change in the Islamic Republic, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.
“We need them to change their behavior on a number of threats that they can pose with their military, with their secret services, with their surrogates and with their proxies,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on July 27.
Asked whether the Trump administration had instituted a policy of regime change or collapse for Iran, Mattis said, “There’s none that’s been instituted.”
The U.S. defense chief’s comments came after days of back-and-forth rhetoric between President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Rouhani had warned Trump that “America should know peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
In an all-capital-letters post on Twitter, Trump warned Iran not to “threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”
Trump later appeared to soften his rhetoric when he kept open the possibility of negotiating an agreement to denuclearize Iran.
But Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani added more fuel to the fire when he warned Trump, “We are near you, where you can’t even imagine… Come. We are ready … If you begin the war, we will end the war. You know that this war will destroy all that you possess.”