Regime change: Momentum building for new U.S. Iran policy

by WorldTribune Staff, June 26, 2017

Last week, Iran filed a formal protest to comments Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made earlier this month in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

Tillerson said the administration would support “a philosophy of regime change” for Iran.

Sen. Tom Cotton. / AP

Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican agrees saying it should become official U.S. policy.

“The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran. I don’t see how anyone can say America can be safe as long as you have in power a theocratic despotism,” Cotton, a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, told Politico in a June 25 report.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank argued for regime change in a memo it sent the White House earlier this year.

“Iran is susceptible to a strategy of coerced democratization because it lacks popular support and relies on fear to sustain its power. The very structure of the regime invites instability, crisis and possibly collapse,” said the memo, which was circulated among White House officials and obtained recently by Politico.

Some officials in President Donald Trump’s administration have indicated that reform of the Islamic Republic’s government may no longer be sufficient.

Iran’s United Nations ambassador called the comments “a brazen interventionist plan that runs counter to every norm and principle of international law.”

National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton told Politico, “An explicit affirmation of regime change in Iran as a policy is not really on the table.”

Trump administration officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have backed regime change previously.

Last year, Pompeo, then a Republican House member, said in an op-ed for Fox News that “Congress must act to change Iranian behavior, and, ultimately, the Iranian regime.”

Pompeo and others have argued that military intervention would not be necessary for regime change in Iran. Economic sanctions and support of internal Iranian dissidents can weaken the regime, they said.

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