While the US administration is “reviewing” its official policy on Iran, the issue of “regime change” in Iran or the natural demise of the Iranian regime have recently been floated in a few articles and papers. The feasibility not totally clear.
Politico attributes the renewed discussion over regime change to “senior officials and key allies of the President Trump”. Perhaps a result of the change of the US administration, and the opposing viewpoints of the new one vis a vis the old one. If President Obama, in relation to Iran, declared “we are not seeking regime change”, it perhaps seems only natural that the new administration will contemplate just that. Senator Tom Cotton was one of the first to advocate “the policy of the US should be regime change in Iran”, explaining that America will never be safe as long as the theocratic despotic regime remains in power. He recommended a combination of economic, diplomatic and covert methods to pressure Tehran’s government, while supporting internal domestic dissent.
Among those supporting regime change we find Secretary of State Tillerson, Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo, FDD memo’s submitted to the national security council, resistance group NCRI, MEK activists, PMOI and others. As reported by alarabiya, the central message of the annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) this year is that “regime change is a real possibility”. alarabiya claims that there is a “growing understanding” in this direction.
Others differ on this matter, fearing that instigating some kind of coup has very low probability of success, just like the outcome of the green movement, and will be accompanied with many negative effects like the strengthening of the hardliners and the undermining of the pro-western and pro-modernization Iranians. Among those opposing we find former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell, the pro-Iranian regime lobby NIAC and others.
The washingtonpost in their article titled it is time to prepare for Iran’s political collapse seems to forecast Iran’s demise, even without external help.
It would be interesting to understand the roots of the renewed multiple discussions on Iranian regime change or demise. Is it a reflection of the change of administrations – the ability to voice approaches which were “unacceptable” and unthinkable during the Obama administration and now even encouraged by the Trump administration, or does it echo a true “growing understanding”, perhaps an emerging critical mass, assembled from the oppositionists within Iran and/or from the many adversaries of Iran, who have had enough of Iranian arrogance, interventionism and oppression? It is somewhat strange that the mainstream media declines a thorough investigation into the sources of this growing movement and practical viability.
There is a wide consensus that a regime change in Iran is a worthy cause and would be a positive development. The debate seems to revolve around the means and methods – whether by internal procedural evolution or deliberate and external revolution.